The Loudoun County Public Schools will receive funds to purchase six additional electric and propane buses, thanks to a settlement with Volkswagen and the Environmental Protection Agency, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Aug. 19.
Over $10.5 million will be distributed to 19 school districts throughout the commonwealth, to replace 83 diesel buses with the cleaner alternatives. There are already five electric school buses in Loudoun, purchased through Dominion Energy’s Electric School Bus Program.
“We all benefit from transitioning away from diesel school buses and investing in clean alternatives for our transportation system,” said Governor Northam. “I know how important clean air is for children’s health. Since I took office, the Commonwealth has been focused on transforming the electric grid, developing clean energy resources, and addressing the climate crisis through initiatives that allow Virginia to invest in a clean and healthy future.”
The funds for the new buses came from a trust established after Volkswagen settled with the EPA after allegations arose that the car manufactured had violated the Clean Air Act.
“It is encouraging to see how successful the funds from the Volkswagen settlement have been in supporting clean alternatives for transportation,” Attorney General Mike Herring said.
Neighboring Fairfax County received $2,650,000 to purchase 10 new buses.
According to Department of Environmental Quality Director David Paylor, the impact of replacing the 83 diesel buses will be equivalent to removing 2,000 cars from the road.