El Cajon, CA–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe joined Cajon Valley Union School District at an event to celebrate the adoption of zero-emission battery-electric school buses that will reduce diesel emissions and protect children’s health.
The five buses were bought using $1 million in EPA Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grant funding combined with $1.1 million from the California Air Resources Board and $200,820 from the school district.
Over the lifetime of the buses, they will conserve nearly 71,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Deputy Administrator McCabe also spoke about a forthcoming new Clean School Bus rebate program under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides an unprecedented $5 billion over five years to replace existing school buses with low- or zero-emission school buses.
“Pollution from school bus exhaust not only contaminates the air but can have serious health impacts on residents, especially children,” said Environmental Protection Agency’s Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “EPA is proud to recognize Cajon Valley Union School District and its efforts to reduce bus emissions, which will help protect kids and parents from harmful particles, and fight climate change.”
“Cajon Valley Union School District is proud to be forward aligned in everything we do for our staff, students, and community,” said Cajon Valley Union School District Governing Board President Tamara Otero. “The electrification of our buses and installation of charging stations created to benefit our employees, students and community is another great example of making this the best place to work, play, and raise a family, today and tomorrow!”
By replacing legacy heavy-duty diesel school buses with zero-emission buses, this project has eliminated school bus tailpipe emissions in a community disproportionately affected by diesel exhaust and poor air quality. Exposure to diesel exhaust can lead to serious health conditions like asthma and respiratory illnesses and can worsen existing heart and lung disease, especially in children and the elderly. These conditions can result in increased numbers of emergency room visits, hospital admissions, absences from work and school, and premature deaths.
Over the lifetime of the five new electric buses, they will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 3.8 tons, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by 0.3 tons, hydrocarbons by 0.5 tons, carbon monoxide by 1.9 tons, and carbon dioxide by 493 tons.
The DERA program is administered by the EPA’s West Coast Collaborative, a partnership of EPA’s Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest Regions, which leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide an unprecedented $5 billion over five years for the Clean School Bus Program to replace existing school buses with cleaner models. In Spring 2022, EPA plans to announce a new rebate program for applicants to replace polluting buses with low- or zero-emission models. EPA may prioritize applications that replace school buses in high need local educational agencies, low-income and rural areas, and Tribal schools, and the agency may prioritize applications that provide cost-sharing.