SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) — The Environmental Protection Agency awarded four Upstate schools rebates of more than $12 million Wednesday to purchase electric school buses, according to a press release from the organization.
School districts from all 50 states have applied for rebates under the program, which aims to replace traditional diesel school buses with low- and zero-emission models in the next five years.
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Money for the new purchases is available under the agency’s Clean School Bus Program, which includes $5 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law President Joe Biden signed last year.
The Clean School Bus Program is intended to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions and reduce air pollution. Pollution from diesel fumes is linked to asthma and other health conditions that cause students to miss school.
“With applications flooding the Clean School Bus Program, school districts around the country have spoken: They’re ready to make polluting diesel buses a thing of the past,” said Sue Gander, director of an electric school bus initiative for the World Resources Institute, a global research organization.
“There’s no doubt we’re entering a new, electric era in student transportation, one with massive benefits for our kids’ health, climate and the economy,” Gander said.
Only about 1% of the nation’s 480,000 school buses were electric as of last year, but the push to abandon diesel buses has gained momentum in recent years.