Brownsville ISD Receives $1.7 Million from TCEQ to Provide Cleaner Air for Schoolchildren
TCEQ officials and state legislators gathered at Keller Elementary School in Brownsville today to present a $1.7 million check to Brownsville ISD officials that will outfit 129 school buses with pollution-control equipment to reduce schoolchildren’s exposure to particulate matter.
State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., Rep. Rene O. Oliveira, Rep. Eddie Lucio III, TCEQ Chairman Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D., TCEQ Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein, and TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker signed the check and presented it to BISD Board President Dr. Enrique Escobedo Jr.
The grant will fund diesel particulate filters for older diesel school buses to reduce particulate matter by 85 to 90 percent. Schoolchildren can breathe these particles in the bus cabin as well as when they board, exit, or loiter near idling buses.
“Brownsville ISD is pleased to be selected as a beneficiary in this program,” said Brownsville ISD Superintendent Carl A. Montoya, Ph.D. “Retrofitting a good portion of our bus fleet provides significant benefits to our children and community in the form of cleaner air. We are also grateful to our local lawmakers for promoting these initiatives.”
BISD has 57 schools serving approximately 50,000 children and operates 304 buses. Approximately 27,000 students ride a school bus daily.
“I am proud to be an advocate for this program and it’s great to see it working for the people of Brownsville,” said Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. “Not only does the program reduce exhaust emissions, it provides education to school districts about clean school bus options, which improve the environment for everyone.”
“I join my colleagues in applauding TCEQ’s Texas Clean School Bus Program. These grants help schools with the funding they need to ensure their buses have the latest technology to safeguard the cabin air for our youngest Texans, who deserve only the best,” said Rep. Rene O. Oliveira.
“While I have always been deeply connected and involved in children’s issues, I am especially proud that this program benefits schoolchildren and their environment. Passing significant legislation like this retrofit program not only benefits the Rio Grande Valley, but the entire state of Texas,” said Rep. Eddie Lucio III.
“We’re proud to be able to help Brownsville ISD make the air a little cleaner for the schoolchildren, who will be the direct beneficiaries of this program,” said TCEQ Chairman Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D.
“Kids are our most precious assets,” said TCEQ Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein. “I’m pleased that the TCEQ, these Valley legislators, and Brownsville ISD could all work together to make a difference for them.”
“This program, which provides immediate benefits to our children, is a great example of how state and local government should work, and I’m proud to be part of it,” said TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker.
The Texas Clean School Bus Program began in 2008. The TCEQ has granted $2.9 million in the Valley and more than $16 million statewide to retrofit approximately 6,400 school buses with pollution-control equipment.
For more information visit the TCEQ’s Clean School Bus Program website.