NEW BRITAIN – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) joined Brenda Mallory, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) New England Regional Administrator, David Cash, and state officials to announce the award of 25 zero-emission school buses to DATTCO Inc. to provide school transportation services for the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS). Automotive Program student Alison Navarro-Delgado spoke on the impact this investment will have on her as well as her peers, allowing them increased access to opportunities that shape their career-preparedness while contributing to bettering the health of their community.

The clean school bus funding is a portion of the almost $9 million in rebates awarded to school districts across Connecticut last year through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). As a freshman member, Congresswoman Hayes brought her advocacy for access to low-emission buses to Congress and went on to work to secure $5 billion for the Clean School Bus Program in the IIJA - which will provide a total of 28 zero-emission buses and change infrastructure in 12 communities, including New Britain, Meriden, Torrington, Waterbury, Norwich,  Ansonia, Bridgeport, Groton and Hartford, as well as Cornwall, Sharon and Regional School District 01. This project will save Fifth District school districts money, create good-paying clean energy jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protecting people and the planet. 

Recently, the EPA announced the next round of funding under the IIJA Clean School Bus Program. $400 million in grants is currently available for clean school buses, as part of the unprecedented $5 billion investment to transform the national school bus fleet. The new buses purchased under this program will reduce harmful pollution and help to protect children's health, especially in communities already impacted by air pollution.

“It was a long fight to secure clean school bus funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, but we accomplished our goal and now communities in the Fifth will feel the impact of this legislation. When I first began pushing for the transition to electric school buses as a freshman member, I knew it was paramount that funding be included in any legislative action. Connecticut students will be provided additional transportation services creating better access to educational opportunities while protecting our environment for decades to come,” said Congresswoman Hayes.

“President Biden's Investing in America agenda is delivering significant funding to Connecticut school districts for clean electric school buses, with a particular focus on reducing air pollution in disadvantaged communities overburdened by dirty air,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “These zero-emission vehicles will help provide cleaner and healthier air for school children, reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and save money for our communities. Investing in America means investing in communities so that a parent waiting at the bus stop with their kid is not worried what their child is breathing.”

“Transportation emissions are the leading source of smog-forming air pollution, which leads to respiratory illnesses such as asthma,” said CT DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Our children riding buses to and from school feel the impacts of diesel exhaust acutely, which is why the EPA’s Clean School Bus program is so impactful. I’m thrilled that the majority of this funding will provide cleaner-emitting buses, benefitting high school-age children and adult learners in high-need school districts and environmental justice communities that are disproportionately burdened by air pollution from transportation. Thank you to our federal delegation, and our partners at EPA for providing this important funding.”  

The funding is going to the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS), including the E.C Goodwin Technical School in New Britain and will provide clean transportation for students traveling to their hands-on learning and vocational activities.

In addition, this funding to CTECS will provide clean transportation services and infrastructure to the communities of Ansonia, Bridgeport, Groton, Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, Norwich, Torrington, and Waterbury as well as the Cornwall School District, Regional School District 01, and the Sharon School District.

To learn more about the grant program, applicant eligibility, selection process, and informational webinar dates, visit EPA's Clean School Bus Program webpage.