Kids & communities have a right to breathe clean air. Clean School Buses can help!
In 2017, we launched the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign in Maryland. In short, Volkswagen cheated federal emissions tests and polluted the air we breathe with toxins emitted by diesel vehicles. These toxins increase respiratory illnesses like asthma and speed up the rate of climate change. Now, Volkswagen is on the hook for $14.7 billion dollars for putting profits over people. States can use $2.7 billion from that sum for electric school buses.
Clean Buses for Healthy Niños asks Governor Larry Hogan to reinvest the VW dollars in our communities and school districts. We’re especially focused on bringing these dollars to low-income communities of color where students and families are most at risk of breathing dirty air and disproportionately carry the burden of pollution. That way, Maryland can take dirty diesel buses off our roads and replace them with clean electric buses, protecting our most vulnerable.
In February 2019, the final VW Maryland Mitigation Plan was released, allocating $4.6 million to replace diesel school buses with alternative fuel buses.
During the 2019 legislative session in Annapolis, legislation was introduced to replace diesel school buses with electric buses. This bill was amended into a form that passed in its first year, and Governor Hogan signed this Chispa Maryland priority bill into law. The bill created a grant structure to help school districts transition their school bus fleets from diesel to electric vehicles, with technical assistance from the Departments of Environment and Transportation, to reduce emissions and protect the respiratory health of our most vulnerable citizens.