Sierra Sun Times: Central Valley Congressman Sponsors Legislation to Clean Up Valley Air
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Jim Costa (CA-16), Senator Kamala Harris (CA), and Congressmembers Julia Brownley (CA-26), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Mike Levin (CA-49), Jim Himes (CT-04), and John Larson (CT-01) introduced H.R. 3973, the Clean School Bus Act. This legislation would provide $1 billion to help school districts across the country replace traditional school buses with electric ones. By reducing students’ exposure to diesel exhaust, the bill would significantly cut down on asthma-related health incidents, increase attendance, and provide long-term savings to school districts.
Every day, more than 25 million children and thousands of bus drivers breathe polluted air during their commute to school, which has a negative impact on student health and attendance, particularly for students with asthma and other respiratory conditions. The Clean School Bus Act would provide grants of up to $2 million for school districts to replace diesel buses with electric ones, invest in charging infrastructure, and support workforce development.
Rep. Costa said: “The San Joaquin Valley is home to some of the worst air quality in the nation, putting our residents at risk of developing serious illnesses. Children fare even worse when they breathe in the toxic fumes from buses every day on the way to and from school. The Clean School Bus Act has the potential to take 2500 buses off the road in our valley alone, a huge first step in tackling this problem. Supporting this bill continues my fight to find new and innovative ways to improve the air we breathe.”
The Clean School Bus Act is supported by the American Federation of Teachers, American Lung Association, League of Conservation Voters, National Education Association, Chispa – Clean Buses for Healthy Niños (Connecticut), Connecticut Fund for the Environment / Save the Sound, Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Green For All, Hispanic Access Foundation, Waterbury Youth Services, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the California Association of School Transportation Officials (CASTO).