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Fed $$ Will Make Lower Costs For Capital Region School Districts From South Glens Falls to Lansingburgh Central To Bethlehem To Purchase Dozens Of New, Electric Low And Zero-Emission Buses – Helping Make Transition Easier For Schools That Want To Go Green, Boosting Local Taxpayers & Protecting Capital Region Children’s Health

Diesel Exhaust From School Buses Not Only Pollutes The Environment, But Has Been Linked To Asthma In Children; Now Thousands Of Children Will Have Cleaner Air When Riding To School

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that six school districts across the Capital Region will receive nearly $12,080,000 in federal rebate funding through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Clean School Bus Program. Schumer helped create this program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act to help school districts looking to make the transition to low or no emission buses, helping take the burden off the local taxpayer and making it easier for underserved school districts that otherwise would struggle to afford new buses to upgrade their bus fleet and give kids the clean commute they deserve.

“This $12+ million federal boost will help power schools in the Capital Region looking to upgrade their fleet with clean low and zero emission school buses, giving our children the clean air on the ride to school they deserve. Dirty diesel exhaust from buses is linked to asthma and many other negative health conditions that impact our children, and this funding will help ensure we are protecting the health of both our children and the environment in the Capital Region,” said Senator Schumer. “Thanks to our Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law, as the wheels of the school bus go round and round, carbon emissions and pollution are going to keep going down and down. Together we are helping put the Capital Region on the road to a better and healthier future for our kids and families.”

Dr. Antonio W. Abitabile, Ed. D. Superintendent of Lansingburgh Central School District said, "This is very exciting news for our district and our transportation partner, but most of all for our students.  This funding will allow for roughly half of the fleet that serves the Lansingburgh district to be replaced with new, clean electric buses.  That means better service for our students and fewer emissions for the families of Lansingburgh. I thank Senator Schumer and the EPA for their leadership on this effort.”

“The EPA funding will help us follow through on a commitment to safer, cleaner and quieter rides for children – one that comes with a much smaller carbon footprint,” said Bethlehem Central School District Superintendent Jody Monroe. “Since we began the transition to electric buses in 2021 we have strived to maintain a cost-efficient bus fleet. Financial support at the federal and state levels allows us to advance the district's clean energy goals without undue burden on local property taxpayers. This support will be even more critical as districts move toward New York state's objective of fully electric school bus fleets by 2035.” 

Schumer explained that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act included $5 billion over five years (FY22-26) for the replacement of existing school buses with low and zero-emission school buses and that this is the second round of rebates from that program. Nationwide this third round of funding will support approximately 530 school districts spanning nearly every state to receive more than $900 million in funds to replace older, diesel fueled school buses that have been linked to asthma and other conditions that harm the health of students and surrounding communities. According to the EPA in the Capital Region, selected schools include:

  • Lansingburgh Central School District which will receive $7,590,000 for an estimated 22 new electric school buses.
  • South Glens Falls Central School District which will receive $2,000,000.
  • Bethlehem Central School District which will receive $1,200,000.
  • Queensbury Union Free School District which will receive $800,000.
  • North Colonie CSD which will receive $290,000.
  • Canajoharie Central School District which will receive $200,000.

In the funding announced today, Schumer said New York State is expected to get nearly $96 million in federal rebate funding to fund electric buses across the State. Nationwide, these rebates will help school districts purchase over 3,400 clean school buses—92% of which will be electric— to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities. Approximately 45% of funding will go to low-income, Tribal, and rural communities and 67% of funds will benefit environmental justice communities. Under the program's multiple grant and rebate funding opportunities to date, the EPA has awarded almost $3 billion to fund approximately 8,500 school bus replacements at over 1,000 schools.

Schumer said that diesel exhaust from old fossil fuel is a major contributor to air quality problems in many communities and has been linked to poor health and asthma, especially for children, whose lungs are not yet fully developed. Now, communities that have been historically underserved in both urban and rural areas, that otherwise likely could not afford new buses will benefit by using the newest and cleanest technologies available.

Schumer has a long history of delivering the fed support needed to curb pollution and fight climate change. In October 2022, Schumer announced over $50 million in federal funding through the first round of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program for Upstate NY. In 2022, Schumer also announced $25,417,053 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Low and No Emission Vehicle Grant Program for the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) from the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law so CDTA could purchase 12 new electric buses and expand their charging infrastructure to reduce emissions, fight climate change, and give Capital Region residents a cleaner commute.