More than $10 million going to Mississippi school districts for 30 ‘clean’ buses

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Three school districts in Mississippi have been selected to receive more than $10 million through President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda to buy 30 eco-friendly school buses.

First Student, Inc. has been selected to receive $7,975,000 in rebate funding to purchase 23 “clean” school buses in the Gulfport School District. Likewise, Navistar, Inc. will acquire $2,070,000 to purchase six “clean” school buses in the Leake County School District and $345,000 to purchase an eco-friendly bus in the Picayune School District.

The buses, which produce zero tailpipe emissions, will help Mississippi accelerate the transition to replace older, diesel-fueled school buses, which the Biden administration says have been linked to asthma and other conditions that harm the health of students and surrounding communities.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan joined schoolchildren, district leaders, and community members in Jackson on Wednesday to announce and highlight how the program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save schools money, and better protect children’s health.

“President Biden believes every child deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy life and breathe clean air, and his Investing in America agenda is designed to deliver just that,” Regan said. “With today’s latest round of funding, we are transforming the nation’s school bus fleet to better protect our most precious cargo — our kids — saving school districts money, improving air quality, and bolstering American manufacturing all at the same time.”

Phasing out school buses with diesel engines is expected to 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.

“I am grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for expanding opportunities to provide clean school buses to schools and students in Mississippi’s Second Congressional District,” Congressman Bennie Thompson said. “This initiative ensures that children have a cleaner, safer, and more efficient means of school transportation and contributes to protecting our environment. By making meaningful progress and offering valuable opportunities for our students, we are paving the way toward stronger student success.”

The investment is also projected to drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.

EPA officials are still looking to allocate more funding for additional clean energy vehicles across the U.S. Applications for the 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program are available until July 25 with the federal agency offering nearly $1 billion in available grant funding to purchase new, zero-emission Class 6 or 7 school buses.

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