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Kansas schools get funds to replace old buses with new ones

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Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 5:44 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas schools have been awarded funds to replace old diesel school buses with new low- or zero-emission buses.

The Environmental Protection Agency says at an event on Monday, March 7, with Vice President Kamala Harris, it announced the winners of two school bus rebate opportunities - 2021 American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebates and 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act School Bus Rebates.

“The historic investments in clean transportation resulting from President Biden’s leadership will have lasting impacts on protecting clean air for children for generations,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This round of school bus grants from the American Rescue Plan is just the beginning. The unprecedented $5 billion investment that’s on the way for clean and zero-emission school buses from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will transform how millions of children get to school and help build a better America for a new generation.”

The EPA said the $7 million in ARP funds has been directed toward school districts in underserved communities to replace old diesel buses with new, zero-emission electric models. It said the $10 million DERA rebates will help 444 school bus replacements throughout the nation.

“This funding is a vivid demonstration of how local school bus infrastructure can be upgraded, while also improving air quality in our communities,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meghan A. McCollister.  “We encourage all Region 7 school transportation fleet supervisors to learn more about this program.”

As part of the announcement, the EPA said 17 Kansas districts and one bus service will get a total $455,000 to replace 23 older buses through the 2021 DERA School Bus Rebates.

DistrictLocationBusesFunding
Caney Valley Public Schools Unified School District (USD) 436Caney1$20,000
Chase Raymond School District USD 401Chase1$20,000
Labette County USD 506Altamont3$60,000
Lebo Bus Service LLCLebo1$20,000
Morris County USD 417Council Grove3$55,000
North Jackson USD 335Holton1$20,000
Ottawa USD 290Ottawa1$20,000
Southern Lyon County USD 252Hartford1$20,000
USD 306 Southeast of SalineGypsum1$20,000
Central USD 462Burden1$20,000
USD 112 Central PlainsHolyrod1$20,000
Emporia USD 253Emporia2$40,000
Clay County USD 379Center1$20,000
Wellsville USD 289Wellsville1$20,000
Newton USD 373Newton1$20,000
Marais Des Cygnes Valley USD 456Melvern1$20,000
Ingalls USD 477Ingalls1$20,000
Waverly Bus ServiceWaverly1$20,000

The EPA said it also plans to announce a new Clean School Bus rebate program under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides $5 billion over 5 years to replace existing school buses with low- or zero-emission school buses.

The Agency said the rebate awards are its latest round of funding for longstanding DERA School Bus Rebates. It said 2021′s program awards about $10 million to fund the replacement of old diesel school buses with new electric, diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas school buses meeting current emission standards.

The EPA said the two rebate awards total about $17 million in combined funds for schools and bus fleet owners to replace older diesel school buses. It said replacing these buses will improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas pollution and better protect children’s health.

Since 2012, EPA said the rebates have awarded or are in the process of awarding over $73 million to replace over 3,000 old diesel school buses.

The Agency said the program will also prioritize projects that help achieve the goals of President Joe Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to ensure federal agencies deliver at least 40% of benefits from certain investments to underserved communities.

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