6/1/20
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Anthony Chenault
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

$12 Million in Volkswagen Settlement Grants Available 

Ohio EPA webinars to assist with grant applications

Ohio EPA is announcing that $12 million in Volkswagen settlement grants are now available to assist with replacing or repowering aging diesel fleet vehicles for emission reductions to comply with federal ozone standards. Eligible applicants include public and private fleet owners of school and transit buses, medium and heavy-duty trucks, switcher locomotives, and cargo handling equipment in airports, ports, and intermodal facilities.

“These settlement dollars are a great opportunity for Ohio to continue to improve air quality and continue moving our state forward with modern, cleaner transportation equipment,” said Governor Mike DeWine. 

Ohio EPA is inviting prospective applicants to participate in webinars on how to apply for the grants. Grant application informational webinars will be held as follows: 

Thursday, June 4, 9:30 a.m.   
Tuesday June 9, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.   
Wednesday June 10, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  

To request registration information, please email derg@epa.ohio.gov.  

This is the third round of grants following two $15 million rounds of grants Ohio EPA awarded through the program in 2018 and 2019. Overall, the grant program is investing $75 million over 10 years to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution. Funding comes from dollars allocated to Ohio from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund. A lawsuit alleged that VW installed defeat devices on certain vehicles (model years 2009-2016). The devices activated during emissions testing made vehicles appear to be compliant with the law, when in fact, during an on-road operation, the vehicles emitted nine to 40 times the allowable amount of nitrogen oxides, a harmful air pollutant. A settlement filed with the federal court allocated funds to states based on the number of vehicles with the illegal devices that were registered in each state. 

During his time as Attorney General, DeWine, along with other state attorneys general, worked to ensure that states would receive their share of funding from the settlement. The trust agreement requires each state to develop a plan identifying how funding will be allocated to 10 allowable uses that can reduce NOx emissions and offset damages. Eligible projects include replacement or engine repowers of the following: aging diesel trucks; school/shuttle/transit buses; ferries/tugboats; switcher locomotives; airport ground support equipment; forklifts; and cargo handling equipment in ports. Funds also may be used to install shorepower for ocean-going vessels in Great Lakes ports and charging or fueling units for light duty zero-emission vehicles. Ohio EPA will offer a separate grant opportunity for electric vehicle charging stations beginning in the summer of 2020.

Ohio EPA has posted a copy of the state’s plan for the program on the Office of Environmental Education web page. The 2020 request for grant proposals opened June 1 and closes at 3 p.m. on Aug. 7, 2020.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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