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EPA awards $5M to Hawai‘i for electric school buses

Hawaiʻi will receive nearly $5 million from the Environmental Protection Agency as part of a nearly $95 million EPA Clean School Bus program rebate competition from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The grants were sent to 29 school districts in Hawaiʻi, American Samoa, Arizona, California and Nevada.

Hawaiʻi will use its share to buy 25 buses for the state Department of Education — 20 of which will be zero emission electric buses.

The funding will also be used to pay for bus infrastructure.

“Updating our school bus fleet with electric vehicles is critical as Hawaii moves to clean, renewable energy,” Sen. Mazie Hirono said in a release. “This funding, made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law, will bolster Hawaii’s transition to electric vehicles while reducing the health risks of traditional diesel-burning buses to our keiki. I’ll continue working to support projects like this that strengthen Hawaii’s leadership in the transition to a clean energy future.”

“These buses will help more kids in Hawai‘i safely get to school without breathing harmful pollutants, make our roads cleaner and quieter, and help us transition to a clean economy,” Sen. Brian Schatz said in a release.

“This award marks yet another way that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to invest in Hawai‘i,” Rep. Ed Case said in a release. “These funds are an important next step for our schools and transportation network in the continuing effort to transition to a clean energy future.”

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. The rebate application program closed in August.

The program received overwhelming demand and has been nearly doubled to $965 million. EPA plans on selecting more districts in the coming weeks.

So far, the agency has selected 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses.