For Immediate Release
October 26, 2022
Chispa Maryland/Maryland LCV Statement on EPA Clean School Bus Program Funding for Baltimore City Public Schools
Annapolis, MD – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the recipients of the inaugural, $965 million Clean School bus Program rebates. The program, created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, will invest $5 billion over five years in clean school buses. The 2022 rebates will fund approximately 2,400 new school buses for nearly 400 school districts across all 50 states, 30 tribal nations and multiple U.S. territories, with the overwhelming majority of funds going to electric school buses.
In Maryland, Baltimore City Public Schools will receive $9,425,000 to purchase 25 electric school buses. Baltimore City Schools currently uses more that 200 buses, both contracted and owned. In response to the announcement, Ramón Palencia Calvo, Chispa Maryland Director and Maryland LCV Deputy Executive Director, issued the following statement:
“Investing in electric school buses is an investment in clean air and most importantly, our school children. These buses have the potential to be transformational for Baltimore City Public Schools, eliminating toxic chemicals in the air that our children and communities breathe and providing quieter rides, better health, and fewer school absences due to preventable respiratory illnesses.
“Other Maryland school districts also have new opportunities on the horizon: They will be able to apply for another round of EPA grants next year, and Maryland is creating a new Electric School Bus Pilot Program to allow participating school districts to receive funds for electric school buses. Chispa Maryland and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (Maryland LCV) have been working with eligible school districts to ensure they take advantage of these opportunities.
“In Maryland, more than 650,000 kids ride school buses. We and our partners remain committed to getting many more electric school buses on the road with the goal of pollution-free communities for all Marylanders. We are calling on school boards and elected officials across Maryland to put the health of our youth and communities first by transitioning the state’s school bus fleet to clean, zero-emission electric school buses.”