EPA’s Clean Bus Program awards $8.8 million to four Connecticut school districts 

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The Biden-Harris Administration has announced four Connecticut school districts will receive $8.8 million as part of the EPA’s Clean Bus Program. 

“Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the Fiscal Year 2022 recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, awarding $8,810,000 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to four school districts in Connecticut,” the EPA announced on Oct. 26th. “The grants will help school districts purchase 28 clean school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities” 

The four school districts in Connecticut awarded with the $8.8 million were Falls Village Regional School District 1, Sharon Regional District No. 1, Cornwall School District and Hartford/Connecticut Technical Education and Career System. Falls Village Regional School District 1, Sharon Regional District No. 1 and Cornwall School District were awarded $395,000 to purchase 1 school bus. Hartford/Connecticut Technical Education and Career System was awarded $7,625,000 to purchase 25 school buses. 

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said these four school districts will now be able to purchase 28 new electric, low-emissions school buses. 

“Connecticut’s school districts are seeing the transformative effects of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in action, with a new fleet of electric, low-emissions school buses. The investment in these types of climate-friendly school buses will help reduce pollution, ensuring cleaner air and a brighter future for our children,” Blumenthal said. 

The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program was established with funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law according to the EPA’s website.  

“With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s new Clean School Bus Program provides $5 billion over the next five years (FY 2022-2026) to replace existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models. EPA solicited applications for $500 million through the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates for zero-emission and low-emission school bus rebates as the first funding opportunity,” the EPA’s website states. 

The EPA emphasized that they prioritized schools that are considered low-income, rural and/or a part of tribal communities. They also state that due to a high number of applications, they had to almost double the amount of funding awarded. 

“In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country,” the press release said. 

The EPA selected a total of 389 applications this year to be awarded funding to purchase a total of 2,463 buses. 95% of these school buses will be electric and all will be considered “low-emission”. School districts that identify as low-income, rural or Tribal make up 99% of schools selected this year. 

The Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Michael S. Regan said he is grateful that this investment will help keep school children safe from harmful school bus emissions. 

“As many as 25 million children rely on the bus to get to school each day. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we are making an unprecedented investment in our children’s health, especially those in communities overburdened by air pollution. This is just the beginning of our work to build a healthier future, reduce climate pollution, and ensure the clean, breathable air that all our children deserve,” Regan said. 

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