EPA Grants $17M for EV School Buses to Cut Diesel Emissions  

Vice President Kamala Harris and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the winners of two school bus rebate programs: 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 under-served 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,” EPA said.  

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 of ~ $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 help improve children’s health. Since 2012, EPA’s school bus rebates have awarded, or are in the process of awarding, more than $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% of benefits from certain investments to underserved communities.

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.

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