After nearly a year since original court approval of the Volkswagen Partial Settlement, we are getting ever closer towards money becoming available for emission mitigation projects (such as diesel vehicle replacement, EV charging, and other options). As quick recap, VW was found to be cheating emission standards in the United States late 2015. As a result, the company was fined nearly $16 billion for the replacement of offending cars and new investment in zero emissions vehicle deployment and environmental mitigation actions.
Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Northern California approved the proposed Environmental Mitigation Trust agreement, which would set the Trust Effective Date within two weeks time (most likely, October 3rd). This term, “Trust Effective Date”, is important, as it begins a 4.9 month long process for US EPA, states, and the Environmental Mitigation Trust to identify where and how money will be spent. The end of this process (hopefully Q1 2018) leads to states being awarded their first round of funding based on their respective Environmental Mitigation Plans.
For Ohio, the Ohio EPA will serve as the beneficiary of funding, with plans to award nearly $71.4 million over the next 10 years towards projects that reduce NOx (nitrogen oxide) emission in the transportation sector. Eligible actions/projects for funding will include:
Class 8 local freight trucks and port drayage trucks
Class 4-8 school buses, shuttle buses or transit buses
Class 4-7 local freight trucks
Pre-Tier 4 diesel switcher locomotives
Repower or upgrade of eligible diesel-powered ferries and tugs
Shorepower equipment for oceangoing vessels and vessels operating within the Great Lakes
Repower or replacement of eligible diesel-powered airport ground support equipment with all-electric forms
Repower or replacement of eligible forklifts and port cargo handling equipment with all-electric forms
Light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment
Matching funds for Ohio EPA’s state allocation of funding under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA).
You can see an entire overview presentation of Ohio EPA planned VW Grant program here.
You can also join the Ohio EPA notice listserv for notification on progress for the VW Settlement by emailing your contact information to email@example.com.