The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced $500 million in rebates for local jurisdictions to replace aging fossil fuel busses with cleaner, greener vehicles.
The rebates will be administered via the new Clean School Bus (CSB) program and are the first funding opportunity under the program. The program was established by the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and is funded at $5 billion over the next five years.The CSB program was authorized to help replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission ones.
According to NACo:
Of the $500 million provided for the 2022 round of the CSB Rebates program, EPA will award half of the funds for clean school buses and the other half for ZE school buses. Notably, those applicants that receive funding for replacement ZE school buses will also be provided funding for electric charging infrastructure. Further, applicants may request funds to replace up to 25 school buses, but EPA will not consider multiple applications for bus replacements within the same school district.
Eligible applicants include counties that provide school bus service, public school districts and nonprofit school transportation associations.
School buses that meet the following qualifications are eligible for replacement:
- Being a diesel-powered school bus from vehicle model year 2010 or prior that will be removed from service if the applicant is selected
- Being operational at the time of application
- Providing service for at least three days a week during the 2021/2022 school year
Eligible replacement buses must also meet certain qualifications, including:
- Having a battery electric, compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane drivetrain
- Being purchased (rather than leased or leased-to-own)
- Being expected to be in service in the relevant school district for at least five years