A new bill would help school districts in Va. Replace diesel school buses with electric buses

Delegate Mark Keam’s bill would prioritize grants to school districts with high student asthma rates and low air quality levels.

by: Rebecca Burnett

Posted: Jan 13, 2020 / 8:34 PM EST / Updated: Jan 13, 2020 / 8:37 PM EST

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Go. (WDVM) – Last fall, Fairfax County signed an agreement with Dominion Energy to replace its diesel school buses with electric vehicles by 2030, thanks to the efforts of Mothers Out Front Fairfax.

Mothers Out Front said on Monday that it supported delegate Mark Keam’s bill (D-Va 35), presented to the Virginia House of Delegates last week, which would encourage state school districts to switch to electricity by 2030.

Mothers Out Front Fairfax co-director Bobby Monacella says there are four times more school buses than public transit buses in the United States. Fairfax County is home to the second largest fleet of school buses in the country.

“Something we have real control over change is transportation,” said Monacella. “School buses make up a huge percentage of that, so the faster we can change that, the greater effect we can have on Virginia’s emissions.”

Mothers Out Front is there for climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but also for student safety as exhaust gases (and the dangerous chemicals that accompany them) float on the school bus .

Monacella says such an escape has been linked to lower test scores and higher asthma rates. That’s why Keam’s bill would prioritize grants to school districts with high rates of student asthma and low air quality.

Mothers Out Front lobbies the Richmond every Tuesday to support the Green New Deal, solar freedom and its electric school bus efforts.

LATEST STORIES:

Get the latest news, weather and sports on your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on Apple and Android.