ST. LOUIS – A new federal program will help 42 school districts in rural Missouri and Illinois communities acquire new electric school buses.

The opportunity comes as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program. Through the program, nearly $1 billion will be distributed to around 400 school districts nationwide to help schools replace fuel-powered school buses with electric ones.

Federal funding was made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law approved last year. According to the EPA, it authorizes the agency “to offer rebates to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission models to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier buses.”

School districts applied for the program earlier this year, and winners were selected through a lottery system. The EPA announced the awards for school districts on Oct. 26. Hundreds of schools also remain on a waiting list for electric buses.

Currently, the EPA has invested $48.75 million into 15 Illinois schools and $21.75 million into 27 Missouri schools. Some of the closest school districts to St. Louis getting aid include Silex School District in Lincoln County, Missouri, and Wayne City School District in Wayne County, Illinois.

For a closer look at school districts rewarded through the Clean School Bus Program, click here.