WE ACT Applauds White House & EPA Clean School Bus Program Grants Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUNE 5, 2024

 

CONTACT:

Ashley Sullivan

ashley.sullivan@weact.org 

 

WASHINGTON—The Biden-Harris Administration announced the recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2023 Clean School Bus (CSB) Program rebate competition. This initiative, funded by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, is set to significantly impact the environment and the health of school children and surrounding communities across the nation. In response, WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s Federal Policy Manager Yuwa Vosper shared the following, 

“We are optimistic and hopeful that this is just the start. This program will include necessary replacements for older, diesel-fueled school buses, helping a massive portion of Americans – many of whom face asthma-related health issues primarily impacting children and adults in overburdened communities. We are happy to see a wide geographic and demographic scope of the rebate selectees with 530 school districts from Washington, D.C. to various Tribes and other U.S. territories who will receive close to $900 million in funding for largely electric school buses.  This moves us forward in the right direction, addressing the urgent need to transition to zero-emission vehicles and improve air quality in and around schools and communities.

The investment in electric school buses under the CSB program is a win-win, benefiting environmental justice communities, public health, and the economy. We commend the White House and EPA for prioritizing high need school districts with 45% of the selected projects being in low-income, rural and Tribal communities receiving approximately 67% of the total funding. These communities deal with disproportionate legacy pollution and resulting health issues including asthma and respiratory illness from heavy-duty vehicles. We believe this is a notable example of how to invest federal funds in an equitable and high impact way that truly advances Justice40 commitments.”

MORE FUNDING AVAILABLE

The EPA is accepting applications for the 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program until July 25, 2024, at 11:59 PM ET. There will also be additional rounds of funding and other funding programs offering up to $932 million in available financing, and it anticipates approximately 70% of the available funding will help pay for the new, zero-emission Class 6 or 7 school buses fleet. 

School districts that were not selected for the 2023 CSB Rebate Program or did not apply are encouraged to participate in this open round of funding. As additional selections are finalized, the EPA plans to continue updating its CSB Awards page.

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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