With an overwhelming demand from school districts statewide, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the administration will be doubling its funding for electric school buses. School districts from all 50 states applied for the 2022 Clean School Bus rebates, according to press release.
Currently, 95 percent of all school buses run on diesel fuel, which contributes to climate change and air pollution, Sierra Club reported.
“It’s no surprise that communities across the nation are demanding electric buses for kids and for the bus drivers breathing in harmful diesel pollution every day,” Eric Willadsen, Sierra Club Campaign Representative, said. “The EPA’s decision to nearly double the first round of funding is a clear signal that these investments in electric school buses are vital and overdue.”
The 2022 Clean School Bus program initially allocated “$5 billion over the next five years for replacing existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models,” according to the Electrification Coalition, which will “improve air quality for our children, save school districts money, improve the resilience of our electrical grid, and reduce the carbon emissions that drive climate change.”
According to a study, fumes inside diesel school buses are likely to be 12 times higher than in ambient air, which poses dangerous health risks to both the children on the bus and the driver of the bus. This research was conducted by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley and two environmental advocacy groups—the Natural Resources Defense Council and Coalition for Clean Air.
“Our advocacy continues to ensure that every kid in the U.S. can have a pollution-free ride to school,” Willadsen said.