Al Lawson Urges North Florida Counties to Apply for EPA Funds to Upgrade Old School Buses

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., stressed that the application deadline is approaching for two school bus rebate opportunities.

Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $17 million in funding for school districts to upgrade old buses, which produce a great deal of pollutants, to new, environmentally friendly buses.

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Electric School Bus Rebate will fund the purchase of zero-emission school buses for underserved communities and tribal schools. This program offers $300,000 per bus for up to four electric school bus replacements and associated charging infrastructure. The qualifying school districts in Lawson’s district are Madison, Hamilton and Gadsden Counties.

The 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates provides $10 million for the replacement of diesel-based school buses with newer buses that meet the standards set for emissions. This is available to all public school districts.

“Clean transportation is an investment in our future, and I am thrilled to share the opportunity with our local school districts,” Lawson said. “The health of our kids and the environment must be protected. These electric buses would not only help North Florida meet climate goals, but keep our children from breathing in toxic diesel exhaust. I strongly encourage eligible applicants to apply.”

Since 2012, EPA’s school bus rebates have awarded, or are in the process of awarding, more than $55 million to replace more than 2,700 old diesel school buses. Applications are due on Friday, November 5 at 4 p.m.

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