Dayton School Department has been awarded $1.5 million by the U.S. EPA to replace four diesel buses with four electric buses. It is one of three York County school districts to receive an award. In all, 13 Maine school districts will benefit from funding. File Photo/Portland Press Herald

Dayton School Department will be able to buy four new electric school buses, federal Environmental Protection Agency officials said Monday.

The school district is one of several in Maine to benefit from grants provided through the EPA. In all, $13.3 million has been awarded to 13 Maine school districts, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to provide 34 new electric, zero-emission buses, which will replace those that burn diesel fuel.

Flanked by local officials, parents and school children, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency New England Regional Administrator David Cash announced the award in Wells on Monday.

Dayton will receive $1.5 million for four new electric buses; Wells-Ogunquit Consolidated School District will receive $4.3 million for 11 new electric buses and Regional School Unit 57, which is based in Waterboro and serves six rural communities, will receive $790,000 for two electric buses.

The remainder of the funds are spent in Maine communities from Calais to Winthrop.

“President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is accelerating our nation’s transition to electric and low-emission school buses while ensuring a brighter, healthier future for our children,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in a statement. “As many as 25 million children rely on the bus to get to school each day. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we are making an unprecedented investment in our children’s health, especially those in communities overburdened by air pollution. This is just the beginning of our work to build a healthier future, reduce climate pollution, and ensure the clean, breathable air that all our children deserve.”

“With the new Clean School Bus program, EPA is delivering significant funding to Maine school districts for clean electric school buses, with a particular focus on reducing air pollution in several areas with a large proportion of historically-disadvantaged communities with priority needs,” said Cash. “These zero-emission vehicles will help provide cleaner and healthier air for school children and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.”

The announcement was hailed by Maine’s Congressional delegation — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden.

Nationwide, the EPA has selected 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95 percent of which will be electric. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full available $965 million in the coming weeks, the EPA said in a statement.

Comments are not available on this story.