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The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced recipients of $17 million in school bus rebate opportunities under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).

Under ARP, $7 million in funding goes to school districts in underserved communities to replace old diesel buses with new, zero-emission electric models. The $10 million in DERA rebates will aid in replacing 444 school buses across the country.

In coming weeks, according to a news release, EPA expects to announce its new Clean School Bus rebate program, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides $5 billion over five years to transition school bus fleets to low- or zero-emission vehicles.

Historic Investments

“The historic investments in clean transportation resulting from President (Joe) Biden’s leadership will have lasting impacts on protecting clean air for children for generations,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This round of school bus grants from the American Rescue Plan is just the beginning. The unprecedented $5 billion investment that’s on the way for clean and zero-emission school buses from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will transform how millions of children get to school and help build a better America for a new generation.”

Air quality in and around schools and the communities they serve is expected to improve when older buses are replaced. The investment also should reduce greenhouse gas pollution and improve children’s health outcomes. Since 2012, EPA’s school bus rebates have awarded, or are in the process of awarding, more than $74 million to replace more than 3,000 old diesel school buses.

The program also prioritizes projects aimed to achieve the goals of the president’s Justice40 initiative, which would ensure that federal agencies deliver at least 40 percent of benefits from certain investments to underserved communities.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware), who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee and was involved in the creation of the ARP and DERA legislation, applauded the rebates.

In a statement, Carper said:

“I’m pleased to see the administration take actions to implement and complement the work we’ve done on EPW to invest in cleaning up our school buses, heavy-duty trucks, and ports. For over a decade, I’ve worked with my colleagues to transition dirty diesel engines from our trucks, buses, and ports to cleaner, more efficient engines. In doing so, we clean up the air that nearby communities breathe and address the climate crisis while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and creating economic opportunities here at home.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee saw $300,000 awarded to four school districts under the DERA program. He welcomed the news in an official statement, saying:

“There’s no question our transportation system is vital for our economy and quality of life. It also happens to be a significant source of air pollution that exacerbates devastating health inequities among lower-income communities and communities of color.”

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said these investments "will have lasting impacts on protecting clean air for children for generations."  -  Image: Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said these investments "will have lasting impacts on protecting clean air for children for generations."

Image: Environmental Protection Agency

2021 American Rescue Plan Rebate Awards

The $7 million ARP electric school bus rebates program reserves funds exclusively for school districts in underserved communities, tribal schools, and private fleets that serve those schools. The program is awarding funds for 23 electric school bus replacements and associated charging infrastructure.

  • Arizona: Theodore Roosevelt School ($300,000 for 1 bus).
  • California: Terra Bella Union Elementary ($600,000 for 2 buses).
  • Michigan: Dearborn Public School District ($300,000 for 1 bus).
  • Missouri: Charleston R-1 School District ($900,000 for 3 buses).
  • Montana: Lame Deer Elementary School ($300,000 for 1 bus).
  • New Jersey: Holcomb Transportation, Inc. – Camden City School District ($300,000 for 1 bus).
  • Oklahoma: Heavener Public Schools ($300,000 for 1 bus).
  • Rhode Island: First Student Inc. – Providence School District ($1.2 million for 4 buses).
  • South Carolina: Orangeburg County School District ($1.2 million for 4 buses).
  • Tennessee: Bledsoe County Board of Education ($600,000 for 2 buses).
  • Virginia: Petersburg City Public Schools ($900,000 for 3 buses).

2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Rebate Awards

The DERA rebate awards are the latest round of the longstanding fund resource, with $10 million earmarked for the replacement of old diesel school buses with 444 new electric, lower-emission diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles meeting current emission standards.

  • Alabama: Mobile County Board of Education ($250,000 for 10 buses).
  • Arkansas: Viola School District ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • Arizona: Glendale Union High School District No. 205 ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • California: Big Sur Unified School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Center Joint Unified School District ($260,000 for 4 buses), Greenfield Union School District ($100,000 for 5 buses).
  • Colorado: Adams 12 Five Star Schools ($200,000 for 10 buses), Boulder Valley School District ($120,000 for 6 buses), Cheraw School District 31 ($20,000 for 1 bus), Weld County School District 6 ($200,000 for 10 buses).
  • Connecticut: B and B Transportation Inc ($40,000 for 2 buses), Chris Sorensen LLC ($40,000 for 2 buses), Town of Simsbury Board of Education ($25,000 for 1 bus), Winkle Bus Co. of West Haven ($60,000 for 3 buses).
  • Florida: Seminole County Public Schools ($250,000 for 10 buses).
  • Georgia: Cobb County School District ($250,000 for 10 buses), Dodge County Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus), Fulton County Schools ($250,000 for 10 buses).
  • Hawaii: Robert’s Hawaii School Bus Inc. ($200,000 for 10 buses).
  • Iowa: Bondurant-Farrar Community School District ($40,000 for 2 buses), Independence Community School District ($25,000 for 1 bus), Jesup Community School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Riverside Community School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Sioux City Community School District ($60,000 for 3 buses), West Fork Community School District ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • Idaho: Independent School District No. 1 – County of Nez Perce ($60,000 for 3 buses).
  • Illinois: Greenfield Community Unit School District 10 ($20,000 for 1 bus), Peoria Public Schools District 150 ($100,000 for 5 buses), Staunton Community School District 6 ($40,000 for 2 buses).
  • Indiana: Monroe County Community School Corporation ($260,000 for 4 buses).
  • Kansas: Caney Valley Public Schools Unified School District 436 ($20,000 for 1 bus), Chase Raymond School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Labette County Unified School District 506 ($60,000 for 3 buses), Lebo Bus Service LLC ($20,000 for 1 bus), Morris County Unified School District ($55,000 for 3 buses), North Jackson Unified School District 335 ($20,000 for 1 bus), Ottawa Unified School District 290 ($20,000 for 1 bus), Southern Lyon County Unified School District 252 ($20,000 for 1 bus), Unified School District 306 Southeast of Saline ($20,000 for 1 bus), Unified School District 462 ($20,000 for 1 bus), Unified School District 112 ($20,000 for 1 bus), Unified School District 253 ($40,000 for 2 buses), Unified School District 379 Clay ($20,000 for 1 bus), Unified School District 289 Wellsville ($20,000 for 1 bus), Unified School District Newton Kansas Public Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus), Unified School District 456 Marias Des Cygnes Valley ($20,000 for 1 bus), Unified School District 477 ($20,000 for 1 bus), Waverly Bus Service ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • Kentucky: Bell County Board of Education ($200,000 for 10 buses), Breathitt County Board of Education ($40,000 for 2 buses), Campbell County Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus), Estill County Board of Education ($80,000 for 4 buses), Jefferson County Board of Education ($200,000 for 10 buses), Jessamine County School District ($200,000 for 10 buses), Lee County School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Marion County Public Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus), Todd County School District ($40,000 for 2 buses).
  • Louisiana: Lincoln Parish School Board ($100,000 for 5 buses).
  • Maine: Maine School Administrative District No. 28 ($65,000 for 1 bus), Regional School Unit 16 ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • Massachusetts: City of Quincy ($260,000 for 4 buses).
  • Michigan: Hemlock Public School District ($60,000 for 3 buses), Ovid Elsie Area Schools ($40,000 for 2 buses).
  • Minnesota: Haley Transportation of St. Charles ($40,000 for 2 buses), Palmer Bus Service of Austin ($150,000 for 6 buses), Palmer Bus Service of Minnewaska ($50,000 for 2 buses), Stahlke Bus Service ($40,000 for 2 buses).
  • Mississippi: Lauderdale County Schools ($40,000 for 2 buses).
  • Missouri: Charleston R-1 School District ($60,000 for 3 buses), DeSoto 73 Public Schools ($40,000 for 2 buses), Hannibal School District No. 60 ($75,000 for 3 buses), Marion County R-II School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Marquand-Zion R-VI School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), New Franklin R-1 School District ($40,000 for 2 buses), North Callaway R-1 School District ($40,000 for 2 buses), Portageville School District ($40,000 for 2 buses), Republic R-III School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Shelby County R-IV School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Windsor C-1 School District ($160,000 for 8 buses).
  • Nebraska: Centennial Public Schools ($25,000 for 1 bus), Doc Holiday Express ($125,000 for 5 buses), Dundy County Stratton Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus), Elmwood-Murdock Public Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus), Harvard Public School ($40,000 for 2 buses), Sutherland Public Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus), Weeping Water Public Schools ($40,000 for 2 buses).
  • New Jersey: Garden State Transport ($200,000 for 10 buses), George Dapper Inc. ($40,000 for 2 buses), Lower Cape May Regional School District ($60,000 for 3 buses), Safety Bus Service ($149,060 for 8 buses), Student Transportation of America ($200,000 for 10 buses).
  • New Mexico: Maxwell Municipal Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • New York: East Hampton Union Free School District ($40,000 for 2 buses), Pioneer Transportation Corp. ($200,000 for 10 buses), West Babylon Union Free School District Transportation Department ($200,000 for 10 buses).
  • North Dakota: Elgin New Leipzig Public Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus), Surrey Public Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • Ohio: Anna Local Schools ($40,000 for 2 buses), Columbiana County Educational Service Center ($20,000 for 1 bus), Indian Valley Local Schools ($40,000 for 2 schools), Riverside Local Schools ($60,000 for 3 buses), Wadsworth City Schools ($40,000 for 2 buses).
  • Oklahoma: Sequoyah Public Schools ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • Oregon: Bend Lapine School District ($120,000 for 6 buses).
  • Pennsylvania: James Vasky ($20,000 for 1 bus), Jean Services ($20,000 for 1 bus), School District of Erie ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • Rhode Island: Cranston Public Schools ($40,000 for 2 buses).
  • South Carolina: Dorchester School District 4 ($40,000 for 2 buses), Kershaw School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Lancaster Central School District ($40,000 for 2 buses), Spartanburg School District 5 ($60,000 for 3 buses).
  • South Dakota: Patrick T. DeFea ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • Tennessee: Sumner County Schools ($200,000 for 10 buses).
  • Texas: Bonham Independent School District ($100,000 for 5 buses), Fort Worth Independent School District ($200,000 for 10 buses), Henrietta Independent School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Ingram Independent School District ($60,000 for 3 buses), Troup Independent School District ($80,000 for 4 buses).
  • Utah: Summit Academy Inc. ($20,000 for 1 bus).
  • Virginia: Carroll County Public Schools ($100,000 for 5 buses), Culpeper County Public Schools ($80,000 for 4 buses), Loudoun County Public Schools ($200,000 for 10 buses), Newport News Public Schools ($250,000 for 10 buses).
  • Washington: Chimacum School District No. 49 ($40,000 for 2 buses), Evergreen School District No. 114 ($200,000 for 10 buses), Granger School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), Port Townsend School District No. 50 ($40,000 for 2 buses).
  • Wisconsin: Brandt Buses ($20,000 for 1 bus), Norwalk Ontario Wilton School District ($20,000 for 1 bus), School District of Shell Lake ($25,000 for 1 bus), School District of Westfield ($60,000 for 3 buses), School District of Alma ($20,000 for 1 bus), Student Transit – Eau Claire Inc. ($60,000 for 3 buses).
  • West Virginia: Barbour County Schools ($40,000 for 2 buses), Lincoln County Schools ($100,000 for 5 buses), Upshur County Board of Education ($100,000 for 5 buses).
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