SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim announced Tuesday a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to replace diesel school buses with all-electric ones.
The $27,023,485 in funding comes from the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) under the Volkswagen Settlement. The funds will cover the purchase of new electric school buses and a portion of the charging infrastructure if needed.
“This isn’t just a win for our environment, it’s a win for our state’s children who deserve a healthy environment from the moment they step onto a school bus. I strongly urge all eligible school districts to apply for this funding as we create a cleaner Illinois, together,” said Governor JB Pritzker.
Illinois EPA’s aim is to focus on electric transportation and infrastructure. The agency wants to replace diesel buses to provide students with a healthier environment. Eligible applicants are commercial school bus providers or school districts owning their buses. The purchased buses must be located and operated in one of the three priority areas outlined in the BMP.
Priority Area 1 includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties, Oswego Township in Kendall County, and Aux Sable and Goose Lake townships in Grundy County. Priority Area 2 includes Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair counties, and Priority Area 3 includes Champaign, DeKalb, LaSalle, McLean, Peoria, Sangamon, and Winnebago counties.
The scrapped diesel buses must be engine Model Year 2009 and older diesel-powered Class 4 – 8 school buses, within 90 days of the new bus being placed into service.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker expressed his commitment to the state’s clean energy revolution, highlighting the benefits of the funding for the state’s children. The application for the NOFO is available until September 5, 2023, on the Driving A Cleaner Illinois webpage, and all applicants must pre-qualify through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.
Overall, the initiative is an integral step towards achieving the Pritzker Administration’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.