WE ACT Commends White House & EPA for Clean School Bus Program Grants Competition

January 11, 2024
Contact: Chris Dobens, 718-679-8542, chris@weact.org

 WASHINGTON – On January 8, 2024, the Biden-Harris administration announced the awardees of nearly $1 billion under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) first Clean School Bus Program Grants Competition. The EPA Clean School Bus Program was established through the Infrastructure, Investments, and Jobs Act of 2021, which allocates $5 billion over 5 years to help school districts transition from diesel school buses to cleaner alternatives. With this latest announcement, the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program has awarded nearly $2 billion in total, investing in an estimated 5,000 electric school buses nationwide.

WE ACT for Environmental Justice policy experts Yuwa Vosper, Federal Policy Manager, and Lonnie Portis, New York City Policy and Advocacy Manager, responded to the announcement: 

“This funding is an important step towards addressing environmental justice. Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by air pollution and often have limited access to affordable, clean transportation. We are pleased to see that the majority of the funding will be going towards zero-emission, electric school buses, bringing clean air and transportation opportunities to millions of students, especially to vulnerable children and communities overburdened by harmful diesel pollution, as well as helping to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

“We also commend the White House and EPA for prioritizing funding for school districts located in low-income, rural, and Tribal areas in the 2023 Clean School Bus Program Grants Competition. These communities are the most impacted by air pollution, which can lead to respiratory diseases and other health problems. By providing funding to these school districts, the program helps to improve air quality and quality of life for students, school staff, bus drivers, and the communities these buses traverse every day.”

 More Funding Available
There are more opportunities for school districts to receive funding to purchase zero-emission, electric school buses. If your school district would like to replace your diesel school buses with electric models, we encourage you to apply to the EPA’s 2023 Clean School Bus (CSB) Rebates Program. The Application period is open until January 31, 2024. To find more information, visit the EPA Clean School Bus Program website.

Technical assistance is available for this opportunity, and other federal funding opportunities, through the EPA’s Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (TCTACs). WE ACT for Environmental Justice hosts the TCTAC serving New York and New Jersey within EPA Region 2. Schools located within New York and New Jersey can seek technical assistance here, learn more about the TCTAC here, or contact the TCTAC directly at ejtctac@weact.org.

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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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