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State program provides school districts money to replace aging buses
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) just announced $6.2M funding under their newly expanded Clean School Bus Program. The Clean School Bus Program open now will provide grants to public and charter schools as well as school transportation companies statewide to install exhaust retrofits as well as replace older diesel school buses with new school buses. One of those options includes replacement of older buses with cleaner-burning propane autogas school buses.
The Propane Council of Texas is excited about a new opportunity to put cleaner school buses on Texas roads. According to the EPA, diesel exhaust is exceptionally harmful to children because their lungs are not fully developed. Not only that, but these older diesel buses produce higher amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx), which is a greenhouse gas that contributes to smog, ground level ozone and is associated with adverse health effects. Cleaner-burning propane school buses are available from top school bus manufacturers.
“Texas is home to over 26,000 pre-2007 diesel school buses. If school districts would replace all the pre-2007 school buses, Texas could reduce (NOx) by 7.5M pounds a year,” states Propane Council of Texas Executive Director, Bill Van Hoy.
School districts can replace a pre-2007 school bus with propane school bus and get between $36,500 -$52,500 dependent on the passenger capacity. Funding is first come, first serve with a limit of funding 5 school buses per district.
The Clean School Bus Grant guidelines and application can be found on the TCEQ website at www.terpgrants.org.
School districts interested to switch to propane school can contact the Propane Council of Texas for information at email@example.com or calling (800)325-7427.
About the Propane Council of Texas The Propane Council of Texas is (ProCOT) is a 501 (c) 3 educational and marketing foundation. Our objective is consumer education, highlighting the benefits of home-grown propane and promoting clean-burning propane technologies like propane school buses.
The Propane Council of Texas Examines the Many Funding Opportunities to Go Green
Right now is the perfect time for school districts to switch to cleaner-burning propane-powered school buses. There is a multitude of funding opportunities that can help school districts replace their buses with a greener option from state to federal funds. Below we focus on school bus specific grants.
All the below grants are eligible statewide (except the below mentioned HGAC regional grant):
Alternative Fuel Initiatives School Bus Rebate Program
Last week, the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) announced a competitive grant for smaller, rural school districts. Texas tax-payer supported school districts may be eligible up to $8,000 per bus up to 10 buses. Submission deadline is October 31, 2015.
DERA 2015 School Bus Replacement
Additionally, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced $7 million in funding for school buses through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). Applicants may list up to ten buses for replacements on each application. These buses must be powered by a model year 2006 or older engine. EPA will pay between $15,000 and $25,000 per bus, depending on vehicle size. The bus being replaced must be scrapped and permanently disabled. The deadline to apply is October 30, 2015.
Alternative Fuels Clean School Bus Replacement Programs
Through a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Statewide Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP), both the Railroad Commission and the Texas PTA have funding for school districts to replace older diesel school buses that are 2002 or older with new alternative fuel buses like propane. There are a couple differences between the two programs.
The Railroad Commission Program requires school districts to be NEW to propane. Texas PTA does not require a school to be new to propane; however, they do require the school district receiving the bus to have one school belonging to the Texas PTA.
Both programs require that the buses be scrapped. Funding is cyclical as money comes in as TCEQ accesses fines and violators choose which Statewide Supplemental Environmental Project they want their fines to go to.
The Railroad Commission is actively seeking school districts that are looking to make the switch so they can call them when funds come in to help districts make the transition.
Contact information for the grant administrators of the both SEP’s are below:
Railroad Commission contact: Art Valladares 512-463-7359 firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas PTA contact: Mayra Guevara (512) 320-9825 email@example.com
Houston-Galveston Area Council SEP
Houston-Galveston Area Council also implements a TCEQ SEP to help replace 2010 or older buses with new, lower emission buses that meet the most recent EPA emissions standards.
School district must operate the bus 75 % of their time in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston or Brazoria counties. Buses must be scrapped.
Please call (832) 681-2578 for more information.