Snohomish School District Transportation Supervisor Karl Hereth backs up the district’s one electric school bus Thursday, March 7, 2024, at the district bus depot in Snohomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Snohomish School District Transportation Supervisor Karl Hereth backs up the district’s one electric school bus Thursday, March 7, 2024, at the district bus depot in Snohomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Sultan, Snohomish to get federal money for clean school buses

Local school districts are among more than 500 set to receive propane or electric buses, the White House announced on Wednesday.

By Shauneen Miranda / States Newsroom

WASHINGTON — As part of its ongoing effort to replace diesel-fueled school buses, the Biden administration on Wednesday said it will provide approximately 530 school districts across nearly all states with almost $1 billion to help them purchase clean school buses.

The initiative, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, will give funds to school districts in 47 states and the District of Columbia to help them buy over 3,400 clean school buses. Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada are not part of this round of funding. Washington state is in line to receive about $24.3 million spread across 16 districts.

Locally, the Biden administration awarded money to the Snohomish, Sultan and Northshore school districts. Snohomish requested 11 propane buses costing $275,000. Northshore asked for three electric buses and Sultan asked for one.

Nearly all of the clean school buses purchased will be electric, at 92%, according to the administration.

“This announcement is not just about clean school buses, it’s about the bigger picture,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a call with reporters Tuesday, prior to the announcement. “We are improving air quality for our children, reducing greenhouse gas pollution and expanding our nation’s leadership in developing the clean vehicles of the future.”

Low-income, rural and tribal communities — accounting for about 45% of the selected projects — are slated to receive roughly 67% of the total funding, per the administration.

Regan noted how “low-income communities and communities of color have long felt the disproportionate impacts of air pollution leading to severe health outcomes that continue to impact these populations.”

As for business and economic opportunities, Regan pointed to the development of new, well-paying manufacturing jobs and investment in local businesses stemming from the increasing demand for these clean school buses.

“As more and more schools make the switch to electric buses, there will be a need for American-made batteries, charging stations and service providers to maintain the buses supercharging and reinvigorating local economies,” he added.

The Clean School Bus Program has now collectively awarded nearly $3 billion to fund approximately 8,500 electric and alternative fuel buses for over 1,000 communities across the United States, according to the administration.

The program started through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden, which includes $5 billion over five years to transform the country’s existing school buses with “zero-emission and low-emission models,” per the EPA.

Among many negative health and environmental effects, especially for communities of color, diesel exhaust exposure can lead to major health conditions such as asthma and respiratory illnesses, according to the EPA.

Exposure to diesel exhaust can also “worsen existing heart and lung disease, especially in children and the elderly,” the agency said.

Washington State Standard is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Washington State Standard maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Bill Lucia for questions: info@washingtonstatestandard.com. Follow Washington State Standard on Facebook and Twitter.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Everett
Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

Rep. Rick Larsen speaks at the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Larsen kickoff in Everett canceled over fear of pro-Palestinian protesters

The event had been scheduled to take place at the Scuttlebutt Brewing Taproom on Monday night.

After 3 years in jail, Camano murder suspect’s trial delayed again

In February 2021, prosecutors allege, Dominic Wagstaff shot and killed his father, shot his brother’s girlfriend and tried to shoot his brother.

The access loop trail on the Old Sauk Trail on Monday, May 27, 2024 in Darrington, Washington. (Ta'Leah Van Sistine / The Herald)
10 accessible trails to explore this summer in Snohomish County

For people with disabilities, tree roots and other obstacles can curb access to the outdoors. But some trails are wheelchair-friendly.

Everett NewsGuild members cheer as a passing car honks in support of their strike on Monday, June 24, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett Herald newsroom strikes amid layoffs

“We hope that people who live in these communities can see our passion, because it’s there,” said Sophia Gates, one of 12 Herald staffers who lost jobs last week.

A person wears a pride flag in their hat during the second annual Arlington Pride at Legion memorial Park in Arlington, Washington, on Saturday, July 22, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Judge blocks parts of Washington’s new parental rights law

The South Whidbey School District is among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit over the law giving parents access to counseling records for their children.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Gold Bar in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Fire destroys Gold Bar home along U.S. 2

The sole resident was not home at the time of the fire. No one was injured.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.