Have you heard that the EPA announced a new grant opportunity for replacing old school buses with clean and zero-emission (ZE) buses? This is a great chance to improve air quality, reduce health risks for children whose lungs are still developing, and save money on fuel and maintenance costs! 

Here are some key details about the program:

The EPA expects to award approximately $400 million in grant funding to eligible entities across the country under the Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program. The grants will cover up to 100% of the cost of replacing existing internal-combustion engine school buses with electric, propane, or compressed natural gas buses, as well as the purchase and installation of charging or fueling infrastructure. Awardees will receive up to $395,000 per bus without cost-sharing or matching requirements.

Who can apply for these grants?

Eligible applicants under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) include state and local governmental entities that provide bus service, public school districts, eligible contractors, nonprofit school transportation associations, Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, or Tribally-controlled schools responsible for school bus service.

How will the EPA prioritize the applications?

The EPA will use a scoring system based on several criteria, such as the number and type of buses replaced, the emission reductions achieved, the environmental justice and health benefits for disadvantaged communities, the cost-effectiveness of the project, and the readiness and feasibility of the project. The EPA will also give preference to applicants who operate in areas that have higher levels of air pollution or are designated as priority areas under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

How can you apply for these grants?

If you’re interested in applying for the 2023 CSB Grant Program, the first step is to check out the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). This will give you all the details on what’s required to apply. We recommend that you start working on your application as soon as possible. Keep in mind that there are multiple forms and materials to submit and you’ll need to include a project narrative and budget. To apply, you’ll need to have active SAM.gov and grants.gov accounts and make sure your complete grant application is submitted by August 22, 2023.

As always, if you have questions about our process or about this funding opportunity, feel free to reach out!