EPA Awards Rebates Totaling $17 Million to Fund School Buses that Reduce Diesel Emissions and Protect Children’s Health
Kentucky Public Schools to receive $800 Thousand for Diesel Emissions Reduction Projects
ATLANTA (March 10, 2022) — Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the winners of two school bus rebate opportunities: the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebates, and the 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates. 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.
“The historic investments in clean transportation resulting from President Biden’s bi-partisan 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 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.”
"By promoting clean diesel technologies, these grants help to update fleets with cleaner equipment and reduce harmful diesel exhaust," said EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. "Through these upgrades, communities will continue to see improved health outcomes for their residents, ensuring all communities breathe cleaner air.”
“The Bell County Board of Education is located in Southeastern Kentucky. Since 2015, the Bell County has partnered with the EPA thru the DERA program to replace all of our older school buses,” said Bell County Board of Education Director of Finance Steve Silcox. “With the latest round of funding every child attending the Bell County School System will be transported on a 2019 or newer school bus. This program has been a Godsend for the students of Bell County.”
The two rebate awards total approximately $17 million in combined funding for schools and bus fleet owners to replace older, highly 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.
This program 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. This program will award funding for 23 electric school bus replacements and associated charging infrastructure.
Region 4 List of Awardees:
Bledsoe County (Tenn.) Board of Education - $600,000 to fund 2 buses.
SC DOE Orangeburg CSD (SC) - $1,200,000 to fund 4 buses.
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. This year’s program awards approximately $10 million to fund the replacement of old diesel school buses with new electric, diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses meeting current emission standards. This program will award funding for 460 school bus replacements.
Bell County Board of Education - $200,000 to fund 10 buses.
Jefferson County Board of Education - APP 2 - $200,000 to fund 10 buses.
Jessamine County Schools - $200,000 to fund 10 buses.
Estill County Board of Education - $80,000 to fund 4 buses.
Breathitt County Board of Education - $40,000 to fund 2 buses.
Todd County School District - $40,000 to fund 2 buses.
Campbell County Schools - $20,000 to fund 1 bus.
Lee County School District - $20,000 to fund 1 bus.
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.
To learn more about the upcoming Clean School Bus Program, please visit http://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus.
To learn more about the rebate programs, applicant eligibility, and selection process, visit https://www.epa.gov/dera/rebates