Recently, the second Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust funding program was announced for projects across California. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) Governing Board on Dec. 9 approved $30 million in funding for Combustion Freight and Marine Projects that will replace or upgrade engines for older, in-use vehicles such as freight trucks, switcher locomotives, ferries, tugboats and towboats. The VW Environmental Mitigation Trust program is intended to fund projects that will fully mitigate the excess NOx emissions caused by the vehicles included in the statewide VW settlement.
The first installment of funds for the Combustion Freight and Marine Projects category will provide up to $30 million for projects to repower or replace older, in-use vehicles and equipment with the cleanest commercially available internal combustion or hybrid technologies certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Those will include on-road replacements of Class 7 and 8 freight trucks (including waste haulers, dump trucks and concrete mixers) or low NOx engine upgrades; freight switcher locomotive replacements or engine upgrades to Tier 4; and ferry, tugboat and towboat upgrades to Tier 4 or hybrid with Tier 4-equivalent NOx emissions.
A second solicitation for the remaining allocation of $30 million for this category is expected to be released in late 2021 or early 2022.
To be eligible to participate, new engines, vehicles and equipment funded through this program must be operated in California for a minimum of three years. The existing vehicle, equipment or engines that will be replaced or upgraded is required to be scrapped. South Coast AQMD will administer the funding statewide with CARB providing program and fiscal oversight. Applications for the program must be submitted online at http://www.aqmd.gov/vw/ by 1 p.m. PST, Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
The VW Environmental Mitigation Trust is a nationwide program that provides funding for California to fully mitigate the excess NOx emissions caused by VW’s use of illegal emissions testing defeat devices in VW diesel vehicles. More than 50 percent of the total project funds are expected to benefit disadvantaged and low-income communities.
The Combustion Freight and Marine Projects category is one of five categories that will provide funding through the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust program in California. The first category for Zero‑Emission Bus projects opened in October 2019 and is currently accepting applications on a first come, first served basis. CARB estimates that the funding for all five categories will result in over 10,000 tons of NOx reductions over a10-year period.
The following list details other project categories under the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust program in California and the regional air quality agency assigned to administer the funds statewide on behalf of CARB.
Zero-Emission Transit, School and Shuttle Bus Projects, administered by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
Zero-Emission Class 8 Freight & Port Drayage Trucks, administered by South Coast AQMD.
Zero-Emission Freight &Marine Projects, administered by Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).
Light-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure (Charging Stations and Hydrogen Fueling Stations), administered by BAAQMD.
For more information on the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust, the project categories, or additional details on eligibility requirements for the Combustion Freight and Marine program, visit http://www.aqmd.gov/vw/.