The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6 showcased four electric and emission free buses for north Texas school districts as part of EPA’s outreach event for the Clean School Bus Program. The EPA and North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) reached out and invited superintendents and staff from more than 130 Independent School Districts in North Texas as part of an effort to raise awareness of the program and provide information on the first funding announcement of $500 million through the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates.
“The Dallas area has shown remarkable progress in transitioning to cleaner energy,” said Region 6 Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “EPA is honoring our promise that this program will implement emission free buses across Texas. EPA will continue to provide opportunities for school districts to protect children’s health and ensure a cleaner and brighter future.”
“The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program is improving health outcomes for both students and other members of our community,” said U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. “I encourage school districts throughout Texas to participate in this innovative approach to transportation.”
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver, and by investing in clean, pollution-free electric school buses, North Texas school districts can lead the nation in the adoption of this technology,” said U.S. Rep. Colin Allred. “I took the bus when I was growing up, so I know how important this service is for families. I highly encourage Texas school districts to apply for funding to pay for these buses, and I look forward to working with the EPA and local school districts on this important program.”
“The air our children breathe is as essential to their well-being as access to quality education,” said U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey. “That is why I was proud to join my colleagues in passing a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that makes critical investments in our environment by switching from dirty diesel-powered buses to zero-emissions electric buses. Clean school buses will help ensure a promising future for school districts, children, and communities across North Texas.”
In 2012, nearly 1,500 children in Dallas County visited an emergency room or were admitted to a hospital due to asthma. So far this year, the Dallas-Fort Worth area has experienced 28 days of measured ozone concentrations that exceed the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Ozone above this level can impact lung function and aggravate pre-existing conditions such as asthma.The buses do not discharge air pollutants and are emission-free and therefore improve air quality in surrounding communities. Additionally, these vehicles can transmit electricity back to the grid for communities that suffer from power outages. Lastly, these vehicles cost less than their diesel-fueled counterparts, encouraging more school districts to apply for the Clean School Bus Program.
EPA’s Clean School Bus Program will continue to honor the commitment to advance environmental justice and equity considerations for local communities. EPA also will focus on prioritizing outreach efforts to underserved communities that may have never applied for a federal grant or rebate. The clean bus competitions will be run every year over the next five years.
EPA is accepting applications from school districts until Aug. 19, 2022.