Unhealthy Air Harms Texans
Dirty air causes health issues for Texans, from asthma in the young, reproductive issues for women, to heart attacks, strokes, and Alzheimer’s in the elderly. Cleaning up the air not only will save lives but it saves money by reducing emergency room visits and reduces sick time costing business and families productivity and income.
TERP Helps Save Lives
Texans – especially those near the Port of Houston and the ship channel — are breathing worsening toxic particulate matter and unsafe levels of ozone. This toxic air from diesel trucks, port equipment, ships, and chemical/petroleum industries will cause greater harm to the people of Texas if the Texas Legislature fails to expand and improve the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) programs. As Texas’ population grows and the Port of Houston expands, diesel trucks driving on our roads will increase by over 50%, causing more truck traffic on the roads and more unhealthy air for the residents near the port and along major highways.
TERP has been an incredibly effective way to reduce Texans’ exposure to unhealthy diesel pollution by providing financial incentives to individuals, businesses, and local governments to upgrade vehicles and equipment that pollute.
Along the Port, TERP means cleaner air. Ton for ton, the diesel replacement incentive program is the best way to reduce emissions of NOX, a precursor to harmful ozone.
But now, the TERP program is under attack at the State Legislature. Clean air supporters, air quality planners, and government officials have asked for full appropriation of TERP funding. Currently the state of Texas could put up to $1.2 billion in TERP funding in the budget. Despite the availability of funds, the House has taken away $40 million dollars over the biennium from TERP in its budget (in part to fund medically inaccurate information to women!). This potential lack of funding will seriously hinder more progress for this simple solution to the air quality issues associated with diesel trucks.
We are calling on folks to ask their senators to support SB 1046 to continue funding for the Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP) which supports clean air efforts with cleaner vehicles. We also ask folks to tell the House Environmental Regulations Committee members to support HB 2682 which supports the emissions reduction programs for motor vehicles and equipment, as well as for locomotive and marine vessels to expand the possibility for cleaner air along the Ship Channel.