State PTA Helps Retrofit Texas School Buses

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Parent Teacher Association said recently that they will work together to distribute funding to clean the air and protect school children from harmful particulate matter by retrofitting school buses. The funding will come from a portion of penalties assessed by the commission that is used to support supplemental environmental projects (SEP).

"I am delighted that the PTA is joining us to administer funds to clean up school bus fleets in Texas," said agency Commissioner Larry R. Soward. "Working with such a strong partner gives each of our organizations a greater positive impact on the air quality of the state and the health of our school children."

Through SEP funding, Texas school districts can install pollution control devices on diesel school buses. These devices reduce particulate matter emissions that can aggravate respiratory problems, asthma, and allergies in children who ride the buses. Funding may also be available to replace buses model year 1991 or older with 2007 or newer models resulting in a reduction in particulate matter emissions of up to 90 percent or more.

"Drivers, students, passengers, and teachers are all subject to harmful diesel exhaust emissions from school buses on our roadways," said Kyle Ward, Texas PTA executive director. "We look forward to distributing funds to school districts to reduce these problems through the use of cleaner technology."

Individual projects are funded based on qualifying enforcement actions taken by the commission. The amount of funding the PTA can receive is up to a maximum of $5 million per year, and the number of locations and projects may vary.

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