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Texas Clean School Bus Program

The Texas Clean School Bus (TCSB) program is a comprehensive program designed to reduce emissions of diesel exhaust from school buses.

A Program of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP)

The TCEQ has received requests for funding in excess of the funds available. The original deadline of April 26, 2019 for the submission of applications will be suspended on June 15, 2018, and applications will no longer be accepted for projects under the TCSB.


FY 2018/2019:

FUNDS REQUESTED AS OF 05/01/2018: $11,576,000.00

 FUNDS AWARDED AS OF 05/01/2018: $2,976,000.00


The Texas Education Agency reports that more than 40 percent of the school buses in local fleets are more than 10 years old. In the years since these vehicles were purchased, several advancements in vehicle and engine technology have helped reduce emissions from school buses, which helps reduce air pollution.

FY18 TCSB Workshop Presentation



Reports and Information


How Do I Know if I Am Eligible for a Grant?

This section lists general information about school districts, buses, and activities that may be eligible for grant funding. For complete information on the types of projects and expenses that may be eligible for grant funding, refer to the latest Request for Grant Applications (RFGA).

Eligible Applicants:

All public school districts and charter schools in Texas are eligible to apply for this grant. Private schools are not eligible for funding. Public school districts that lease buses are eligible for retrofit projects only.

Eligible Projects:

Replacement Projects

The standards that apply to replacement projects are listed below:

  • The school bus being replaced must be a pre-2007 model year. A school bus proposed for purchase must be of the current or previous model year at the time the application is submitted.
  • The applicant must own the school bus at the time of application, and must have continuously owned the school bus and have been listed as the owner on the title for a minimum of two years immediately preceding the application date.
  • Unless the vocational type of the school bus is exempt from inspection and registration requirements, the school bus must currently be registered for operation in Texas and must have been continuously inspected and registered in Texas for the two years immediately preceding the application date.
  • Applicants must submit documentation with the application to show compliance with the ownership and registration requirements, including a copy of the school bus title for the two years immediately preceding the submission of the grant application.
  • The school bus must be currently, and for the two years immediately preceding submission of the grant application, operating on a regular daily route to and from a school during the regular school year.
  • A replacement school bus must be the same type as the school bus being replaced. For the purpose of this grant round, school bus types are defined by the chassis configuration, passenger capacity, and the gross vehicle weight rating (see FY 2018 RFGA, Appendix B: School Bus Types).

Maximum Grant Amount for Replacement Projects

A grant recipient may be eligible for reimbursement of up to 75% of the eligible incremental costs associated with the purchase of the replacement school bus, not to exceed the maximum grant amount established by the TCEQ for that activity. Refer to Maximum Grant Amount Table No. 1 in the RFGA to determine the eligible grant amount.


Retrofit Projects

To meet the TCEQ qualifications for retrofit projects under the TCSB program, a school bus must:

  • be used on a regular, daily route, to and from school and;
  • have at least five years of useful life remaining, unless the applicant agrees to remove the retrofit device at the end of the life of the bus and reinstall it on another bus.

Eligible Retrofit Technologies include:

The following eligible technologies offer options for cleaner-running school buses. School-bus emissions decrease by as much as 90 percent when these engine or exhaust retrofits are made. All technologies must be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies list of verified technologies or the California Air Resources Board's list of verified technologies, or be a technology that the TCEQ commission finds will bring about significant emissions reductions.

For buses built from 1994 to 1998:

  • Diesel Particulate Filters: A diesel particulate matter filter (DPF) is a ceramic device that collects the particulate matter in the exhaust stream. The high temperature of the exhaust heats the ceramic structure and allows the particles inside to break down (or oxidize) into less harmful components. DPFs reduce emissions of particulate matter by 60 to 90 percent. DPFs also reduce emissions of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide by 60 to 90 percent.

For buses built before 1994:

  • Diesel Oxidation Catalyst: A diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) is a device that uses a chemical process to break down pollutants in the exhaust stream into less harmful components. More specifically, it is a physical device with a porous ceramic honeycomb-like structure that is coated with a material that catalyzes a chemical reaction to reduce pollution. DOCs reduce emissions of particulate matter by at least 20 percent. DOCs also reduce emissions of hydrocarbons by 50 percent and carbon monoxide by 40 percent.

For all buses:

  • Closed Crankcase Filtration System: A closed crankcase filtration system is a device that uses an air filter to trap particulate matter. When used in conjunction with some type of filtration system in the exhaust stream, these systems may be more effective at reducing children’s in-cabin exposures to pollutants.

Maximum Grant Amount for Retrofit Projects

Costs per device can range depending on the type of technology chosen. A grant recipient may be eligible for reimbursement of up to 100% of the cost to purchase and install the retrofit device and associated equipment. Review the Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) for eligible equipment and installation costs associated with retrofit projects.

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How Do I Find a Vendor for Retrofit Projects?

The TCEQ and the Texas Comptroller have secured state pricing for the purchase and installation of retrofit technology. This information, including contact information for these vendors, may be found on the Texas Comptroller's website . A school district is not required to employ a vendor from this list, nor are they limited by this list of vendors.

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How do I Apply for a Grant?

Interested entities should review the Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) before completing and submitting the application.

Follow these steps:

STEP 1: Download a copy of the TCSB RFGA.

  • Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) (PDF): The RFGA is the formal announcement of funding opportunities under the TCSB program, and serves as a guide for determining project eligibility.
  • Addendum Number 1 (PDF): Addendum Number 1 revises the Maximum Grant Amount Table to include a maximum grant amount for LPG powered school buses.
  • Addendum Number 2 (PDF): Addendum Number 2 suspends the original deadline for the submission of applications to TCEQ for the TERP Texas Clean School Bus Program.

STEP 2: Review the RFGA to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements under the TCSB program.

STEP 3: Download the TCSB Grant Application for Replacement or Retrofit Projects.

  • All applicants must download one of the TCSB Grant Applications below:
TCSB Grant Application PDF Excel
TCSB Replacement Project Grant Application (TCEQ-20804a)
PDF Excel
Instructions for Completing the TCSB Replacement Application PDF  
TCSB Retrofit Project Grant Application (TCEQ-20804b) PDF Excel

If using Excel, each section of the application form is on an individual Excel worksheet within the workbook. Use the tabs located at the bottom of the worksheet to access each form.

In order to print all the pages located in the workbook, please follow these directions:
(1) Click on “File” (2) Click on “Print” (3) Under the “Print What” section, select “Entire Workbook”

The TCEQ is committed to accessibility. If you would like to request a more accessible version of these documents, please contact the TERP program at 800-919-TERP (8377).

STEP 4: Download a copy of the W-9 Form.

The TCEQ requires applicants to complete the W-9 to certify their taxpayer identification number (TIN). The W-9 Form must be submitted with the Application.

STEP 5: Download a copy of the application instructions, and complete two copies of the application.

STEP 6: Submit the application to the TCEQ.

Application forms submitted via email will not be accepted. Applicants must electronically complete and submit via regular or express mail two (2) original copies (signed in blue ink) of the project application forms to:

Regular Mail
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Air Quality Division
Implementation Grants Section (TCSB), MC 204
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711-3087

Express Mail
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Air Quality Division
Implementation Grants Section (TCSB), MC-204
12100 Park 35 Circle, Bldg. F
Austin, TX 78753

Questions on obtaining the RFGA, determining the eligibility of a project, or completing and submitting an application? Contact TERP staff to discuss.

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Tools & Links

  • Other Strategies to Reduce Bus Emissions: Schools can also adopt voluntary strategies to help reduce school bus emissions. These strategies can also help improve fuel economy. Consider these voluntary strategies:

    • Begin a voluntary idling limit for school buses (see this sample idling policy)
    • Start enhanced maintenance programs.

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Contact Information

Kelsey Hopkinson
800-919-TERP (8377)

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