2006 Regular Session
By: Representative Dedeaux, Franks, Miles
AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO DEVELOP A PLAN TO OPERATE A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF SCHOOL BUSES USING BIODIESEL FUEL; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT TO ADDRESS ISSUES RELATING TO COST, THE AVAILABILITY OF BIODIESEL IN THE STATE AND OTHER MATTERS IN THE PLAN; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT TO PRESENT THE PLAN IN A REPORT TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE LEGISLATURE BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2007; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The State Department of Education shall develop a plan under which no less than twenty percent (20%) of the public school buses operated in this state may utilize biodiesel fuel. In preparing the plan, the department shall study and address the following issues:
(a) The total potential fuel costs for operating school buses on biodiesel and whether or not the biodiesel fuel is more cost efficient than those fuels currently utilized, determined by comparing the fuel costs of school buses operating on biodiesel with the costs of comparable school buses utilizing petroleum diesel or gasoline;
(b) Whether the infrastructure required to support a biodiesel fuel market, such as production and distribution facilities, exists throughout the State of Mississippi and, if not, which areas of the state do not have adequate facilities to accommodate the local school districts' transportation requirements;
(c) Those areas of the state which would benefit the most from the utilization of biodiesel school buses, determined by factors deemed relevant by the State Department of Education including, but not necessarily limited to, the area's designation as an area of concern for pollution emissions by the Environmental Protection Agency;
(d) The means by which no less than twenty percent (20%) of the total number of school buses owned and operated by the various school districts and the State Department of Education is to be achieved, including purchasing new school buses equipped to operate on biodiesel when aging school buses are replaced, modifying currently-owned, diesel powered school buses to operate on biodiesel, or a combination of both. The department shall include the estimated cost per school bus for the modifications necessary to operate the bus on biodiesel; and
(e) Whether or not federal financial assistance is available to the State Department of Education to help defray costs incurred in purchasing biodiesel fuel for school bus transportation purposes and how such federal funds, if any, may be allocated to school districts that operate school buses fueled with biodiesel.
The State Department of Education shall present the plan in a written report that must be submitted to the Legislature before January 1, 2007.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.