CONTACT: Sasha Tenenbaum
Senior Manager, Media and Public Engagement
North Carolina—On Wednesday, 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 as allocated under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Law passed by Congress in 2021.
Moms Clean Air Force worked to educate school districts nationwide about the importance of replacing dirty diesel buses with zero-tailpipe-pollution electric buses.
This initial round of funding includes $12.245 million for five North Carolina school districts. The funding will provide 31 clean electric school buses for the state.
In response, Chelsea Lyons, North Carolina State Coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force, issued the following statement:
“I am thrilled that the EPA has awarded North Carolina with funding for 31 clean electric school buses for five school districts across the state, providing thousands of children a healthier ride to and from school. As the mother of a young son, I’m committed to ensuring that his school bus ride does not expose him to harmful diesel exhaust, a known carcinogen which is also linked to asthma attacks and learning problems. By the time my son reaches school age, I envision a North Carolina that has transitioned its entire school bus fleet to electric. I call on all school districts in North Carolina to apply for future rounds of funding of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program so we can protect the little lungs of all children statewide.”
– Chelsea Lyons, Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina State Coordinator
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included $5 billion to help school districts replace dirty diesel buses with electric school buses. The law charged the 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.
North Carolina school districts that will receive funding in the first year are:
- Durham, NC Discovery Charter School
- Elizabethtown, NC Bladen County Schools
- Halifax, NC Halifax County School District
- Sanford, NC Mina Charter School of Lee County
- Whiteville, NC Columbus County Schools
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