Vice President Kamala Harris will announce the Environmental Protection Agency's $500 million Clean School Bus rebate program for schools to replace old diesel buses with electric and low- emission ones during a visit to a Virginia school Friday, the White House said in a news release.
Harris will be at Meridian High School in Falls Church, Virginia for the event along with school administrator Regan Merritt, manufacturers, educators and students, according to the release.
The vice president has led on this issue for many years, as a senator, Mitch Landrieu, implementation coordinator for infrastructure law, told reporters this week. Vice President Harris was the head of the Clean School Bus ActClean School Bus Act, the first bill to focus exclusively on zero-emission school busses. He said that this legislation served as a model for the Clean School Bus ProgramClean School Bus Program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that she worked with President Biden to pass. Since taking office, the vice president has highlighted the importance of transitioning to zero-emission vehicles, emphasizing the benefits of good jobs, cleaner air and reduced costs. The $500 million is the first round of funding from the $5 billion investment for low- and zero-emission school buses over the next five years that comes from the bipartisan infrastructure law, according to the Biden administration.
Applications for the program will be available on Friday through August 19. It's going to run for the next five years.
The first round of funding will be able to replace an estimated 10% of the around 5,000 school buses nationwide.
Gina McCarthy, Biden's domestic climate adviser, said that this investment will make a huge difference in the lives of schoolchildren who are currently riding on dirty diesel buses. Air pollution from diesel makes it hard to breathe. It's a leading cause of missed school days for our kids who deserve a healthy school, and to be involved in school learning.