We’ve extended the application deadline for the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards to Oct. 12, 2012. Don’t miss the chance to share your story about how you are making a difference for the Texas environment! Apply today.
Each year, operators of household hazardous waste (HHW) collections must report the amounts of HHW and household materials they collect to the TCEQ. In 2011, we recorded that 254 HHW programs and regional events collected more than 6,300 tons of HHW throughout Texas, an 8.6 percent increase over 2010. Nearly 15 percent of the amount collected was made available for reuse, a 36 percent increase.
While the highest reported amounts consistently come from local, long-established permanent facilities, the number of cities offering collections and other statewide opportunities has increased, notably for household curbside-collection.
Did you know that the third week in October is officially Texas Native Plant Week? Since 2009, groups and teachers have marked this week with activities that emphasize the role of native plants in conservation efforts and teach children about the importance of native plants in our environment. Their importance is especially relevant these days with the prevalent drought throughout Texas.
Native plants are drought resistant and already acclimated to their local environment, so they can help conserve water. Incorporating native plants in your landscaping can also save you time and money by reducing the need for pesticides, fertilizers, and maintenance.
Please visit Texas Native Plant Week for more information or to find garden tours, presentations, and other educational events in your region.
More than 33 percent of school buses in local fleets are more than 10 years old, according to the Texas Education Agency. In the time since these vehicles were purchased, there have been advancements in vehicle and engine technology. The Texas Clean School Bus Program is designed to help schools retrofit older diesel-powered buses with these emission-reduction technologies to decrease particulate matter inside the bus cabin and improve the health of school children and bus drivers.
To date, the Texas Clean School Bus Program has reimbursed more than $20.2 million to 181 school districts, representing 6,787 buses.
To build upon the success of this program, the agency is offering another grant round and accepting applications through Nov. 30, 2012. All public school districts and charter schools in Texas are eligible to apply for this grant. To qualify, a school bus must have a 2006 engine model or older, be used on a regular, daily route to and from a school, and be used by the school district for at least five years after installing the retrofit device.
The TCEQ announced that applications are being accepted for Texas Emissions Reduction Incentive grants to help reduce emissions by replacing older vehicles and equipment.
The grants, offered under the agency’s Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), provide incentives to eligible individuals, businesses, and governments in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria area; the Dallas–Fort Worth area; the Beaumont–Port Arthur area; the Tyler-Longview area; the Austin area; the San Antonio area; the Corpus Christi area; and the Victoria area.
A total of $40 million in funding is being made available to purchase, lease, replace, repower, or retrofit heavy-duty on-road vehicles, non-road equipment, marine vessels, locomotives, and stationary equipment. Funding is also available for on-site and on-vehicle infrastructure to reduce idling. Funded projects must result in a reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of at least 25 percent.
The TERP program has awarded contracts, totaling almost $858 million, which will reduce more than 164,000 tons of ozone-forming NOx in Texas.
Applications will be accepted until Nov. 30, 2012.
For up-to-date information on application workshops and assistance events, TERP program information, eligibility requirements, and copies of the application forms, visit Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP)
or call 800-919-TERP (8377).
Environmental Summits are here! These events bring together the public, political leaders, neighborhood associations, nonprofits, businesses, and students to learn about and discuss ways to improve the Texas environment. Join us at one of the remaining summits this year:
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
El Paso Marriott Hotel
1600 Airway Blvd, El Paso, 79925
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Texas A&M International University’s Student Center Ballroom
5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, 78041
This small flyer tells consumers how to learn about recycling old television and computer equipment. Measuring only 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches, it fits in almost any size envelope and can be used in mailouts, as bill stuffers, or as a stand-alone handout.
FREE copies are available. Send your request to email@example.com and include the publication number (GI-423), the quantity, and a street mailing address (P.O. boxes are not accepted).