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Event with Sidney Community School District recognizes local district and others in Region 7 for $41.7M in clean school bus funding

EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister (far right) presents Sidney Community School District Superintendent Tim Hood (far left) and School District members with a ceremonial check for $1.185 million. (Photo credit: U.S. EPA)

LENEXA, KAN. (NOV. 1, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 celebrated the award of nearly $1.2 million in funding to the Sidney Community School District in Sidney, Iowa, to purchase three electric school buses through the Agency’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program.

The district was one of 13 Iowa recipients of the 2022 EPA Clean School Bus Rebate competition from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In total, Iowa school districts received $11.1 million in funding to purchase 28 electric school buses and two propane buses.

“The announcement of $11.1 million for Iowa school districts to purchase 30 clean school buses could not come at a better time,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “As EPA wraps up Children’s Health Month, this investment in electric school buses represents the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to the health of our children and to reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases in our communities.”

“Too many of our school children ride old and unsafe buses that pollute the air, and this has been directly tied to asthma,” said U.S. Representative Cindy Axne (IA-3). “I am pleased to see money I helped secure by voting for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law make its way back to Iowa. This investment in Sidney’s school buses will reduce air pollution and improve the health of students and the community.”

“In addition to being excited about the health and safety benefits of this electric bus grant for Sidney’s students, we see this as a way to save our community members’ tax dollars,” said Tim Hood, Sidney Community School District superintendent. “Three new school buses with quiet and clean operation will cost less to fuel than our old buses. Being around electric buses will be a great learning experience for our students and community, too. Many thanks to the EPA, the bipartisan folks who got this bill through, and special thanks to our Transportation Director Tim Limerick and Business Manager Tricia Glockel for the extra work they put into writing Sidney’s grant.”

Additionally, school districts throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska also received funding to purchase clean school buses through the Clean School Bus Rebate program. Including Iowa school districts, a total of $41.7 million was awarded to 51 districts in Region 7 to purchase a total of 109 clean school buses (106 electric and three propane).

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country.

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts, and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with brand new clean school buses, while freeing up needed resources for schools.

The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients.

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