Fairfax County Cleans the Air One Bus at a Time


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

May 7, 2004

 

Fairfax County Cleans the Air One Bus at a Time

 

The Fairfax County Department of Vehicle Services has undertaken a variety of initiatives as part of the county’s voluntary contribution to the regional effort to clean up the air in the Washington metro area. The Department of Vehicle Services has initiated a voluntary, major retrofit project to remove substantial amounts of air pollutants from the exhaust of more than 1,000 school buses over the next two years. Over 400 buses will receive a diesel oxidation catalyst and a reprogramming of the engine’s electronic control module, reducing the amount of nitrogen oxides in the exhaust by 25 percent. Nearly 600 more buses that cannot be reprogrammed will receive only a diesel oxidation catalyst that will reduce the amount of hydrocarbons in the exhaust by 50 percent. All buses will emit lower levels of particulate matter after their retrofits.

When all eligible school buses have been treated, the Department of Vehicle Services will begin retrofits on all of the county’s other diesel-powered trucks, buses and off-road machines to reduce the pollutants in their exhaust as well. By the end of the three years needed to retrofit all the county’s diesel engines, emission standards for new engines will make new diesel highway vehicles far cleaner than the retrofitted ones. As cleaner engines become available, the county has been buying and will continue to buy the cleanest ones offered.

Meanwhile, the county’s Department of Transportation is voluntarily initiating another project to retrofit 148 Fairfax Connector buses, all but the very oldest, with diesel particulate filters. These filters reduce hydrocarbons and particulate matter somewhat better than the diesel oxidation catalysts, but cost significantly more and require the use of a special, “ultra-low sulfur” diesel fuel. The Department of Vehicle Services has arranged for the special fuel to be phased in for use in all county diesel vehicles over the next two years. It will become the standard highway diesel fuel in the United States near the end of 2006.

For more information, contact Dave Duval in the Department of Vehicle Services at 703-324-3554, TTY 711.


 

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

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