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MEDIA CONTACT: James Lee
Ohio EPA Schedules Webinars, Information Session for Volkswagen Settlement Grants
$15 million in 26 counties available this grant cycle to replace/repower diesel fleets
Ohio EPA is inviting prospective Volkswagen Settlement grant applicants to participate in webinars and a public information session on how to apply for grants to replace or repower aging diesel fleet vehicles, including school, transit and shuttle buses, medium and heavy-duty trucks, switcher locomotives, tug boats, ferries, and cargo handling equipment in airports, ports and intermodal facilities.
The grant program will invest $75 million over the next 10 years to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution. Funding will come from dollars allocated to Ohio from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund. Webinars and an information session will be held at the following times and locations:
- Wednesday June 20, 10 a.m. (Webinar) Click here to register.
- Tuesday June 26, 1 p.m. (Webinar) Click here to register.
- Tuesday July 10, 10 a.m. Public Information Session; Ohio Department of Transportation, 1980 W. Broad St., Columbus (No pre-registration needed).
In 2016, the United States and California sued Volkswagen and associated companies, alleging that VW installed defeat devices on certain vehicles (model years 2009-2016). The devices activated during emissions testing made vehicles appear compliant with the law, when in fact, during 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 defeat devices that were registered in each state. 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 has posted a copy of the state’s plan for the program on the Office of Environmental Education web page. The first request for grant proposals opened June 4, 2018, and will close at 3 p.m. on August 3, 2018. A map of the 26 priority counties for the grant identifies areas in the state where emission reductions are most needed in order to comply with federal ozone standards.
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.