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Cooperative Agreements to USA School Districts, Tribes, and Transportation Providers to Replace School Buses with Zero Emissions Alternatives

Clean School Bus (CSB) Grant Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
CFDA Number: 66.045
Funding or PIN Number: EPA-OAR-OTAQ-23-06
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 08/22/23 11:59 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Cooperative agreements to USA public school districts, Tribes, nonprofit school transportation providers, and eligible contractors to replace school buses with low and zero-emissions alternatives. Applicants are advised that required registrations must be completed prior to applying.

This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits applications from eligible entities to incentivize and accelerate the replacement of existing school buses with clean and ZE school buses.

The CSB program aims to:

  1. Improve air quality by replacing highly polluting buses while accelerating the transformation to low and zero emission alternatives;
  2. Engage stakeholders in program development,
  3. Evolve the program, as needed, based on successes and lessons learned,
  4. Promote cost parity between bus technologies,
  5. Allow school districts multiple funding opportunities to apply for funding,
  6. Maximize the number of zero-emission and clean buses that get funded, and
  7. Ensure a broad geographic distribution of awards

In order to meet the unique needs of diverse recipients and address gaps identified in the 2022 CSB rebate program, the CSB grant program has designed two separate sub-programs under this NOFO:

  1. School District Sub-program: for school district and Tribal applicants, targeting large single-fleet turnovers that may have been limited by the 25-bus maximum in the rebate program, and
  2. Third-Party Sub-program: for third-party applicants to apply in partnership with school districts, particularly small, rural, Tribal, or low-income beneficiaries that may benefit from third-party technical support, grant administration and coordination (e.g., with utilities). ThirdParty Sub-program applicants must serve at least four school district beneficiaries to be eligible for funding under this program. The sub-programs in the 2023 CSB grant program address several programmatic goals discussed throughout this section, along with other criteria listed throughout this NOFO.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allows EPA to prioritize certain communities that will benefit from the CSB program. The CSB program statute enables the program to target communities with environmental justice concerns, that is, communities adversely and disproportionately affected by environmental, climate change, and human health harms or risks, and support a broad geographic distribution of funds. Additionally, CSB has been identified as part of the Justice40 Initiative, which provides a goal that 40 percent of applicable federal benefits flow to disadvantaged communities. For the purposes of this funding opportunity “disadvantaged communities” must meet one or more of the following prioritization criteria:

  1. High-need school districts and low-income areas, limited to:
    • a. School districts listed in the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) School District Estimates for 2021 as having 20% or more students living in poverty.
    • b. Title 1-funded school districts and charter school districts not listed in the SAIPE dataset. See the Prioritization Self-Certification Instructions, which can be found on the CSB Grants webpage, for more information on this option.
    • c. Title I-funded large public-school districts, defined as districts with more than 35,000 students and/or 45 public schools, that are in SAIPE but do not meet the 20% poverty threshold, may be eligible to self-certify the low-income prioritization status for part or all of their district. See the Prioritization SelfCertification Instructions, which can be found on the CSB Grants webpage, for more information on this option.
    • d. School districts located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
  2. Rural school districts, limited to school districts identified with locale code “43- Rural: Remote” by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
  3. Bureau of Indian Affairs-funded school districts
  4. School districts that receive basic support payments under section 7703(b)(1) of title 20 for children who reside on Indian land.

For information about project requirements, see:


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Under this solicitation, only the following entities are eligible to apply for assistance, in accordance with Assistance Listing 66.045 and EPA’s Policy for Competition of Assistance Agreements (EPA Order § 5700.5A1):

1. Public School Districts
a. One or more local or State governmental entities14 responsible for:
i. Providing school bus service to one or more public school systems; or
ii. The purchase, lease, license, or contract for service of school buses;
b. A public charter school district responsible for the purchase, lease, license, or contract for service of school buses for that charter school; or

2. Tribal Applicants
a. An Indian Tribe (as defined by section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, 25 U.S.C. 5304), Tribal organization (as defined by the same section), or Tribally-controlled school (as defined by section 5212 of the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988, 25 U.S.C. 2511) that is responsible for:
i. Providing school bus service to one or more Bureau-funded schools (as defined by section 1141 of the Education Amendments of 1978, 25 U.S.C. 2021); or
ii. The purchase, lease, license, or contract for service of school buses;

3. Third Parties
a. A nonprofit school transportation association; or
b. An eligible contractor.

Applicants falling under III.A.1 (school districts) and III.A.2 (Tribal applicants) must apply under the School District Sub-Program; Applicants falling under III.A.3 (third parties) must apply under the Third-Party Sub-Program.

Note that 2 CFR § 200.1 specifically excludes Institutions of Higher Education from the definition of nonprofit organization because they are separately defined in the regulation.

Nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that lobby are not eligible for EPA funding as provided in the Lobbying Disclosure Act, 2 U.S.C. 1611.

Pre-Proposal Conference
The first Information Session for this NOFO will be on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. (ET). Click here to register:

Additional information sessions will be scheduled and listed on the Full Grant Text RFP link and shared via the Clean School Bus Newsletter.

Pre-Application Information
Important Dates:
- Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) OPEN: Monday, April 24, 2023
- NOFO Information Sessions : The first Information Session for this NOFO will be on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. (ET).
- Deadline for Submitting Questions: Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (ET)
- NOFO Closes - Application Deadline: Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET)
- Anticipated Notification of Selection : November 2023 to January 2024
- Anticipated Awards: February to March 2024

The deadline for submitting questions via email is Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final posting of the questions and answers document will be Wednesday, August 16, 2023.

Submission Instructions:

a. (System for Award Management) Registration Instructions Organizations applying to this funding opportunity must have an active registration. If you have never done business with the Federal Government, you will need to register your organization in
b. Registration Instructions
Once your account is active, you must register in Please note that this process can take a month or more for new registrants. Applicants must ensure that all registration requirements are met in order to apply for this opportunity through and should ensure that all such requirements have been met well in advance of the application submission deadline.

For additional application documents, see the Full Grant Text RFP link.

Additional program information:

View this opportunity on

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
EPA anticipates awarding a total of approximately 25 to 50 cooperative agreement(s).

Estimated Size of Grant
Funding awards are dependent on the bus fuel type, bus class size, number of buses being replaced, and prioritization status as shown in the table:

Applicants in the School District Sub-Program must request a minimum of 15 school buses and can request up to a maximum of 50 school buses. Applicants in the Third-party Sub-Program must request a minimum of 25 school buses and may request up to a maximum of 100 school buses.

Term of Contract
The estimated project period for awards resulting from this solicitation will be up to 24 months, however initial project periods of up to 36 months will be allowed where justified by the activities, timeline, and milestones detailed in the workplan. The estimated project period of performance start date for awards will begin starting April 1, 2024.

Contact Information
For further information, applicants should email written questions to:

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