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Donation acknowledges Humble Independent School District’s
commitment to student health and safety by operating propane school buses
HUMBLE, Texas (September 26, 2017) – The national nonprofit Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) surprised teachers at River Pines Elementary School today with a $5,000 donation in recognition of Humble Independent School District’s efforts to maintain good stewardship of its economic and environmental resources by adding propane buses to its school transportation fleet. The donation is part of PERC’s nationwide campaign to educate parents, teachers and school officials about the benefits of using an alternative fuel like propane.
“Propane school buses are the clean, quiet and safe alternative to older diesel buses, and Humble ISD is a great example of the success a school district can enjoy after transitioning to propane school buses,” said Tucker Perkins, PERC president and CEO. “Plus, propane buses cost less, so school districts can spend more of its operating budget on classroom programs.”
The $5,000 donation will awarded to River Pines Elementary teachers to help buy classroom materials through the nonprofit AdoptAClassroom.org’s online marketplace for teachers.
The school district first purchased 27 propane buses in 2011 with the help of a $2.9 million grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Parent Teacher Association. In the fall of 2016, $1.1 million of grant money, obtained from TCEQ and Houston Galveston Area Councils, increased the number of propane buses operated by the fleet to 47. About 20 percent of the district’s total school bus fleet is now powered by propane to help transport approximately 12,000 students to and from school daily. Propane school buses at Humble ISD have helped the district save on fuel costs. Propane is $0.80 per gallon compared to $1.80 for a gallon of diesel.
“Humble ISD seeks ways to be good stewards of environmental and economic resources,” J.P. Burd, director of transportation said. “Propane buses are clean and safe, and the cost of fuel is significantly less than diesel.”
The benefits of propane school buses, however, extend beyond the cost of the fuel. Propane school buses are safe because of their quiet and clean operation. Because they are quiet, students don’t have to shout over a noisy engine if they need assistance and drivers can more easily hear what is going on inside the bus, along with the area outside surrounding the bus. Propane school buses emit fewer greenhouse gases and carbon monoxide than older diesel buses, so the air at bus stops is better for students. The World Health Organization classifies diesel exhaust as a carcinogen, and the chemicals it contains can have both short- and long-term health effects on children and drivers, from aggravated asthma to respiratory illnesses.
The trend of propane school bus adoption is growing across the country. Schools in 750 districts across 47 states are operating more than 13,000 propane school buses, which transport nearly 790,000 students to school each day. The trend prompted PERC to launch its awareness campaign to teach communities about the benefits of propane-powered transportation, and partnered with the non-profit AdoptAClassroom.org. Now in its third year, the campaign has donated $75,000 to teachers at schools adopting propane buses.
Propane Education & Research Council: The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit established, operated, and funded by the propane industry. PERC leads safety and training efforts and drives technology development to expand the adoption of propane as a clean, domestic, and affordable energy source. PERC programs benefit a variety of markets including transportation, agriculture, landscaping, residential, and commercial. For more information about propane-powered technologies, equipment incentives, and PERC, visit propanecouncil.org.
AdoptAClassroom.org empowers teachers by providing the classroom supplies and materials needed to help their students learn and succeed. As an award-winning 501(c)(3), AdoptAClassroom.org makes it easy for individual donors and corporate sponsors to donate funds to K-12 classrooms in public, private and charter schools throughout the U.S. On average, teachers spend $600 of their own money each year to equip their classrooms – 20% of teachers spend more than $1,000 annually. Since 1998 AdoptAClassroom.org has raised more than $30million and benefited more than 4.25 million students. AdoptAClassroom.org holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. For more information, or to adopt a classroom, please visit www.adoptaclassroom.org.
The IC Bus Grant Program will offer qualifying school districts throughout the United States and Canada $5,000 in grants per newly purchased propane-powered CE Series school buses. This grant gives those school districts that would like or are planning to make the switch to propane more flexibility in their purchase decision. The grant can be used towards items such as buying additional buses, investing in new technology, hiring additional drivers, infrastructure updates to maintenance facilities, among other uses that the school district prioritizes.
“With today’s advanced propane-powered buses offering an added dimension of environmental benefit, IC Bus is committed to doing what’s right for our customers and for the environment, to create a better world by creating better buses,” said Trish Reed, vice president and general manager, IC Bus. “School districts frequently stress to us their desire to pursue environmentally friendly fuel choices. The IC Bus Grant Program reaffirms our commitment to continue developing affordable, reliable, safe and environmentally beneficial school bus options.”
The IC Bus® CE Series school bus powered by the Power Solutions International (PSI) 8.8-liter LP propane engine is purpose-built for the school bus industry. The CE Series with PSI propane engine is designed to provide diesel-like performance with higher torque at lower engine speeds, while lowering emissions and reducing maintenance costs.
For complete IC Bus Grant Program rules, contact your IC Bus dealer or visit http://www.icbus.com.
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, proprietary diesel engines, and IC Bus® brand school and commercial buses. An affiliate also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com.
Event commemorates 10th anniversary of meeting to make propane autogas a viable fuel for school transportation departments in Texas
AUSTIN, Texas (Dec. 2, 2015) — A celebration commemorating a decade of propane school buses was held on December 1, 2015 at the Texas Education Agency in Austin to coincide with Texas Propane School Bus Week.
The event was sponsored by the Propane Council of Texas in conjunction with the Propane Education & Research Council and hosted by Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. Remarks from Williams and state Rep. Tony Dale highlighted the event.
Citing the vital role propane autogas plays in powering thousands of school buses in school districts across the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has proclaimed the week of Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 as Texas Propane School Bus Week.
The Texas House of Representatives, led by Dale, has issued a resolution celebrating the 10th anniversary of a group that met in Austin to discuss the concept and development of the first factory-built propane bus, expanding the choices for school districts interested in cleaner-burning bus options. Founders of the group were honored at today’s event.
“The state of Texas has accomplished a significant feat in the last 10 years in bringing clean and affordable fuel to so many school districts,” said Curtis Donaldson, president of CleanFuel USA and initial meeting attendee. “It’s a testament to the hard work of many people that, with a little ingenuity, we could bring a better alternative fuel option to school transportation throughout this state — and beyond.”
Since that first meeting in 2005, all three major school bus manufacturers now offer propane-autogas-powered buses. According to the Texas Railroad Commission, more than 2,600 propane-autogas-powered buses are currently in operation in school districts across the state.
More than 400 school districts throughout the United States are operating more than 7,000 propane autogas school buses on a daily basis. In all, more than half a million children ride propane autogas school buses to and from school.
“More and more school districts across the country are facing tighter transportation budgets and they must use their resources more wisely,” said Roy Willis, president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council. “Propane autogas school buses help districts lower their fuel budgets, but the benefits don’t stop there. Propane school buses improve passenger safety and reduce harmful emissions compared with their diesel bus counterparts, too.”
Many school districts report saving as much as one to two dollars per gallon with propane, and propane-autogas-powered buses require less maintenance over the lifetime of the vehicle, saving additional money on upkeep. These cost savings free up transportation budgets and give schools the option of reinvesting that money back into where it matters most: the classroom.
Propane autogas buses keep passengers safe by eliminating harmful carcinogens found in the exhaust from older diesel school buses. They’re also quieter than diesel buses, allowing drivers to hear better when picking up and dropping students off.
For more information on propane school buses, visit www.betterourbuses.com.
About PERC: The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in the research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit propane.com.
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 dedicated to educating the public and the propane industry on safety and on the newest clean-burning propane technologies. ProCOT is the state entity that represents the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) of 1996. To find out more about propane autogas, visit www.fuelingtexas.com.
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.
DALLAS — School transportation directors from all over Texas converged on Dallas for the Texas Association of Pupil Transportation (TAPT) Conference at the Hilton Anatole this weekend. The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) was on hand to educate transportation officials on propane cutting-edge technology to help districts lower school bus emissions.
Propane school buses reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, produce fewer smog-forming hydrocarbon emissions, and do not expose children to harmful particulate matter found in diesel exhaust. Particulate matter can increase breathing-related issues and worsen asthma.
“Propane autogas is a smart choice for Texas schools,” said Jackie Mason, Educational & Marketing Director for the Propane Council of Texas. “Not only does propane lower harmful emissions, but it reduces fuel costs and has a proven safety record in Texas.”
Even with the low cost of motor fuel, propane autogas still offers very significant savings over diesel for school districts looking to make the switch, and it’s found right here in our own backyard. Texas produces nearly half the nation’s propane and the U.S. is a net exporter of the domestic, cleaner-burning fuel.
“School districts have options. Top school bus manufacturers have responded to requests for greener buses, and they now produce propane buses, including Blue Bird, Collins Bus Corporation, Thomas Built Bus, and IC Bus,” says Mason.
There are nearly 2,500 school buses powered by propane operating in Texas. Over 70 school districts, including Arlington ISD, Conroe ISD, Houston ISD, and Eanes ISD in Austin are using propane alternative fuel buses. Dallas County Schools and Northside ISD in San Antonio host the largest propane powered school bus fleets in Texas.
For many school districts across the state, running propane-powered school buses and other vehicles on cleaner-burning autogas is a great way to help build greener schools and healthier budgets.
About the Propane Council of Texas
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 dedicated to educating the public and the propane industry on safety and on the newest clean-burning propane technologies. ProCOT is the state entity that represents the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) of 1996. To find out more about propane autogas, visit FuelingTexas.com.