Air Alliance Houston, the Houston Independent School District, and the City of Houston have teemed up to spread the word about Houston’s vehicle idling policy. The organizations will host a volunteer event this Saturday to place “Engine Off” bumper stickers on HISD’s fleet of school buses.
The City of Houston passed an ordinance last year the limits engine idling for heavy-duty diesel trucks. (See City of Houston, Code of Ordinances, Sec. 21-302.)The ordinance applies to vehicles from model year 2007 or older that weigh at least seven tons. These vehicles—including school buses—cannot idle their engines for more than five minutes at a time, subject to several exceptions. Vehicle idling wastes fuel and contributes to air pollution that causes everything from asthma to heart attacks, impairment in infant brain development, and premature death.
Houston Independent School district has had a district-wide policy against vehicle idling for several years. This voluntary policy was enacted with the assistance of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, which now provides bumper stickers and signs to anyone wishing to spread the word about the ordinance. (More information is available at EngineOffHGAC.com.)
Leticia Ablaza, Community Outreach Coordinator for Air Alliance Houston, organized Saturday’s volunteer opportunity. Volunteers will come from Air Alliance Houston, the City of Houston, Rice University, Cesar Chavez High School, and the Houston Community. About the effort to reduce vehicle idling by HISD, Ms. Ablaza said, “Though our efforts in trying to reduce diesel emissions, the city of Houston passed an ordinance last year to limit the amount of time a truck can stand idling. Saturday AAH along with the environmental science club from Chavez High will be putting bumper stickers on HISD school buses to help remind our bus drivers and others about the law.”
Diana Davila HISD School Board Trustee helped in getting students to and from the various motor pool buses in our efforts. “This is a great way for our youth to get involved and help with getting hands on experience when it comes to community efforts in keeping our environment healthy for them and their families.”
Daisy James, the Director of the City of Houston Health Department, Bureau of Pollution Control and Prevention, is leading the City’s volunteer effort.
Volunteers will meet at Cesar Chavez High School at 10:00 AM this Saturday, October 8, 2016. Volunteers will carpool or ride by bus to 7700 Wallisville and then to Butler Bus Motor Pool.