Fresh funding totalling $500 million (£404m) has been announced to replace the fleet of school buses with clean, zero-emission alternatives in the US.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently accepting applications from school districts under the first round from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)
It will prioritise applications that will replace buses serving high-need local education agencies, Tribal Schools and rural areas, supporting the president’s Justice40 initiative to direct at least 40% of the benefits of certain government investments to underserved communities.
According to the EPA, diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other health problems, causing students to miss school, particularly in communities of colour and Tribal communities.
Zero-emission and low-emission buses will help reduce greenhouse gas emission and will cost less to operate.
EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz said: “This new funding can make a big difference in communities in our region, especially in school districts facing environmental justice challenges.
“We encourage every school district to apply for these funds. These new zero emission buses will help improve air quality, reduce noise pollution, require less maintenance and will impact our communities’ overall health, safety and quality of life.”