Application Period Now Open for $400 Million Clean School Bus Grant Program
Applications due August 22, 2023
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting applications for the 2023 Clean School Bus (CSB) Grant Program opportunity as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Under the 2023 CSB Grant Program, the EPA anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding to eligible applicants for the purchase of zero-emission (ZE) school buses, clean school buses, and ZE charging infrastructure.
The 2023 CSB Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) includes two sub-programs: one for school district and Tribal applicants (School District Sub-program) and one for third-party applicants (Third-Party Sub-program). The EPA will evaluate each sub-program separately under this single NOFO to address the unique needs and concerns of recipients and to encourage broad participation in the CSB grant program.
For this NOFO, the EPA will prioritize applications that replace buses serving high-need local education agencies, Tribal school districts, and rural areas. Additionally, the EPA is committed to ensuring that at least 40% of the program benefits and investments flowing to disadvantaged communities, as laid out in the federal Justice40 Initiative.
- Local governmental entities that provide bus service, such as public school districts
- Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, or Tribal-controlled schools that own buses or provide for service
- Eligible contractors, including school bus dealers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)
- Nonprofit school transportation associations
- Applicants in the School District Sub-program can request funding for 15-50 school buses, and applicants in the Third-Party Sub-program can request funding for 25-100 school buses.
- Applicants may submit a total of one application per EPA region, but a single application may target multiple fleets, school districts, and/or bus types.
- ZE fuel type funding levels listed in the table below include combined bus and charging infrastructure. Recipients have flexibility to determine the split between funding for the bus itself and charging infrastructure.
|School District Prioritization Status||Replacement Bus Fuel Type and Size|
|ZE – Class 7+||ZE – Class 3-6||CNG – Class 7+||CNG – Class 3-6||Propane – Class 7+||Propane – Class 3-6|
|Buses serving school districts that meet one or more prioritization criteria||$395,000||$315,000||$45,000||$30,000||$35,000||$30,000|
|Buses serving school districts that are not prioritized||$250,000||$195,000||$30,000||$20,000||$25,000||$20,000|
Eligible Old School Bus Replacement
The grant program requires an older bus to be replaced, with specific requirements dependent on the fuel type of the new bus. Older buses that are to be replaced must:
- Be vehicle model year 2010 or older and powered by diesel, with some exceptions. If requesting zero-emission school bus replacements and the fleet does not have eligible diesel buses older than 2010, they can either:
- Scrap 2010 or older non-diesel internal combustion engine buses
- Scrap, sell, or donate a 2011 or newer diesel or non-diesel internal combustion engine buses
- Have a gross vehicle weight of 10,001 lbs. or more
- Be fully operational at time of application submission
- Have provided bus service to a public school district at least 3 days/week on average in the 2022-2023 school year at the time of application
More information is available on the EPA’s CSB program webpage and in the full NOFO. The EPA will host a series of public webinars on the CSB NOFO from May to August to provide potential applicants with a program overview and information on how to apply. The first information session is scheduled for Wednesday, May 10, at 2:00 pm CT; register via Zoom. Additional webinar dates and links will be posted on the Clean School Bus Webinars webpage as they are scheduled.
Please contact us if you are considering a project, have any questions about the program, or want to add new fuels to your fleet.