State Launches ‘Drive Clean Across Texas’

DALLAS The Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have partnered with state schools to launch the “Drive Clean Across Texas” campaign, the organizations said.

Developed jointly by the two Austin, Texas-based government agencies, the initiative targets teachers and students alike by promoting the free educational program that focuses on the growing problem of air pollution in the state.

The K-12 clean air curriculum was created by educational experts and designed to be appropriate for students of all ages, the TDT said. The air quality lessons include simple activities featuring animated characters for elementary school children and science experiments and research projects for junior high and high school students.

“With more than 3 million children in Texas living in counties with elevated ozone levels, there’s an urgent need for Texans to be aware of the steps they can take to reduce air pollution,” said Richard Goldsmith, public information officer for the TDT’s environmental affairs division.

A mix of radio, TV and billboard messages will run in the state’s nine non-attainment (not meeting federal clean air quality standards) and near non-attainment areas, including Houston/Galveston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Beaumont/Port Arthur, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, Victoria, Tyler/Longview and Corpus Christi.

Teaching materials, activities and quizzes can be downloaded from the campaign’s Web site at www.drivecleanacrosstexas.org/for_teachers. According to the TDT, the transportation-related air quality lessons meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) requirements.