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New Legislation to Renew, Expand Texas Emissions Reduction Plan

Texas Sen. Craig Estes, R-District 30, recently filed legislation that would renew and expand the Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP), continuing the plan’s natural gas vehicle and station funding.

As reported, TERP is the state’s flagship program for lowering ozone emissions to bring Texas into compliance with the national ambient air quality standards issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the federal Clean Air Act. The EPA recently tightened these standards, so the state will use its available tools, including TERP, to achieve compliance.

“Texas has significantly improved air quality over the last 30 years, and this bill will continue that progress without damaging our economy,” says Estes.

Established in 2001, TERP contains 14 different programs: Eight offer incentives to convert or replace dirty engines with cleaner ones, three promote energy efficiency, and three fund air quality research and monitoring. Five of the incentive grant programs are designed to encourage the use of vehicles fueled by alternative fuels that generally have fewer tailpipe emissions than gasoline and diesel.

One such program is the Governmental Alternative Fuel Fleet Grant Program, which encourages state fleets with more than 15 vehicles to purchase new alternative fuel vehicles.

These alternative fuel programs will expire in 2017 and 2018 if they are not renewed this session. The remainder of TERP will expire in 2019 if not extended.

Estes continues, “I appreciate Lt. Governor Patrick prioritizing Senate Bill 26. We, as legislators, have a duty to ensure that our children, grandchildren and future generations have both clean air and a strong economy. This bill keeps Texas on track to have both.”

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