FALLS CHURCH, VA – Today, at Meridian High School, the Biden-Harris administration will announce the Clean School Bus Program, which offers funding for school districts to move dirty diesel buses off their routes and transition to a cleaner school bus fleet. Currently, 95 percent of the nation’s school buses are diesel. Diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen and can lead to or worsen respiratory illnesses like asthma.
This program gets funding out the door and more electric school buses on our roads. It is the start of a larger five-year funding program. This year the EPA will distribute $500 million with an additional $4.5 billion over the next four years. At least half of the total funding will go to electric school buses and charging infrastructure.
The Sierra Club is a founding member of the Alliance for Electric School Buses (AESB), a national network of advocates that have been urging the Biden administration to prioritize school bus electrification so that every child in the US has a clean commute to school. Moreover, AESB will focus on ensuring that school districts apply for electric school bus funding. Particularly those serving low-income communities and students of color.
Transition to Clean School Bus Fleet
“We appreciate the Biden administration leading this effort to move us beyond diesel school buses and cut air pollution that’s been harming our kids and bus drivers,” said Kate West, director of Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter. “We’re honored to have the announcement in Falls Church. It’s where Sierra Club and our allies will be advocating for our school districts to apply for this funding. Moreover, to invest in an all-electric future for climate and public health.”
“Electrifying our nation’s school buses will deliver massive public health benefits. That’s for students who currently rely on diesel-spewing buses to get to and from their schools. As well as the bus drivers that take them,” said Eric Willadsen, Campaign Representative with the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign. “Too often, young people in our most vulnerable communities breathe poor air quality each day, an unjust reality that policies can and must fix. The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program can be a prime example of how we can improve the quality of life for millions across the country while tackling the climate crisis.”
Source: Sierra Club