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Texas and Air Quality Measures – Political Baby Steps

October 21, 2007

Texas Clean School Bus Program

Texas Clean School Bus ProgramWhat Your School Can Do About Air Pollution from School Buses

As a result of House Bill 3469, the Texas Legislature authorized the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to launch and administer a clean school bus program designed to improve the health of bus drivers and children by reducing emissions of diesel exhaust from school buses. The comprehensive Texas Clean School Bus Program will give funding and other resources to school districts throughout Texas.

The Texas Education Agency reports that more than 33 percent of the school buses in local fleets are more than 10 years old. In the years since these vehicles were purchased, several advancements in vehicle and engine technology have helped reduce emissions from school buses, which helps reduce air pollution.

To help school districts retrofit their fleets, financial assistance is available from the Texas Clean School Bus Program.

THE CARROT:

TCEQ Clean School Bus Grants – School districts can apply for more than $7.5 million in grants for eligible projects to offset the incremental cost of projects that reduce emissions of diesel exhaust.

School districts must apply, get approved and wait for approval. $75 million is the carrot – Funding available to school districts located in designated counties through TERP grants, which could cover part of the cost of purchasing a new school bus with better emission controls. Funding available in certain areas of the state where SEP third-party project administrators have agreed to participate in clean school bus retrofit projects. There are caveats! This sounds good on the surface. The details appear to have an exclusive twist. I see a political connection to approving these “grants”.

Today’s Texas Air Quality Forecast

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