The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is accepting applications for the Texas Clean School Bus Program until October 22, 2022, or until enough applications have been received to award all available funding.
3 things to know about grants:
- TCEQ awards grants on a first come, first-served basis.
- In 2020, the agency received enough applications to award all available funding within 23 days.
- Grants may reimburse up to 100 percent of the cost to retrofit school buses, or up to 80 percent of the cost to replace school buses with newer, cleaner models.
The dirt on diesel
Diesel-powered engine exhaust contributes to a spectrum of maladies. Examples include skin irritation, asthma, emphysema, heart disease, cancer, and death.
Students are at increased risk because:
- Their respiratory systems are still developing.
- Their breathing rate is faster than adults’.
- Exhaust inside buses can register 10 times higher than outside.
New buses have to meet tougher emission standards. Meanwhile, many older school buses continue to emit harmful diesel exhaust. That’s a problem in Texas, where 40 percent of buses are more than 10 years old, according to the Texas Education Agency.
Clearing the air without going clean
If your organization isn’t quite ready to go clean, you can still do your part to cut diesel emissions by enforcing a school bus idling policy.
Benefits of minimizing school bus idling:
- Improve air quality
- Save fuel and, by extension, funds
- Reduce wear-and-tear on bus engines
Questions about clean buses?
Trying to decide whether clean buses are a good fit in your district? Watch for a deep dive into Everman ISD’s Excellence Award-winning initiative coming soon to InsideRM. As always, your TASB risk solutions consultant is also here to provide guidance.