EPA awards Arizona schools $320K to purchase cleaner buses

Mar 16, 2022, 4:35 AM
(File Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)...
(File Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)
(File Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it will award federal funds to Arizona schools to replace older, high-polluting diesel school busses with cleaner models.

The Theodore Roosevelt School in Fort Apache and Glendale Union High School District won national competitive efforts and will receive rebates totaling $320,000.

“Protecting the health of our children and fighting climate change are top priorities for EPA here in the Pacific Southwest, as well as across the country,” EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman said in a press release.

“These rebates will fund cleaner Arizona school buses that will help protect the health of children and of the communities living and working near schools and bus routes.”

The American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebate awards $300,000 to the Theodore Roosevelt School to replace a diesel school bus with a new, zero-emission electric model, according to the release.

It is part of a new $7 million nationwide effort funding a total of 23 electric school bus replacements and the associated charging infrastructure for school districts in underserved communities, tribal schools and private fleets serving the schools.

Glendale Union High School District will get $20,000 to also buy a new school bus as part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act School Bus Rebate.

Just under 450 diesel school busses across the nation are set to be replaced with electric, diesel, gasoline, propane or compressed natural gas models that meet current emission standards as part of the $10 million program, according to the release.

The agency’s school bus rebates have awarded $73 million to replace more than 3,000 old diesel school busses since debuting a decade ago, according to the release.

More federal funding to replace old busses is on the way with the new Clean School Bus rebate program under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It will provide schools with $5 billion over five years to replace school busses with low- or zero-emission models.

A rebate application for the new program will be announced this spring, according to the release, with the agency potentially prioritizing high-need local educational agencies, low-income and rural areas, tribal schools and applications that provide cost-share.

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EPA awards Arizona schools $320K to purchase cleaner buses