HISD Receives Texas Clean School Bus Grant
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has awarded the Houston Independent School District a $249,460 grant under the Texas Clean School Bus Grant Program which can be used for reductions in school-bus emissions. These funds will be used to equip 382 HISD school buses with closed crankcase-filtration systems. The systems will help to reduce particulate matter emitted by the school buses.
“The closed crankcase filtration system will reduce particulate matter emissions by 97 percent,” said John Sides, HISD’s transportation business services manager.
HISD buses travel more than 15 million miles in the city every year, and a reduction in emissions by such a large fleet of buses would pay immediate benefits to the environment.
The HISD board will review the Clean School Bus grant at its 4 p.m. agenda review meeting Monday and will vote on the grant at the regular 5 p.m. board meeting June 12, at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center , 4400 W. 18th St.
The district has been running ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in school buses and all its other diesel vehicles since November 2002, before it was required in September 2006. HISD switched to this cleaner fuel and cleaner burning engines that effectively reduce nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter emissions.
HISD also has 132 particulate traps on buses, which the district began installing in 2003; the bus exhaust goes through a particulate trap to capture any particulate matter – like the black soot people associate with buses – in the exhaust stream, which is then eliminated through a catalyst process. Those changes have taken approximately 33 tons of nitrogen oxide, the precursor to ozone, and about one-half ton of particulates out of Houston’s air every year.