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Biden-Harris Administration Allocates $900 Million for Over 3,400 Clean School Buses Nationwide

Biden-Harris Administration Allocates $900 Million for Over 3,400 Clean School Buses Nationwide

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EPA’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program to fund over 3,400 new clean school buses in approximately 530 districts across the nation

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2023 Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, funded by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. EPA selected approximately 530 school districts spanning nearly every state, Washington, D.C., and several Tribes and U.S. territories to receive nearly $900 million in funds to replace older, diesel fueled school buses that have been linked to asthma and other conditions that harm the health of students and surrounding communities.

These rebates will help school districts purchase over 3,400 clean school buses—92% of which will be electric— to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities. Under the Program’s multiple grant and rebate funding opportunities to date, the EPA has awarded almost $3 billion to fund approximately 8,500 school bus replacements at over 1,000 schools.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson will join schoolchildren, district leaders and community members in Jackson, Mississippi, later today to make the announcement and highlight how the program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save schools money, and better protect children’s health, especially in communities already overburdened by pollution. The investment will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs for Americans.

President Biden believes every child deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy life and breathe clean air, and his Investing in America agenda is designed to deliver just that,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. With today’s latest round of funding, we are transforming the nation’s school bus fleet to better protect our most precious cargo—our kids—saving school districts money, improving air quality, and bolstering American manufacturing all at the same time.

I am grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for expanding opportunities to provide clean school buses to schools and students in Mississippi’s Second Congressional District,” said Congressman Bennie G. Thompson. “This initiative ensures that children have a cleaner, safer, and more efficient means of school transportation and contributes to protecting our environment. By making meaningful progress and offering valuable opportunities for our students, we are paving the way toward stronger student success.

In September 2023, the EPA announced the availability of at least $500 million for its 2023 Clean School Bus rebates. The rebate application period closed in February 2024 with an overwhelming response from school districts across the country seeking to purchase electric and clean school buses. Given the level of demand, including from low-income communities, Tribal nations and U.S. territories, the EPA doubled the initial amount of available funding in this round to a total of nearly $1 billion. 

This third round of funding will build on the previous investments of almost $2 billion via the Clean School Bus Program’s 2022 Rebates and 2023 Grants to further improve air quality in and around schools, reduce greenhouse gas pollution fueling the climate crisis, and help accelerate America’s leadership in developing the clean vehicles of the future.

The selections announced today will provide funds to school districts in 47 states and Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. Prioritized school districts in low-income, rural and Tribal communities make up approximately 45 percent of the selected projects and will receive approximately 67 percent of the total funding. The program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution.

The EPA is also partnering with other federal agencies through the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

The EPA is continuing to review selected applications and may make additional awards from this announcement. The EPA is working with those applicants and will notify them of an award if their application meets all program requirements. As additional selections are finalized, the EPA will update the CSB Awards webpage.

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The EPA will also make selections through additional rounds of funding, as well as through other funding programs. For example, the EPA is currently accepting applications for the 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program until 11:59 PM ET on July 25, 2024 – with the EPA offering up to $932 million in available grant funding and anticipates approximately 70% of the available funding to help pay for new, zero-emission Class 6 or 7 school buses. The EPA encourages school districts not selected for the 2023 CSB Rebate Program – and those that did not apply – to participate in currently open funding programs, and future CSB funding rounds.

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