Earlier today, the Ohio EPA held the first of three public meetings around the state regarding their plan to invest Ohio’s share of the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund. Ohio is due to receive $75 million over the next ten years to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution from the transportation sector. At the Columbus regional meeting, the Ohio EPA explained how the plan was developed and to answer questions.
The Ohio EPA has created their draft plan and posted information on their website (visit: http://epa.ohio.gov/oee/environmentaleducation.aspx#131365122-vw-mitigation-grants). The Ohio EPA will be posting the presentation they gave this morning, however here are some of the major items shared.
Overall Parameters Amounts of Funding:
$75 million in funding available to Ohio EPA (must be spent no faster than 3 years and no longer than 15 years
Funding will be targeted to projects that cost-effectively reduce NOx Emissions (scored as EPA funding requested / total NOx emissions reduced) in priority counties (see map page 9 of EPA plan).
Projects can include diesel replacements, alternative fuel conversions, alternative fuel replacements, and electric vehicles. All vehicles being replaced must be scrapped.
The maximum funding awarded any project will not exceed 75% of the vehicle cost. Select projects are eligible for less, and in all cases projects will be more competitive if asking for less the maximum funding eligible and/or providing more than the minimum match.
Categories &Amounts of Funding:
On-Road Vehicles: ~$37M Available
School Buses (Class 4-8): $15M available with set aside of up to $3M for electric school bus pilot projects.
Transit Buses (Class 4-8): $15M available
Local Freight (Class 4-8): $7M available
Non-Road Vehicles: ~$15M Available
Switcher Yard Locomotives: $5M available
Ground Support & Cargo Vehicles: $10M available for electric vehicles and equipment at ports and airports
Infrastructure Projects: ~$15M Available
Zero Emissions Vehicle Charging: $11.3M available for publicly available (not fleet or residential) Level II & DC Fast charging stations
Shorepower for Ocean-going Vessels: $4M available for international ports
Ohio EPA Administration: ~$5M Available
Ohio EPA expects to offer a $15M round of funding in May-June 2018 for On-road and Off-road vehicle projects
Ohio EPA does not expect to offer infrastructure funding round until 2019
Applications will be web-based, and require a narrative, detailed fleet data, cost quotes, and commitments to scrap replaced vehicles/follow all program parameters
Ohio EPA will be performing all emissions reduction and cost-effectiveness assessments on behalf of applicants.
There are two additional regional meetings scheduled:
Thursday Jan. 18, (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) Estabrook Recreation Center, 4125 Fulton Rd., Cleveland Monday Jan. 22, (10 a.m. to noon) Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), 720 East Pete Rose Way, Suite 420, Cincinnati.
Ohio EPA will accept written comments on the plan through 5:00 p.m. on February 7, 2018. Comments may be emailed to email@example.com. (Please include “VW Comment” in the subject line.)