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State Board of Education - Adopted Resolutions

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WHEREAS, thousands of non-school vehicles and approximately 7,539 school buses in Alabama transport 387,000 students to and from schools daily; and

WHEREAS, emissions from gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles contribute significantly to air quality issues, including greenhouse gases, ozone formation, and fine particulates, and contribute a multitude of potentially harmful pollutants that can trigger an asthma attack and other ailments; and

WHEREAS, asthma is a long-term inflammatory disease that affects 13.5% of children in the United States and is sensitive to environmental triggers such as vehicle exhaust, and asthma causes the airways of the lungs to tighten and constrict, leading to wheezing, breathlessness, chest, tightness and coughing, and asthma is a leading cause of school absenteeism, nationally causing more than 14.7 million missed school days per year; and

WHEREAS, idling increases emissions of school bus and other vehicle exhaust and increases youth exposure to unhealthy bus and other vehicle emissions; and

WHEREAS, diesel vehicles emit numerous carcinogenic chemicals, including benzene and formaldehyde, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that all vehicle emissions account for as many as half of all cancers attributed to outdoor air pollution; and

WHEREAS, we can avoid producing unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions and exposure to air toxins by reducing or eliminating wasteful vehicle idling; and

WHEREAS, an average school bus uses one-half gallon of diesel fuel for each hour of idling and reducing idling by 30 minutes per day would save 45 gallons and $135 per bus per year (assuming a diesel fuel cost of $3.00/gal); and

WHEREAS, adopting a no-idling policy would significantly improve public health, air quality, reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education joins the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management urging Alabama school systems to adopt "Idle Free Zones" on school campuses, and urges all Alabamians to reduce idling on school campuses.

Done this 12th day of November 2009.