CONTACT: Sasha Tenenbaum
Senior Manager, Media and Public Engagement
Colorado—This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the recipients of the first round of funding distributed by the Clean School Bus Program, a $5 billion, 5-year investment in clean school buses allocated under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Law passed by Congress in 2021.
Moms Clean Air Force has worked in Colorado and beyond to educate local school districts about the importance of replacing dirty diesel buses with zero-tailpipe-pollution electric buses and encouraged districts to apply for the program during the application process this past summer.
This initial round of funding includes $2,890,000 million for 4 Colorado school districts. The funding will provide 8 clean school buses for the state.
In response, the Moms Clean Air Force’s Colorado Chapter issued the following statements:
“School buses amount to the nation’s largest public transportation fleet—about half a million vehicles,” said Laurie Anderson, a Moms Clean Air Force Colorado organizer in Broomfield. “Swapping old fashioned diesel school buses with new electric school models will make the air cleaner, safer, and healthier for our kids. This is especially important with high traffic pollution around the state.The American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report for Colorado gave us an “F” for ozone pollution, so we urgently need to cut pollution from school buses and all transportation pollution.”
“Research shows that the air inside a diesel school bus can be more polluted than the air outside of it,” said Shaina Oliver, a Moms Clean Air Force Colorado organizer in Denver. “Tailpipe pollution can reduce children’s ability to learn, harm little lungs, contribute to cancer, and diminish clean air in communities. Our kids, our bus drivers, and our communities are thrilled to have the opportunity to breathe cleaner air. My son and I suffer from asthma, just like over 26 million people across our nation. All of us, and most especially the 6 million children suffering from asthma in America, will benefit from the transition to clean, electric school buses.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included $5 billion to help school districts replace dirty diesel buses with electric school buses. The law charged EPA with distributing the funds over 5 years. School districts submitted the first round of funding applications this August. EPA received so much interest in the rebate program that the agency doubled the amount of funding to be distributed this year, to nearly $1 billion nationwide.
Colorado districts that will receive funding in the first year are East Grand School District #2, Sangre de Cristo School District #Re-22J, East Grand School District #2, Primero Reorganized School District #2 and Big Sandy School District #100J.
The initial round of funding prioritized low-income, rural, and Tribal school districts. However, all school districts are eligible for funding. EPA will be awarding more money in future years, including $1 billion anticipated for fiscal year 2023. All school districts, whether selected this round or not, should apply for future rounds of funding.
- Moms Clean Air Force’s National Statement on EPA’s Clean School Bus Awards
- Electric School Buses Fact Sheet
- How Diesel Pollution Affects Your Health
- Why Electric School Buses Are an Environmental Justice Issue
- Business Insider’s True Cost Video About Electric School Buses