EPA Awards Rebates Totaling $17 Million to Fund Clean School Buses that Reduce Diesel Emissions and Protect Children’s Health
Five Virginia School Districts Receiving $1.5 Million to Replace 32 Old Diesel Buses
PHILADELPHIA (April 6, 2022) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the winners of two school bus rebate opportunities through the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebates, and the 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates programs. Five Virginia school districts will receive $1.5 million in funding to replace 32 old diesel buses under the ARP and DERA programs.
The $7 million in ARP funding is directed toward school districts in underserved communities to replace old diesel buses with new, zero-emission electric models, and the $10 million in DERA rebates will assist with 444 school bus replacements across the country.
In addition to the $17 million announced today, in the coming weeks, EPA plans to announce a new Clean School Bus rebate program under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides an unprecedented $5 billion over five years, to replace existing school buses with low- or zero-emission school buses.
“The historic investments in clean transportation resulting from President Biden’s leadership will have lasting impacts on protecting clean air for children for generations,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This round of school bus grants from the American Rescue Plan is just the beginning. The unprecedented $5 billion investment that’s on the way for clean and zero-emission school buses from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will transform how millions of children get to school and help build a better America for a new generation.”
The two rebate awards total approximately $17 million in combined funding for schools and bus fleet owners to replace older, high-polluting diesel school buses. Replacing these buses will improve air quality in and around schools and communities, reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and better protect children’s health overall. Since 2012, EPA’s school bus rebates have awarded, or are in the process of awarding, over $73 million to replace more than 3,000 old diesel school buses.
“Diesel exhaust harms children, whose lungs are still developing,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “These rebates protect children’s health by replacing older school buses with newer, cleaner ones. Transitioning to a clean transportation future means cleaner air and less pollution with a focus on our future – and our children.”
These programs will also prioritize projects that help achieve the goals of President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to ensure that federal agencies deliver at least 40 percent of benefits from certain investments to underserved communities.
2021 American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebate Awards
The first rebate awards are the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebates. This new $7 million program provides funds to replace old diesel school buses with new, zero-emission electric school buses. The funds are reserved exclusively for school districts in underserved communities, Tribal schools, and private fleets serving those schools. Nationally, this program will award funding for 23 electric school bus replacements and associated charging infrastructure, including three in Virginia:
2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebate Awards
The second rebate awards are EPA’s latest round of funding for longstanding DERA School Bus Rebates. In Region 3, this year’s program awards approximately $930,000 to fund the replacement of old diesel school buses with new electric, diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas school buses meeting current emission standards. This program will award funding for 44 school bus replacements in Region 3, including 29 in Virginia:
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Clean School Bus Program
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides an unprecedented $5 billion over five years for the Clean School Bus Program to replace existing school buses with cleaner models. In Spring 2022, EPA plans to announce a new Clean School Bus rebate program for applicants to replace existing school buses with low- or zero-emission school buses. EPA may prioritize applications that replace school buses in high need local educational agencies, low-income and rural areas, Tribal schools, and applications that provide cost share.
Visit the upcoming Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Clean School Bus Program to learn more about the program, and visit EPA DERA Rebates to learn more about the rebate programs, applicant eligibility, and selection process.