Public Notices and Press Releases

New Jersey Schools to Receive $19 Million for Clean Buses

EPA and Local Leaders Announce Major Funding for Zero-Emission School Transportation

NEW JERSEY - EPA Chief of Staff Olivia Glenn, alongside Senator Cory Booker and other key figures, unveiled a $19 million grant awarded to New Jersey school districts for the acquisition of clean, zero-emission school buses. This initiative, revealed at Jose Marti STEM Academy in Union City, is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

The grant, a part of President Biden's Investing in America agenda, is set to affect school districts in Union City, Elizabeth, Newark, Bloomfield Township, and Lakewood Township. Van-Con, Inc., a transportation company, will utilize the funds to purchase 42 clean school buses along with 28 charging stations, marking a significant step towards reducing pollution and ensuring healthier air for New Jersey's youth.

"Today's funding means cleaner air and less pollution...which equals healthier kids!" exclaimed EPA Chief of Staff Olivia Glenn

Glenn emphasized the importance of the initiative in advancing environmental justice and making neighborhoods cleaner and safer places to live. The move to zero-emission vehicles is not only about improving air quality but also about protecting the health of the most vulnerable in our communities—our children.

Governor Phil Murphy expressed his gratitude to President Biden, the congressional delegation, and the EPA for their support in protecting school children from harmful pollutants.

Together, we are building momentum in the transition to zero-emission vehicles that will help us deliver on our promise to mitigate the disproportionate health impacts of medium and heavy-duty vehicles, especially in New Jersey's most overburdened communities,” said Governor Phil Murphy.

New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette highlighted the critical nature of this shift, pointing out the dangers of diesel emissions from traditional school buses. Similarly, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) lauded the grant as a pivotal moment for New Jersey, moving the state closer to a greener future and safeguarding children's health.

Local leaders, including the Mayor of Elizabeth Christian J. Bollwage, voiced their support for the initiative, recognizing its potential to empower education and promote cleaner air within their communities. Charles A. Webster of Union City Public Schools and James Sherman of Climate Change Mitigation Technologies LLC also noted the transformative impact of zero-emission electric school buses on environmental justice communities and the broader economic benefits of the project.

The Clean School Bus Program, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aims to replace older, polluting buses with electric, propane, and compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. This shift will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money for school districts but also significantly improve air quality for students, staff, and the surrounding communities. Following an overwhelming response to the EPA's 2023 Clean School Bus Grants, the funding for this round has been nearly doubled to approximately $965 million, demonstrating the strong commitment to cleaner, more sustainable school transportation solutions nationwide.

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