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NEW YORK (October 26, 2022) – Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the Fiscal Year 2022 recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, awarding nearly $2,500,000 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to two school districts in New Jersey. The rebates will help school districts receive seven clean school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero-emissions vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities.
Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan will join schoolchildren, district leaders and community members in Seattle, Washington, later today to make the announcement and highlight how it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save schools money, and better protect children’s health. The investment will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.
“Today’s historic investment will put seven clean school buses on the streets of New Jersey, ensuring clean, breathable air that all children in this state deserve,” said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “This is an investment in our future, and thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, New Jersey and our Region is continuing its incredible progress in upgrading its school bus fleet.
“The EPA’s clean school bus rebate program is another great example of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law at work improving New Jersey’s environment,” said New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette. “We have far too many diesel school buses on the road. The Murphy Administration has been working very hard to electrify school bus fleets across the state and install the necessary charging infrastructure to support them. These efforts will protect the health of our most precious resource, our children, especially in overburdened communities such as Atlantic City and Bridgeton that have been exposed to a disproportionate amount of air pollution for too long.”
Today’s announcement includes funding for buses and infrastructure for school districts in Atlantic City and Bridgeton, New Jersey. The Atlantic City School District will receive five clean school buses with nearly $1.5 million in funds. The Bridgeton City School District will receive two clean school buses with nearly $800,000 in funds.
New Jersey School Districts
Clean School Buses
THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF BRIDGETON
BRIDGETON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
ATLANTIC COUNTY SPECIAL SERVICES SCHOOL DISTRICT
THE ATLANTIC CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country.
At this time, the agency has selected 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states, Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99% of the projects that were selected. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks.
Those school districts that received an award can now proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure. Selectees will need to submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating they have ordered new buses and eligible infrastructure. EPA is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.
These awards are the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA is also designing the next rounds of program funding to launch in the coming months. Moreover, it will include an ambitious grant competition. Through future funding rounds, EPA will make another $1 billion available for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023. EPA encourages school districts not selected in the first round of rebates – and those that did not apply this funding cycle – to participate in future rounds.
The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health. In turn, it can cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students and bus drivers. Not to mention school staff working near the bus loading areas. Also, the communities through which the buses drive each day. Reducing emissions from these bus replacements will also help address the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets. That’s by replacing older, heavily polluting buses with brand new clean school buses while freeing up needed resources for schools.
The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and Tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria. Moreover, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure. Especially for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution.
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