U.S. EPA Paves the Way for Clean Buses at Fairfax County Public Schools

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Clean School Bus grant brings green future to school transportation.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz and U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11) celebrated one of EPA’s first Clean School Bus grants under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law being awarded to Fairfax County Public Schools during a ceremony at Lorton Station Elementary School in Lorton, Virginia.

With county and local leaders, school officials, and representatives from nonprofits also in attendance, the event commemorated the $16.5 million grant, made possible through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, that will bring 42 electric buses to the Fairfax County Public School bus fleet for cleaner air and a healthier quality of life for children across the county.

“This is an exciting day to celebrate Fairfax County Public Schools on its journey to a greener future,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “Thanks to the EPA’s Clean School Bus grant, this community will receive a boost in its efforts to reduce emissions through sustainable transportation, marking a significant investment that will lead to cleaner air, healthier students and a greener tomorrow.”

During the event, elected leaders and other stakeholders highlighted the importance of EPA’s Clean School Bus program in transitioning from older diesel engines linked to asthma and other conditions.

“Fairfax County is home to one of the largest school districts in the country,” said U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11). “Every day, thousands of students, staff, and parents are in and around school buses, exposed by no choice of their own to diesel exhaust and other toxins. That changes today. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that I voted for, and President Biden signed into law, Fairfax County will soon be home to 42 brand new electric school buses. That’s good news for our planet and it’s good news for our students. Today is a great day for Fairfax County, and I am so proud to be part of it.”

The EPA announced Fairfax County Public Schools’ selection through EPA’s first Clean School Bus Program grants competition in January 2024.

This grant will provide some of the first EPA-funded electric clean school buses to Fairfax County Public Schools, which partnered with Dominion Energy for infrastructure installation. The 42 new electric buses will join the current Fairfax County Public Schools bus fleet responsible for transporting more than 141,000 students daily.

“We are honored and excited to be among the recipients of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Awards,” said Dr. Michelle Reid, Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools. “This recognition not only underscores our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship but also reflects our ongoing efforts to provide healthier, cleaner transportation for all Fairfax County Public Schools students.”

EPA’s Clean School Bus Program provides an unprecedented $5 billion of funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to transform the nation’s fleet of school buses. It funds clean school buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts, and produce cleaner air.

The program delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution.

Visit the EPA’s website for more information on the Clean School Bus program.

News release from EPA.

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