Those familiar puffs of black diesel smoke coming from exhaust pipes of yellow school buses could someday be a thing of the past.
Under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, known as the federal economic stimulus plan, the government committed $88.2 million to replace school buses or retrofit them with pollution-control equipment.
Money also was set aside to improve diesel trucks and diesel-powered equipment.
Each state and the District of Columbia is to receive $1.73 million.
In most cases, the money will beef up accounts created by earlier grants and portions of fines state environmental agencies have collected.
In Ohio, the latest round of federal money nearly triples the state's account for such work.
Ohio had banked $900,000, two-thirds of which came from fines.
An announcement was made last week about the new money being distributed to state agencies.
The Ohio EPA said it will pass along money for school bus retrofits to districts that apply for grants by Sept. 1.
Buses built between 1994 and 2007 that travel at least 5,000 miles a year are eligible for funding, the Ohio EPA said.
State and federal environmental regulators said the program should lead to improvements in general air quality while reducing the effects on students from idling buses.
The federal EPA said that clean diesel projects will reduce asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, cut time lost to sick days, and decrease the number of premature deaths. The program's health benefits outweigh costs by a 13-to-1 ratio, the agency said.
General information about the federal EPA initiative for cleaner-operating diesels is on www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.
Information tailored to the Midwest is at www.
To see how money from the recovery act is spent, visit recovery.gov.
For information about specific federal EPA programs tied to the recovery act, go to www.epa.gov/recovery.