SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board today announced a first-of-its-kind program that will fund a variety of projects promoting zero-emission transportation options for students, parents and staff members served by school districts in California.
Grant winners for the new two-year Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project are:
El Monte Union High School District — $9.8 million
San Diego Unified School District — $9.75 million
Stockton Unified School District — $4.8 million
“This pilot project addresses the need to do more — beyond cleaning up school buses — to reduce exposure to harmful air pollution by children and others in and around schools,” CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey said. “These projects will set up the schools to address climate change, reduce air pollution, and lead the next generation in learning about and using clean mobility options. Congratulations to these first grant winners.”
The Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Projects developed and run by the individual school district grantees will be designed to meet community or district’s needs. One major goal of the pilot project is to serve as a laboratory to test different approaches. CARB staff will use the lessons learned to develop a blueprint and guidance for other school districts interested in implementing similar projects.
The top three projects preliminarily awarded these first-time grants will support both small-scale and larger-scale, long-term school initiatives. Smaller projects include, for example, zero-emission vanpools used by staff to travel to meetings and used for small student group trips. Projects also include the development of workforce training to teach students how to repair and maintain the vehicles, as well as school curricula to teach students how zero-emission vehicle technology works.
Large-scale initiatives in the planning stage include developing innovative vehicle-to-grid charging infrastructure and pathways to zero-net energy school districts.
Each project is located within a disadvantaged community (as defined by Senate Bill 535) where more people are exposed to harmful pollutants and suffer from greater economic and health burdens. Funding for the projects in the three school districts will be delivered in the coming months once contracts are finalized and signed.
CARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The CARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.