Press Release

ANNAPOLIS (October 8, 2004) – Nearly $300,000 from a settlement with Dominion Resources (VEPCO) will be used to reduce emissions from school buses in Montgomery County, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. announced today.

The funds will be used to equip 125 buses with pollution reducing equipment and to purchase 416,000 gallons of ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel for use in buses. The money from the settlement will be used to purchase and install diesel oxidation catalysts on the buses and pay the difference between the cost of regular diesel fuel and the cost of the cleaner-burning fuel.

“With a relatively small investment,” said Governor Ehrlich, “we will have an on-going, positive impact on the quality of air students breathe when they are on these buses.”

Altogether, the Maryland Department of the Environment received $600,000 from the settlement between Dominion Resources and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Similar projects will be funded in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

In 2003, Dominion Resources agreed to spend $1.2 billion to clean up eight power plants in Virginia and West Virginia. The company also agreed to provide $13.9 million for environmentally beneficial projects in the Northeast, including the $600,000 to clean up school buses in Maryland.

The use of the ULSD fuel will also reduce air toxics emissions, including oxides of sulfur (SO2, SO4), particulate matter, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The SO2 and SO4 emissions will be reduced by over 90 percent. Additionally, the amount of particulate matter, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will be reduced by 9 percent, 7 percent and 24 percent respectively.

Retrofitting older diesel engines with diesel oxidation catalysts cuts the particulate matter by 20 percent, carbon monoxide by 40 percent and volatile organic compounds by 50 percent.