Van-Con Inc., a transportation company, will receive nearly $19 million to purchase 42 zero-emission school buses and 28 bus chargers, so five school districts in New Jersey, including Union City, Elizabeth, Newark, Bloomfield Township and Lakewood Township, can secure the vehicles, according to a news release.“Today’s funding means cleaner air and less pollution … which equals healthier kids!” said New Jersey Environmental Protection Agency Chief of Staff Olivia Glenn. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’ll breathe easier in New Jersey having these quiet, tailpipe-less school buses carrying our kids to and from school and other activities. Making our neighborhoods cleaner and better places to live is how we advance environmental justice and is what investing in America is all about.”“I want to thank President (Joe) Biden, our congressional delegation, and the Environmental Protection Agency for their steadfast support of our efforts here at home to protect schoolchildren from harmful pollutants and give them the best chance to succeed,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “Together, we are building momentum in the transition to zero-emission vehicles that will help us deliver on our promise to mitigate the disproportionate health impacts of medium and heavy-duty vehicles, especially in New Jersey’s most overburdened communities.”
About the Clean School Bus Program
EPA’s Clean School Bus Program was adopted under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides an unprecedented $5 billion of funding to transform the nation’s fleet of school buses. The Clean School Bus Program funds electric buses, producing zero tailpipe emissions, as well as propane and compressed natural gas buses, resulting in lower tailpipe emissions compared to their older diesel predecessors.The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Air pollution from older diesel engines is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Efforts to minimize the effects of these older diesel engines will 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.The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will benefit school districts as they upgrade to cost-saving and fuel-efficient school bus fleets, by replacing existing buses with brand new zero-emission and clean school buses and freeing up needed resources for schools.In April 2023, EPA announced the availability of at least $400 million for its 2023 Clean School Bus Grants through a Notice of Funding Opportunity. The grant application period closed in August 2023 with an outstanding response from applicants seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses. Given the overwhelming demand and high-scoring applications, including applicants in low-income communities, Tribal nations and territories, EPA has nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded this round to approximately $965 million. These awards follow over $875 million obligated to new buses from the Clean School Bus Program’s 2022 Rebates, which funded the replacement of 2,366 buses at 372 school districts to further improve air quality in and around schools, to reduce greenhouse gas pollution fueling the climate crisis, and help accelerate America’s leadership in developing the clean vehicles of the future.Prioritized school districts in low-income, rural, and/or Tribal communities make up approximately 86% of the projects selected for funding.
For more information, please email the full list of Clean School Bus grantees here.