31 May

EPA Funding to Provide New All-Electric Buses to Six School Districts Across New York

Saratoga Springs, NY, May 31, 2023 — The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is transforming how children get to school, accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles, and producing cleaner air for our communities. That is the message delivered today by EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia at Leonard Bus Sales in Saratoga Springs.  

In the last round of the Clean School Bus Rebate Program, EPA funded six projects through Leonard Bus Sales, Inc. totaling $6.625 million available to six school districts across New York State, allowing the purchase of 17 new electric school buses to take the streets.

“Thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the EPA Clean School Bus Program, Leonard Bus Sales was able to work with our school district partners to secure grant funding for seventeen all-electric IC Bus school buses for six school districts across the state — including Chatham Central School District,” said Leonard Bus Sales President, Jon Leonard.  “We’re proud of the public-private partnership we have with our school districts and look forward to supporting them as they transition to a zero-emissions future.”

“Protecting our kids and tackling the climate crisis is a win-win. Transitioning away from dirty diesel and toward clean electric buses is a smart investment in our children’s future,” said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “Cleaner air and less pollution are a net positive for the community, and thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law this is just the beginning. Beyond the community, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacement projects will help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector on climate change.”

Photo Left to Right: Joshua Loeffler, Transportation Supervisor Chatham Central School District; Manik Elahi, representing Congressman Tonko; Jon Leonard,  President, Leonard Bus Sales; Lisa Garcia, EPA Region II Regional Administrator; Doreen Harris, President and CEO of NYS Energy Research and Development Authority; Tobias Glitterstam, Navistar Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer.

Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20) said, “When we invest in clean, zero-emission transportation for our schools, we are prioritizing the health and well-being of our children and our communities. Funding from the EPA’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program will enable these six school districts in New York State, and many others across the nation, to introduce state-of-the-art electric buses, reducing emissions and improving air quality for surrounding communities. I’m proud to celebrate this significant step towards a greener and healthier future for our students.”

The six school districts who will benefit from this last round of Clean School Bus rebates are Adirondack Central School District (receiving 3 buses); Chatham Central School District (receiving 5 buses); Fabius-Pompey Central School District (receiving 5 buses); Monticello Central School District (receiving 1 bus), Naples Central School District (receiving 2 buses) and Norwood-Norfolk Central School District (receiving 1 bus).

In April of this year, EPA announced a new Clean School Bus (CSB) grant program opportunity.  EPA is accepting applications for this new round of grant funding through August 2023. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding under this 2023 CSB Grant Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) competition. The $400 million grant opportunity through EPA’s Clean School Bus Program will fund electric, propane, and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses that will produce either zero or low tailpipe emissions compared to their older diesel predecessors.

EPA is prioritizing applications that will replace buses serving high-need school districts and low-income areas, Tribal school districts funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or those school districts receiving basic support payments under section 7703(b)(1) of title 20 for students living on Indian land, and rural school districts. In addition, EPA is committed to ensuring the Clean School Bus Program delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that at least 40% of the benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities. Large school districts with communities of concentrated poverty also will be prioritized if their proposal focuses on clean school buses serving those communities.

This NOFO includes two sub-programs, one for school district and Tribal applicants (School District Sub-program) and one for third-party applicants (Third-Party Sub-program) to serve at least four school district beneficiaries.

Eligible entities for the School-District Sub-program include: (1) State and local governmental entities (e.g., school districts), (2) public charter school districts, and (3) Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations, or Tribally-controlled Schools. Applicants in the School District Sub-Program must request a minimum of 15 school buses and can request up to a maximum of 50 school buses.

Eligible entities for the Third-Party Sub-program include: (1) Nonprofit school transportation associationsand (2) Eligible contractors (including OEMs, dealers, school bus service providers, and Private bus fleets). Applicants in the Third-party Sub-Program must request a minimum of 25 school buses and may request up to a maximum of 100 school buses. Third-party Sub-program applicants are required to support at least four different school district beneficiaries.  If you are interested in applying for the 2023 CSB Grant NOFO competition, please go to: https://www.epa.gov/grants/2023-clean-school-bus-csb-grant-program

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

This 2023 CSB Grant Program is separate from the earlier 2022 Rebate Program, and interested applicants must apply to the Grant Program if interested in this funding opportunity. Grant applicants may submit proposals following the instructions specified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) which is publicly posted at EPA’s Clean School Bus Program webpage.

This is a competitive program where applicants will be scored based on how well their proposal meets the criteria set forth within the NOFO. The Clean School Bus Grant Program will be open for approximately 120 days and close on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). Questions about applying may be directed to CleanSchoolBus@epa.gov.

This presentation aims to provide information related to the Clean School Bus Program. EPA does not endorse any specific companies or products by allowing external parties to present at Clean School Bus Program events. The presenters at this event are not intended to be a comprehensive list of companies or products related to the Clean School Bus Program.

Mention of or referral to commercial products or services, and/or links to non-EPA sites does not imply official EPA endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data, or products presented at those locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. Mention of commercial products/services on non-EPA websites is provided solely as a pointer to information on topics related to environmental protection that may be useful to EPA staff and the public.