Press Release

600 New Electric School Buses Awarded by EPA Across Midwest

ELPC Applauds EPA for Awarding Electric School Bus Funding to Midwest School Districts

Statement by Susan Mudd
Senior Policy Advocate, Environmental Law & Policy Center

“The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) is pleased that US EPA’s awards in the latest round of its Clean School Bus Program will fund nearly 600 electric school buses in seven Midwest states. ELPC is gratified that Midwest school districts in EPA Region 5 and Iowa will be able to replace diesel-fueled school buses so kids can have a cleaner ride to school.

“Although EPA said it would give out $500 million in the 2023 round of rebates, the staggering number of applications inspired the federal agency to boost that amount to nearly $900 million for 3,400 school buses in 530 school districts nationwide. Once again, an overwhelming percent of the applications and thus the awards – 92% this time around – were made for electric school buses and the charging stations to power them.

“In the Midwest, a total of 86 school districts in 7 states were awarded funding for 599 electric school buses in the current round. An additional 40 school districts in those states requested 234 zero-emission buses beyond the ones just awarded, demonstrating strong pent-up demand.

“Including the just-announced round of funding, close to $3 billion of the $5 billion EPA Clean School Bus Program has been awarded for a total of nearly 8,500 buses.

“ELPC is thrilled more public school children in the Midwest, including those in Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Mich., St. Paul, MN., Springfield, IL., and the Menominee Nation will soon be riding electric school buses that will reduce their exposure to harmful diesel fumes that contribute to asthma and other lung-related diseases. EPA funding for zero-emission school buses that will benefit inner-city children is important since many live in Environmental Justice communities and experience higher rates of asthma and other lung ailments. Children’s lungs are still developing so they are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of diesel pollution generated by dirty fossil fuel school buses.

“ELPC has been directly engaged in advocating for electric school buses throughout the Midwest and educating school districts on applying for much-needed funding. We will continue to encourage school district administrators to seek out available state, federal and other financial assistance and urge utilities to enable connecting these electric buses to the power grid. These efforts will help fight climate change and financially benefit schools and ratepayers.”


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