May 9, 2019
The Texas Senate will likely get a look at a bill that would open up the TERP program’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Incentive Program to more vehicles in an attempt to help reduce air pollution by removing more older diesel vehicles from the roads.
The Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development committee on Thursday voted unanimously to sent to the Senate’s local and uncontested calendar the committee substitute for Rep. Ed Thompson‘s HB 1346, which gives the TCEQ increased flexibility in deciding which diesel vehicles can be accepted into the progam.
The bill has already been voted out of the House and was voted to the Senate floor’s local and uncontested calendar by the Natural Resources committee..
That program, the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), is made up of nine different grant programs to be used by businesses, individuals and governments to help pay for new vehicles, taking older vehicles that may pollute more off the roads.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality would, under the bill, set its own minimum percentage of vehicle miles traveled or hours of operation, rather than being forced by law or policy to adhere to a set standard, as long as the TCEQ standard is 55% or above normal standards.
The TCEQ standards will also be affected by whether the vehicles are operated in “non attainment” areas, referring to counties that do not meet minimum EPA air quality standards.