Durbin, Duckworth Urge Illinois School Districts To Apply For EPA Clean School Bus Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today sent a letter to more than 300 Illinois school district administrators to inform them that their districts are eligible to participate in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program (CSBP). The program, a $5 billion effort established under the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, aims to convert the nation’s school bus fleets to low- and zero-emission vehicles. EPA has opened applications for the initial $500 million in funding for priority applicants that serve significant populations of students living below the poverty line.

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“We write to bring your attention to an important federal funding opportunity. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified your district as a potential priority applicant for the new Clean School Bus Program (CSBP). This program, created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will provide an unprecedented $5 billion in rebates to schools seeking to procure low- and zero-emission school buses, including electric buses, as well as chargers and other necessary infrastructure,” the Senators wrote.

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“The CSBP represents a transformational opportunity for Illinois schools and students. Switching from diesel to low- and zero-emission school buses will improve efficiency, reduce costs, and protect our students from harmful diesel emissions. The CSBP will help ensure Illinois has the cleanest and most cost-effective school bus fleet in the nation,” the Senators continued.

“We look forward to working together to make Illinois schools the national leader in this historic push for clean transportation,” the Senators concluded.

Durbin has long been an outspoken supporter of electric vehicles. Earlier this year, he secured $2.5 million through the omnibus appropriations bill in new federal funding to support electric vehicle infrastructure and workforce training that will lead to good paying jobs in the electrical industry.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was supported by both Durbin and Duckworth, included more than $7.5 billion for the construction of a national EV charging network. The legislation also included more than $17 billion in funding in Illinois in addition to several billion dollars available through competitive grant processes. Illinois will receive $149 million for EV infrastructure and be eligible for a further $2.5 billion in competitive funds.

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