EPA Region 3 celebrates WV electric school bus delivery

EPA Region 3 celebrates WV electric school bus delivery

The EPA awarded nearly $2 million to West Virginia school districts to purchase five electric school buses.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 celebrated the first electric school bus delivered to Wirt County Schools through the Agency’s 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program. The District (in partnership with Matheny Motor) was one of three West Virginia schools benefitting from the 2022 EPA Clean School Bus Rebate competition under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Attendees included EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz, officials from Wirt County Schools, Matheny Motors (rebate recipient), the Town of Elizabeth, Moms Clean Air Force, WV Department of Education, Thomas Built Bus, WV Department of Environmental Protection, and representatives from the offices of Senators Manchin and Capito. Hundreds of Wirt County School District students, including the school marching band and cheerleading squad, also attended the celebration.

In total, West Virginia school districts received nearly $2 million in funding to purchase five electric school buses. Additionally, 30 school districts throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. will benefit from the over $92 million in funding to replace 247 older diesel buses with new cleaner school buses through the Clean School Bus Rebate program.

“The nearly $400,000 investment we celebrate today signifies a major step toward cleaner, more reliable transportation for our schools,” said Brian Aluise, outreach manager, on behalf of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). “The implementation of new, reduced emissions vehicles solidifies that our state education system is well on its way to providing better, cutting-edge resources for our children.”

Grid infrastructure to support electric school buses is critical to the ongoing success of electric vehicle programs and infrastructure is currently being built out across the region. In addition to the $375,000 awarded for the procurement of the electric bus, EPA also awarded Matheny Motors/Wirt County School District $20,000 directed toward investments in charging infrastructure.

The first phase of the funding, the Clean School Bus Rebate Program, opened on May 20, 2022, and closed on August 19, 2022. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, tribal nations, and territories, EPA said it nearly doubled the amount of funding that was awarded to $965 million. The Clean School Bus Rebate Award Winners were announced on October 28, 2022.

EPA anticipates announcing the next round of Clean School Bus Rebates this fall. The second phase of the funding, EPA’s Clean School Bus Grant Competition, recently closed on August 22, 2023, and the Agency expects to announce the competition selectees from the $400 million Clean School Bus Grant Competition later this year.

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