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Ask DISD Trustees for Cleaner Air for Our Children

School BusDISD is planning to buy new buses. We ask that they pause in their process to reconsider their purchase of diesel school buses until after they have a new head of their transportation department who can meet with environmental, health, and parental groups to discuss better options on funding (including VW Funds) and public health.

DISD Trustees meet 6:00pm, December 13, at 5151 Samuell Boulevard. Those who would like to speak to the board have the opportunity to speak on specific agenda items. A resident desiring to address the board must register to speak no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the meeting in Board Services at (972) 925-3720 during regular office hours.

Dallas ISD is planning to use the recently approved bond money to replace the old diesel school buses with somewhat cleaner burning diesels. Facing Dallas air pollution and CO 2 driven climate change, not selecting zero emission buses in favor of any fossil fuel bus - especially diesel - is the wrong decision. Sixty buses will be bought in each of the next ten years. Write your Dallas ISD Trustee to express your desire to purchase zero emission buses and opposition to purchasing fossil fuel buses that will further harm the health of our children (and adults) and make global climate change worse for the ten plus years they will be in service. Your voice will be listened to by your Dallas ISD Trustee before making this decision early in 2019.

Trustee Emails and Letters

Please write. Below are procedures for formal letters to your trustee and brief emails to all the trustees, with samples. Please do customize your letter or email.

Find Your District: https://www.dallasisd.org/Page/52198

Trustees and their emails

Edwin Flores, District 1, President <edwinflores@dallasisd.org>
Dan Micciche, District 3, 1st Vice President <danmicciche@dallasisd.org>
Joyce Foreman, District 6, 2nd Vice President <joyceforeman@dallasisd.org>
Justin Henry, District 9, Board Secretary <justinhenry@dallasisd.org>
Dustin Marshall, District 2 <dustinmarshall@dallasisd.org>
Jaime Resendez, District 4 <jaimeresendez@dallasisd.org>
Lew Blackburn, District 5 <lblackburn@dallasisd.org>
Audrey Pinkerton, District 7 <audreypinkerton@dallasisd.org>
Miguel Solis, District 8 <miguelsolis@dallasisd.org>

Mailing address for all trustees

Board Services Office
5151 Samuell Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75228

Sample Email

I am distressed to learn that Dallas ISD plans to purchase new diesel school buses. A very large body of research attributes many respiratory problems to diesel emissions.

Diesel particulates and other fossil fuel pollutants are a major contributor to childhood asthma in Dallas County. Fossil fueled vehicles are the largest reason that Dallas has never met the EPA's clean air ozone standard in the past 25 years.

We urge you to purchase zero emission buses.

Sample Letter

Edwin Flores
District 1
President, Dallas ISD Board of Trustees
edwinflores@dallasisd.org

Mr. Flores:

I was distressed when I learned Dallas ISD plans to purchase new diesel school buses using the recently approved bond money. I am especially concerned this approach would conflict with the very large body of research data that places many respiratory problems at the door step of diesel vehicle emissions. Diesel particulates and other fossil fuel pollutants are blamed, in the most part, for the 10+% childhood asthma rate in Dallas County. Fossil fueled vehicles are the largest reason that Dallas has never met the EPA's clean air ozone standard in the past 25 years. I am a big believer in the old saw: "If you want to keep getting what you've been getting, keep doing what you've been doing." The recently released federal climate reports clearly insist it is past time we move away from fossil fuels and toward alternative fuel sources for transportation.

Fortunately, today non-polluting transportation alternatives exist - even for school buses. Battery powered electric school buses are serving on school bus routes in California, New York, Minnesota and Massachusetts in the US and in Quebec. Last year 100,000 electric buses were delivered world-wide, so it is difficult to claim electric buses are experimental, and the numbers of available buses and manufacturers of them are growing. A move to electric buses does not merely REDUCE pollution, it does not produce ANY pollution at all, including from the electricity when they are charged with renewable electrical energy.

On Nov 23, 2018, the Trump Administration released the Climate Science Special Report and on Nov 26 they released the Fourth National Climate Assessment. Those two reports unambiguously identified the burning of fossil fuels as the primary cause of rising carbon dioxide in the air and climate warming. There is no question that we all must stop business as usual and replace fossil fuels that are causing climate change. Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions - not just focusing on EPA standards for ozone and NOx emissions for health reasons - is also important because the greenhouse gases causing climate change are also increasingly harming health indirectly.

Dallas ISD has a responsibility to take the long view for optimizing the ISD's energy and transportation system. The electric buses, maintenance and operating facilities with charging stations, and clean, renewable energy will need to be phased in, but as quickly as possible starting now. The goal is to combine the money available from the TCEQ Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program, which won't be available for long, with the bond money in a way that, at the end of the lifetime of the buses, the children and parents in Dallas ISD will be thankful for the wisdom and leadership displayed by the Dallas ISD Trustees back in 2019. Back then the Trustees used the available money to move to electric buses and then used the very large operational savings from lower maintenance and energy costs to purchase more electric buses as time went on and bus prices came down. They also recognized the integral role of Renewable Power Purchase Agreements for reducing electricity costs for building and transportation operations.

I hope you will seriously consider my concerns. I am willing to discuss these ideas with you and provide more backup information.

Yours truly,
Jimmy W. Hosch
6715 Rolling Vista Drive
Dallas, TX 75248-5436

Supporting Material:

Documented Concerns about Using Diesel Fossil Fuel School Buses vs. Advantages of Electric Buses

  1. Dallas ISD plans to replace old polluting diesel school buses with new, somewhat less polluting diesel buses. (Private communication with Scott Layne, COO, DISD)
  2. Estimates from the public bus sector indicate that lifetime costs of a diesel bus are $1.4 million, versus an electric's $1 million. "It costs one-sixth to one-eighth as much to operate [an electric school bus] as a diesel bus," Jim Castelaz, the chief executive officer of Motiv Power Systems, which has outfitted California schools with electric school buses. ( https://psmag.com/environment/awaiting-the-school-bus-revolution )
  3. Electric vehicles have lower maintenance costs than comparable fossil fuel vehicles. Not required: fossil fuel, oil changes, transmission servicing, air filters, belts, vacuum lines, emissions testing; much lower brake wear from regenerative braking. ( https://www.motivps.com/motivps/ )
  4. Electric vehicle electricity costs per mile are substantially lower than fossil fuel costs per mile for comparable vehicles. ( http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/article/713421/can-electric-school-buses-go-the-distance )
  5. DISD can obtain low cost renewable electricity using a long term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The PPA locks in a stable electric rate that is typically below current market price for a 15 year period. Energy budgeting is simplified. The PPA price stability will protect Dallas ISD electric bus energy expenses as well as school electric energy expenses from petroleum product price fluctuations. (https://www.nctcog.org/nctcg/media/Environment-and-Development/Documents/Natural%20Resources/Energy/NCTCOG-Energy-Planning-and-Procurement-Workshop-11-01-18-TEA.pdf )
  6. 6. Some states are using vehicle-to-grid technology to put power back into the school during high power demand periods - thus reducing the school's electric utility bill. In the summer, the electric utility uses the idle buses for grid energy storage and releasing power during peak load periods. In return, the utility paid $100k of the purchase price of each bus. ( https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/a25025285/electric-school-bus-white-plains-con-ed/ )
  7. Of particular benefit to those aboard the buses is that the vehicles often run smoother and quieter, enhancing safety. “Without the engine noise, the bus driver can be more attentive to traffic and to what’s going on inside the bus,” Jim Reynolds, CEO of Adomani says. ( http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/article/713421/can-electric-school-buses-go-the-distance )
  8. Electric school buses are in use in California, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Quebec. ( https://psmag.com/environment/awaiting-the-school-bus-revolution )
  9. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is asking school districts to apply for money from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund to replace or repower old polluting diesel school buses with new non-or less-polluting buses. TCEQ money can be used to purchase the charging equipment for electric buses. ( https://www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/trust/ )
  10. North Central Texas Council of Governments has indicated a willingness to fund a pilot project to demonstrate the superior performance of electric school buses over diesel buses. ( Private communication with NCTCOG )
  11. Electric vehicles, powered with renewable electricity, produce no pollution. Every fossil fueled vehicle produces unhealthy air pollution (particulates, volatile organic compounds, and nitrous oxides that contribute to ozone production) and carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change. Some fossil fuel vehicles pollute more than others.
  12. Recent Federal and UN Climate Reports underscore the criticality of moving away from burning fossil fuels to begin to reverse the calamitous effects of ever-rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Dallas ISD must step up to the plate and accept its responsibility for eliminating fossil fuels in its bus fleet (and other operations). (https://science2017.globalchange.gov/downloads/ )
    ( https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/ )
    ( https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46347453?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cgdwpywgeegt/un-climate-change-conference-2018&link_location=live-reporting-story )
  13. Children’s Exposure to Diesel Exhaust on School Buses by John Wargo, Ph.D. YALE UNIVERSITY, 2002 is an extensive study of the air quality environment Wargo's child experienced riding Connecticut public school buses. ( http://www.ehhi.org/reports/diesel/ )

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