Southwest ISD is recognized statewide as alternative-fuels pioneers. Fifteen years ago their school board had the foresight and vision to install a propane refueling station on-site. Then when the new ultra-low-emission propane school buses became available a few years ago, Southwest was the second school district in the U.S. to acquire them.
This marks the second time the Railroad Commission of Texas has helped the students of Southwest ISD and taxpayers breathe a little easier. Last year Southwest won a $101,180 dollar grant to replace nine diesel buses with ultra-low emission propane buses. This year they did it again. This afternoon Commissioner Williams will present them with a check for $171,496 to replace six more diesel buses with propane.
Southwest ISD now has 15 school buses that run on propane which help reduce the students’ exposure to smog-forming emissions and exhaust soot. And they are a great value for taxpayers because they also lower fuel and operating costs. The district has reduced harmful nitrogen oxide emissions by 20.6 tons by replacing older diesel buses as well as reducing emissions of particulate matter—smoke and soot—by 99 percent.
In February of this year, the Railroad Commission secured additional grant funding to upgrade propane-fueling stations like the one Southwest ISD installed in 1995. I’m sure I will be hitting the road again with Commissioner Williams for ribbon-cuttings in the very near future.
Congratulations again to Southwest ISD!