The Biden administration is making $500 million available to school districts to transition the nation’s gas-guzzling diesel school bus fleets to zero-emission electric busses.
The bucket of money is part of a broader tranche of $5 billion set aside in last year’s infrastructure spending for low and zero-emission school buses over the next five years.
This is the first time that the administration has tapped into those funds to help schools go green.
Administration officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, are slated to make the announcement Friday at Meridian High School in Falls Church, Virginia.
They will highlight how the switch to electric buses will not only significantly slash greenhouse gas emissions, but how it will also cut down on public health risks that diesel vehicles pose to children, such as causing asthma.
“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,” Mr. Regan said in a statement.
The administration said that in addition to the health benefits, low- or zero-emission fleets will save school districts money on operating costs and can transmit stored electricity back to the grid to support communities during power outages.