By Ella Nilsen, CNN
On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu will announce the first $500 million of funding for clean school buses is available to school districts around the nation. It marks the first tranche of funding out of $5 billion total in the bipartisan infrastructure law for low- and zero-emission school buses, which will be spent over the next five years.
There are approximately 500,000 school buses in the nation, and this $500 million represents 10% of the overall money appropriated to replace them, according to EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe.
“It’s going to depend on what people apply for, how far the money will go,” McCabe said. “We’ll get a better sense of that when we see what people are asking for in this first increment.”
In a statement, Regan said the funding will “forever transform school bus fleets across the United States.”
“These funding opportunities to replace older, heavily polluting buses will result in healthier air for many of the 25 million American children who rely on school buses, many of whom live in overburdened and underserved communities,” Regan said.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by replacing dirty diesel buses, administration officials are also emphasizing the public health benefits to kids and school staff that will not have to breathe diesel fumes, which can trigger asthma.
“This investment will make a huge difference in the lives of school children who are currently riding on dirty diesel buses,” White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy told reporters.
School officials can learn more information and apply for funding at Epa.gov/cleanschoolbus.
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