United States: Delaware gets federal grant to acquire new eco-friendly school buses

The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) has been awarded an $809,000 federal grant to purchase new school buses powered by alternative fuels, including Autogas, for the Colonial School District through the federal Clean School Bus Rebate Program. Nationally, these awards are part of the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, championed by Delaware’s Congressional delegation of Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and signed into law by President Joe Biden in November 2021.

The department — which qualifies the same as a school district as an applicant for this rebate because the state is a funder, purchaser and title owner of almost 500 school buses – submitted rebate applications for Colonial and four other districts. The award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was from a random generation of grant applications from around the country, and Colonial’s was the first on the lottery list among the Delaware districts.

“Reducing transportation-related emissions is a key part of our Climate Action Plan, and we need to expand cleaner types of transportation across our state,” Governor John Carney said. “Thank you to President Biden and our congressional delegation for supporting continued investments in cleaner transportation – an important step in our efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions.”

The U.S. EPA Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of colour and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day.

This program incentivises both electric and LPG school bus purchases since both are cleaner than diesel engine buses. Delaware school bus fleets already contain about 108 LPG-powered buses. For more information, please visit this link.

9 November 2022