Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Conversion Grants:
Ohio EPA has extended the date when applications may first be submitted to the new Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Grant program to March 20th, to allow applicants more time to prepare their proposals. More information can be found in this news release and on the AFV grant program website. (Any grant applications that are submitted on the previously published date of March 6th will be politely declined, with the request that they be re-submitted no earlier than 8:00 a.m. on March 20th, in order to establish their place in the first-come, first-served list of pending applications.)
A conference call is scheduled for February 27 to take questions from prospective applicants. Dial-in information for the calls is included in the Grant Application Guidelines posted below. It is not necessary to pre-register for either the information session or the conference calls. Ohio EPA will post a summary of questions and answers from these sessions to this Web page.
Ohio EPA’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Conversion Grant program will award $5 million in grants to reimburse Ohio owners of large diesel or gasoline vehicles for a portion of the cost of replacing or converting the vehicle to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or propane autogas (LPG), including bi-fueled or dual-fueled vehicles that can run on both an alternative fuel and on gasoline or diesel fuel. Eligible vehicles must be registered in Ohio for operation on public highways and weigh at least 26,000 pounds (class 7 and 8). Clean Fuels Ohio is currently working with the Legislature and Ohio EPA to expand the definitions of technology/equipment eligibility to cover partial reimbursement of all equipment typically included in a natural gas or propane system.
Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Grant Program:
Ohio EPA is currently reviewing the suggestions received during the 60-day public comment period on their draft plan for Environmental Mitigation Grants provided through the federal Volkswagen settlement. The comment period ended on February 7, 2018. Three regional public information sessions were also held in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus in January to take questions and additional comments.
Clean Fuels Ohio has had an active dialogue with Ohio EPA throughout the approximately 18-month VW settlement process. CFO believes that VW provides a valuable opportunity to help leverage fleet adoption of advanced fuels and vehicle technologies. In comments filed in early February and previously, CFO has advocated that all advanced fuels and vehicles, including CNG, RNG, LNG, propane autogas, biofuels, electric, hydrogen, and efficiency technologies, be prioritized over diesel-to-diesel replacements.
Based on comments received, Ohio EPA will develop a set of recommendations for Governor Kasich on possible changes to include in a final plan that the Agency expects to submit to the VW Mitigation Trustee later this spring. Once the plan has been finalized, Ohio EPA expects to announce the first grant application opportunity in the late spring or early summer of 2018. The draft plan remains posted here for information purposes, and more information is included below about the VW settlement and allowable uses of the funds.