EPA offers rebates to fund school buses in the Pacific Northwest that reduce diesel emissions and protect children’s health
SEATTLE (October 6, 2021) — As part of its commitment to protecting children, highlighted during children’s health month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing two school bus rebate opportunities: the 2021 American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebates, and the 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebate Program.
The two rebate opportunities 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 $55 million to replace more than 2,700 old diesel school buses.
“All children, regardless of their zip code, have a right to learn and play in a healthy environment,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These funding opportunities to replace highly polluting diesel buses will result in healthier air for many of the 25 million American children who rely on school buses to transport them to and from school each day.”
2021 American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebates
The first rebate opportunity is the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebates. This new $7 million pilot program will provide 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 offers $300,000 per bus for up to four electric school bus replacements and associated charging infrastructure. The list of eligible applicants is available on the 2021 ARP Electric School Bus Rebates website.
2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates
The second rebate opportunity is EPA’s latest round of funding for longstanding DERA School Bus Rebates. This year’s program offers 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. All public school districts, and private bus fleets serving those schools are eligible to apply. Available rebates are between $20,000 - $65,000 per bus depending on the type of fuel used in the replacement bus. Applicants can request rebates for up to 10 buses with a maximum rebate amount of $300,000 per application. Information on DERA rebate eligibility and how to apply is available on the School Bus Rebates: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) website.
Both rebate programs will select awardees through a lottery system, with at least one selectee from each state/territory represented in the applicant pool. Awardees are required to scrap the old diesel buses being replaced to ensure those buses will not continue to pollute. The programs will run concurrently but require separate applications.
EPA is accepting applications for both programs November 5, 2021. Questions about applying may be directed to DERA@epa.gov.