The EPA has announced $500 million in new funding for school districts and other eligible bus operators to begin replacing the nation’s fleet of school buses with American-made zero-emission buses. This 500 big ones represents the first round of funding from the $5-billion investment authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Portions of the rebates can also be used to install charging infrastructure for the new buses. The rebate program will select awardees through a lottery system.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allows the EPA to prioritize buses serving high-need local education agencies, Tribal Schools and rural areas—at least 40% of the benefits of certain government investments are to be directed to underserved communities. The EPA plans to focus education and outreach efforts to underserved communities, including those that may have never applied for a federal grant or rebate.
The agency will also launch a grant competition later this year. Further Clean School Bus competitions will be run every year for the next five years.
“This historic investment under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will forever transform school bus fleets across the United States,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These funding opportunities to replace older, heavily-polluting buses will result in healthier air for many of the 25 million American children who rely on school buses, many of whom live in overburdened and underserved communities.”
“Right now, most school buses are powered by dirty diesel engines that exacerbate climate change and emit dangerous air pollution,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. “With these funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are paving the way for cleaner air and healthier communities. These investments will also help spur the development and deployment of American-made clean technology, creating more good-paying jobs right here at home.”