As part of the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more than $5 billion will be spent on an electric bus fleet for schools.
The Infrastructure Law, passed in 2021, authorizes the EPA to offer rebates to school districts looking to replace their diesel-engined bus fleet with “clean and zero-emission (ZE) models,” with other language in the law indicating that battery-electric school buses will be emphasized over other low-emission alt-fuels (CNG, bio-diesel, hydrogen, etc.).
“Getting to school shouldn’t include a daily dose of toxic pollution, or make our children sick,” says US PIRG environment campaigns director Matt Casale. “We shouldn’t continue to use dirty diesel buses when they are making the climate crisis worse. The opening of the Clean School Bus Program should be the end of air-polluting school buses as we know them.”
The $5 billion incentive program to “green up” the nation’s school bus fleet will be parsed out by the EPA over the next five years, starting with up to $500 million in 2022. The deadline for districts to apply for this year’s rebate program is August 19, but there are a number of important dates involved (summarized, below).
|2022 Clean School Bus (CSB) Rebates open. EPA begins accepting online application submissions here.||May 20, 2022 – August 19, 2022|
|EPA reviews applications and begins the selection process.||September 2022|
|EPA notifies applicants of selection status and posts list of applicants and selectees online. Selectees can proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure.||October 2022|
|Selectees submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating that new buses and eligible infrastructure have been ordered.||October 2022 – April 2023|
|Project period deadline for selectees to receive new buses, install eligible infrastructure, replace old buses, and submit Close Out Forms.||October 2024|
It’s important to realize that, while $5 billion is a lot of money, it’s still a lot less than some organizations would like to see spent to remove diesel emissions from schools. The American Lung Association, as just one example, has called on Congress to direct up to $20 billion in real money to transition one-fifth of all diesel school buses to electric in a bid to protect children’s respiratory health.
You can watch the EPA’s official video announcing the program, below, then let us know what you think of the Biden Administration‘s efforts to electrify America’s school bus fleet in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Investing in a Clean School Bus Fleet
SOURCE | IMAGES: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).