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 $69,620,000 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 22 school districts in New York. The rebates will help school districts receive 184 clean school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero-emissions vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities.
In New Jersey, two school districts received monies, Atlantic City School District received $1.5 million, and Bridgeton City School District received $790,000. In Pennsylvania, ten school districts were given funds.
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.
The announcement includes funding for buses and infrastructure for school districts in several New York cities, including Accord, Boiceville, and New York City. The Rondout Valley Central School District in Accord will receive nearly $10 million to purchase 25 clean school buses. With almost $9 million, Onteora Central School District in Boiceville will purchase 21 clean school buses, and New York City school districts will receive a combined 50 clean school buses with nearly $18 million.
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 selected projects. 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 must 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, including 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.
About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program
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 and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, 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, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure 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.