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School Bus Grants Alert

About a year ago, one of our partner districts asked us to start looking for grants to replace school buses. I looked high and low, but could only find one grant opportunity at the time. However, the 2017-18 school year might as well be called the Year of Bus Grants for Ohio school districts.

If your district or non-profit is looking to replace old buses with more fuel efficient buses, now is the time to consider applying for one of several EPA grants. EnvisionEdPlus has a team member with strong experience working on this type of grant and we are happy to help.  Contact us if you need assistance!

Here is a short list of some great opportunities this fall for offsetting costs for new buses.

US EPA 2017 School Bus Rebates (NOW OPEN – due November 14)

US EPA is offering an opportunity to receive up to $20,000 per vehicle to replace your older school buses, and up to $6,000 per vehicle for retrofits. Older school buses without emission reduction retrofits emit significant amounts of harmful exhaust, so participating in this program will help improve the health of students and other members of your community. The grant is now open and applications will be accepted until November 14, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Please visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates for the Program Guide with all the details as well as FAQs and the application form.  Need help? Contact us.

Ohio EPA Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Grants (opens late fall 2017)

Note: Funds for this grant will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis!

Ohio has set aside $5 million to be awarded for converting or replacing diesel- and gasoline-powered large vehicles to run on alternative fuels. Grants would reimburse business owners of large diesel or gasoline vehicles weighing 26,000 pounds or more (class 7 and 8) for a portion of the cost of replacing or converting the vehicle to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or propane autogas (LPG), including bi-fueled or dual-fueled trucks that can run on both an alternative fuel and on gasoline or diesel fuel. Grants can also cover the cost of converting one or more eligible traditional fuel vehicles into alternative fuel vehicles. Invited to apply are all private sector and public sector fleet owners in Ohio who wish to purchase one or more new alternative fuel vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 26,000 pounds, or convert one or more traditional fuel vehicles into alternative fuel vehicles of the same weight class. AFV grant applications will be considered for projects requesting at least five thousand dollars ($5,000) and not more than four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000). Ohio EPA will post the application guidelines and application form on the AFV grant program website at least eight weeks before the initial application submittal date.

Ohio VW Mitigation Grants (opens late fall 2017)

This fund has been established as part of the settlement between the United States, the State of California, Volkswagen AG and various of its subsidiaries (VW) regarding the installation and use of emissions testing defeat devices in more than 500,000 vehicles sold and operated in the U.S. beginning in 2009. The Trust will provide funds to the states to mitigate the air quality impacts of the higher vehicle emissions from the offending action. The initial share to Ohio from the Trust is $71,419,316.56. The Trust establishes a process to administer the funds, and identifies 10 categories of mitigation actions that will be eligible for funding, along with reimbursement rates for these actions. Trust funds may be used to pay some or all of the cost to repower or replace eligible diesel-powered vehicles with new diesel or alternative fueled or all-electric engines or vehicles (includes Class 4-8 school buses). Ohio EPA initially expects to award $15 million in grants in each of the first three years of the program (2017, 2018, and 2019). We expect to continue to award funding annually until the remaining available funds have been spent. For more information visit: VW Mitigation Grant website. Funding will target counties with high emissions – see list.

As these grants open, we will send out updates through our email newsletter.  If you want a personal alert and/or assistance writing your grant, call or email me.

~Michele Timmons                                                                                                                                 President (michele@envisionedplus.com or 614.893.7341)