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EGLE, EPA to host event in the Upper Peninsula focused on bringing clean school bus technology and education to school districts

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a free in-person (and virtual) event in Escanaba on August 18 on vehicle electrification, the use of electric vehicles as mobile laboratories for education, and how to access the Clean School Bus Program rebate funds.

EGLE Director Liesl Clark at the steering wheel of an electric school bus at event in 2019.
Caption: EGLE Director Liesl Clark at the steering wheel of an electric school bus at event in 2019.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 authorizes EPA to offer rebates to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission (ZE) models.

On hand will be an electric school bus from Three Rivers Community Schools. The district is one of seven in Michigan to deploy the first 17 electric school buses in January 2020. According to Transportation Director Kenni Jean Schrader, the two electric school buses, have saved nearly $43,000 in combined fuel and maintenance savings since being deployed in January 2020. Support for the bus participation at the event is sponsored by World Resources Institute and Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation (MAPT).

“In 2019, EGLE mobilized $4.2 million from a Volkswagen settlement for an Electric School bus pilot – 17 buses in Michigan – “Rolling Laboratories 2019,” said Irene Queen, EGLE environmental analyst. “This pilot included opportunities for STEM education in the area of electric vehicles that are used as “Rolling Laboratories.” The event in Escanaba provides an opportunity, not just to learn about grant opportunities from EPA and Michigan for electric school buses, but to emphasize the educational inspiration that an electric school bus can have in a district.”

“EGLE’s Environmental Education program is dedicated to assisting all Michigan schools in achieving their environmental goals through providing education and supporting action projects,” said Eileen Boekestein, EGLE’s environmental education coordinator. “This event highlights energy curricula resources available through EGLE Classroom and action opportunities through the Michigan Green Schools program, which became a part of EGLE in 2021.”

The event will take place in person from 1 to 4 p.m. at Bay College in Escanaba and will have a virtual option for those unable to attend in person.

A speakers panel will cover:

  • The educational, environmental, and health benefits of electric school buses.
  • How schools can take advantage of EPA funds.
  • How utilities, manufacturers, and school districts can work together to get electric buses into schools.

Speakers include:

  • Frank Acevedo, U.S. EPA, Mobile Source Program Manager, Clean School Bus Program
  • Katrina Morris, Executive Director, Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation (MAPT)
  • Andrew McNeally, Upper Peninsula Power Company, Electric Vehicle  Educational Support
  • Eileen Boekestein, Environmental Education Coordinator, EGLE
  • Irene Queen, Environmental Analyst, Sustainable Development Unit, EGLE

The Clean School Bus Program rebate application deadline is August 19, 2022. A Unique Entity ID from is required. Applicants who need to obtain one should request one immediately, as it takes several weeks to complete the request.

Registration is required for the webinar but not for the in-person session.

Contact Joel Roseberry with registration questions.

Individuals needing language assistance or accommodations for effective participation at this event should contact Christina Pearce at 517-285-8852 to request language, mobility, visual, hearing, translation, and/or other assistance.

Bay College is located at 2001 N. Lincoln Rd. in Escanaba.