It was a surprise to see that Wisconsin did not receive any of the $7 million in federal funding from the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebates. That funding was directed toward school districts in underserved communities to replace old diesel buses with new, zero-emission electric models. New funding is available now, however. Wisconsin was awarded $205,000 of EPA’s $10 million in funding for School Bus Rebates under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).
DERA awards fund the replacement of old diesel school buses with new electric, diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses meeting current emission standards and protecting children’s health. The 2021 program will fund 444 school bus replacements nationwide including $205,000 for 10 buses in 6 school districts in Wisconsin. This includes: School District of Westfield (3 buses, $60,000), Student Transit of Eau Claire (3 buses, $60,000), and single buses for school districts of Shell Lake, Alma, and Norwalk Ontario Wilton, and to Brandt Buses. EPA Region 5 that Wisconsin is part of granted $1.2 million in awards to 6 states for 49 buses.
Wisconsin school districts take note, EPA announced a new Clean School Bus rebate program under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides $5 billion over five years to replace existing school buses with low- or zero-emission school buses. Each year, approximately $500 million will be available exclusively for electric school buses and $500 million for electric buses and multiple types of cleaner alternative fuel school buses.
For additional information on the Clean School Bus Program, please visit https://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus. Click here to sign-up for the Clean School Bus News listserv to receive regular program updates.