OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Eight Washington school districts plan to install new equipment on their buses to reduce fuel emissions and cut costs.
The idle-reduction devices allow buses to stay warm, defrost windows and circulate heat without idling and emitting toxic fumes.
The Northshore School District has been testing the new devices on 49 buses over the last year. They say they have been maintenance-free and they expect fuel savings of $15,000 per year.
The state Ecology Department estimates the upgrades will also save about 125 gallons of fuel per bus each year.
The $500,000 for the project comes from the voter-approved tax on hazardous substances.
The state has spent nearly $30 million in the past 10 years to add emissions-reducing technology on diesel-powered bus engines.
The school districts participating are Lind in Adams County, Entiat in Chelan County, Curlew in Ferry County, Oak Harbor in Island County, Snoqualmie in King County, White Salmon in Klickitat County, Method Valley in Okanogan County and Wapato in Yakima County.