EPA Administrator Michael Regan Visits Flint Hill Elementary to Highlight Electric School Buses
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“Today made me feel like our efforts are actually being heard,” said fifth grader Juliana Rauenzahn moments after EPA Administrator Michael Regan spoke Monday at Flint Hill Elementary about the importance of electric school buses. “It feels like this is actually something that's going to happen in our future, and hopefully soon!”
Administrator Regan visited the Vienna elementary school to discuss the $5 billion investment in clean school buses nationwide secured through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Fairfax County Public Schools currently has eight electric school buses and is poised to get ten additional electric buses this spring. FCPS is committed to providing carbon neutral student transportation by the year 2035.
“Fairfax County Public Schools is demonstrating exceptional leadership in being an early participant in what we hope will be a wide-spread, nationwide movement,” said Administrator Regan. “Zero emission school buses can, and will one day, be the American standard.”
Superintendent Scott Brabrand joined Flint Hill students and others on a two mile ride on an electric school bus at Monday’s event.
“Our kids are leading the way,” said Dr. Brabrand after the ride. “The change has to start now, and it’s happening here in Fairfax County. Flint Hill Elementary has been a leader in creating the Get2Green program that builds kids’ awareness so they understand environmental impacts.”
Flint Hill ES was chosen as the site of Monday’s visit thanks to their status as a permanent Eco-School, having earned four Green Flags from the National Wildlife Federation. Principal Jennifer Hertzberg says Flint Hill supports sustainability in a variety of ways, including the cultivation of many gardens, a Monarch waystation, and a courtyard where students care for the school’s beloved chickens.
“As a kindergartener, I fell in love with our beautiful courtyard, and most of all with the chickens,” shared fifth grader Eddie Felber during Monday’s EPA visit.
“One of my favorite experiences is just spending normal classes outside in our courtyard,” said sixth grader Lena Mudrick. “Who knew reading could be so much more fun when you’re next to a chicken?!”
Anika Gupta, a senior at Madison High School and the founder of the Mad Climate Leaders, also spoke at Monday’s event saying, “We will be the generation that most feels the effects of climate change. We will be the ones to see rising sea levels and all the extreme weather events. I hope we continue to implement more environmental policies and expand our electric bus fleet.”
Monday’s event was hosted by the EPA, FCPS, Mothers Out Front, and Moms Clean Air Force.