Senator Warren Encourages Massachusetts Communities to Apply for Electric School Bus Federal Grants
“Any municipal government entity responsible for providing school bus service to one or more public school systems, or for purchasing, leasing, licensing, or contracting for service of school buses, is eligible to apply, and I highly encourage you to submit an application for this funding opportunity"
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter to the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and 33 Commonwealth municipalities, highlighting the benefits of electrifying the Commonwealth’s school bus fleets and encouraging the Associations and their members to take full advantage of the newly-announced EPA Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
“Massachusetts communities are already benefiting from millions of dollars of federal investments to help them buy clean school buses, and I believe they will also be competitive for the newly announced funds,” wrote Senator Warren.
In November 2021, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which enacted programs to replace diesel school buses, public buses, and train engines with electric powered vehicles and engines. Our traditional yellow school buses run on diesel fuel and emit pollutants and fumes that can be particularly harmful to childrens’ health.
“Communities of color are disproportionately exposed to this risk,” wrote Senator Warren. “Furthermore, the greenhouse gases that are emitted by diesel buses contribute to the climate crisis.”
In April of this year, the EPA announced that applications had opened for the Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program created by the IIJA, which holds approximately $400 million in grant funding available for communities across the country.
“Any municipal government entity responsible for providing school bus service to one or more public school systems, or for purchasing, leasing, licensing, or contracting for service of school buses, is eligible to apply, and I highly encourage you to submit an application for this funding opportunity,” wrote Senator Warren.
“Last fall, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the first recipients of EPA’s Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, the first round of funding from the CSB Program….Five Massachusetts school districts secured $29,535,000 in rebates for the purchase of a total of 75 new, clean electric school buses.”
The CSB program was modeled after Senator Warren’s BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act, and provides nearly $500 billion in grant funding over ten years for modernizing our infrastructure and electrifying public transit systems. Additional funding was included in the Inflation Reduction Act for states, municipalities, tribes, and nonprofit school transportation associations to invest in clean heavy-duty vehicles, like school and transit buses.
The letter was also sent to the following communities across Massachusetts: Amherst, Arlington, Avon, Braintree, Brockton, Carver, Cohasset, Concord, Danvers, Foxborough, Gloucester, Hadley, Hingham, Hopedale, Marblehead, Millis, Needham, Peabody, Pittsfield, Provincetown, Quincy, Randolph, Rockland, Rockport, Scituate, Sturbridge, Wareham, Watertown, Weston, Weymouth, Winchendon, Winthrop, and Worcester.
“Electric school buses are an important investment in our children’s future, and a ‘power-full win for school districts, electric utilities, and the planet,’” concluded Senator Warren. “I highly encourage you and your members to make the most of the opportunities provided through the EPA Clean School Bus Program, and look forward to working with you to bring this funding home to communities across Massachusetts.”
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