HISD Board Approves Texas Clean School Bus Grant

October 9, 2008

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has awarded the Houston Independent School District a $249,410 grant under the Texas Clean School Bus Grant Program. Theses funds will be used to equip 49 school buses with partial flow through filter systems. The systems will help to reduce particulate matter emitted from school buses.

The HISD school board voted to accept the grant during its meeting Oct. 8. The district has been running ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in school buses and all its other diesel vehicles since November 2003, before it was required in September 2006. The district also established a no idle policy for its vehicles.

“So far we have reduced emissions by more than 35 tons with our current systems and closed-crankcase systems,” said Mark Swackhamer, HISD’s fleet operations manager. “These new filter systems will be installed on additional buses for additional reductions.” HISD has almost 1,000 buses in its fleet.

In June, The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality awarded HISD a $249,460 grant which was used to equip 382 HISD school buses with closed crankcase-filtration systems.

HISD currently has particulate traps on 132 buses, which the district began installing in 2003. The bus exhaust goes through a particulate trap to capture any particulate matter, such as the black soot people associate with buses. Those particles are then eliminated through a catalyst process.

These changes have taken approximately 35 tons of nitrogen oxide, the precursor to ozone, and about one-half ton of particulates out of Houston’s air every year.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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