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Hawaii Island receives federal funding for buses that reduce toxic pollutants

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Hele-On Bus. File Photo courtesy of the Office of the Mayor, County of Hawaii

Hele-On Bus. File Photo courtesy of the Office of the Mayor, County of Hawaii

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced that the Hawaii Department of Health will receive nearly $200,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to replace two diesel-powered buses on Hawaii Island with lower-emission buses. The new buses, part of Hawaii County’s Hele-On bus service, will reduce toxic pollutants released by diesel exhaust.

“Hawaii County’s Hele-On Bus provides an important means of transportation for residents and visitors across the island and these new buses with up-to-date emissions technology will result in cleaner air for Hawaii County and a positive impact on our climate,” said Senator Hirono, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“Hawaii County is grateful and appreciative of being a recipient of this grant from the EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Program,” said Tiffany Kai, County of Hawaii Mass Transit Administrator. “The replacement buses will allow Hawaii County’s Mass Transit Agency to improve efficiency while reducing emission and increasing the lifetime of our buses. We are fortunate to be a part of this project as it will allow our county to lead by example in our ongoing effort to sustain a clean and healthy environment. We would also like to thank Senator Hirono for her tireless work in securing this grant on behalf of our island community.”

The two buses will be purchased with a combination Hawaii County funding and funding from the EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Program. The project will reduce emissions of fine particulate matter by 1.1 tons, smog-forming nitrogen oxides by 16.6 tons and carbon monoxide by 4.7 tons over the lifetime of the buses.

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