January 10, 2024

Congressman Castro Secures Nearly $6 Million for San Antonio ISD to Purchase Low-Pollution School Buses

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) announced that his office has secured $5,925,000 for San Antonio Independent School District to purchase 15 low- and zero-emission school buses that will reduce air pollution and improve air quality in San Antonio. The funding is provided through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a bipartisan infrastructure law that Congressman Castro worked to pass in 2021.

“Today’s announcement is a major step forward in San Antonio ISD’s work to reduce emissions and build healthier futures for San Antonio kids and families,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20). “More than two years ago, I was proud to vote for the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to bring new resources, including this award, to neighborhoods across San Antonio. I’m excited to see how these new buses will contribute to better air quality in San Antonio, and I look forward to working with the administration to bring more clean bus awards to San Antonio in upcoming funding rounds.”

“Today we’re once again accelerating the transition to electric and low-emission school buses in America, helping to secure a healthier future where all our children can breathe cleaner air,” said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I’ve sat next to students on their very first clean school bus ride and their excitement reflects the power of good policy. Thanks to President Biden’s historic investments in America, thousands more school buses will hit the road in school districts across the country, saving school districts money and improving air quality at the same time.”

About the Clean School Bus Program

The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, created through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, provides an unprecedented $5 billion of funding to transform the nation’s fleet of school buses. The Clean School Bus Program funds clean school buses, including electric buses, compressed natural gas (CNG), and propane buses that produce lower tailpipe emissions compared to their older diesel predecessors.

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts, and produce cleaner air. Air pollution from older diesel engines, which disproportionately impact communities of color, is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and can cause them to miss school. Replacing these older diesel engines with zero- or low-emission buses will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, school staff working near bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day.

The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will benefit school districts as they upgrade to cost-saving and fuel-efficient school bus fleets, by replacing existing buses with brand new zero-emission and clean school buses and freeing up needed resources for schools.

In April 2023, the EPA announced the availability of at least $400 million for its 2023 Clean School Bus Grants through a Notice of Funding Opportunity. The grant application period closed in August 2023 with an outstanding response from applicants seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses. Given the overwhelming demand and large number of high-scoring applications, including applicants in low-income communities, EPA has nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded nationally today to approximately $965 million. These awards follow over $875 million obligated to new buses from the Clean School Bus Program’s 2022 Rebates, which funded the replacement of 2,366 buses at 372 school districts to further improve air quality in and around schools, advance environmental justice, reduce greenhouse gas pollution fueling the climate crisis, and accelerate America’s leadership in developing the clean vehicles of the future.

Prioritized school districts in low-income, rural, and/or Tribal communities make up approximately 86% of the projects selected for funding. The program delivers on the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus grantees here.