The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has scheduled a series of stakeholder information sessions on the Draft State Mitigation Plan that will invest the first phase of $92 million in projects aimed at reducing pollution impacts from diesel emissions.
DEQ will take comment on the draft plan through May 3, 2018. States are required to submit a plan to the trustee (Wilmington Trust) before they are eligible to receive funds from the state’s allocation. The plan must describe the state’s overall goals for the funds, the types of projects the state plans to fund, expected emissions reductions from those projects, and how the projects will benefit communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution.
North Carolina’s draft plan is structured in three phases, so the DEQ can seek additional input and make changes as needed along the way. This draft plan addresses Phase 1 (2018 – 2020) only. The DEQ proposes to invest 30% of the overall funds ($30.68 million) during this period. The DEQ will manage the VW settlement funds through five programs. The DEQ will target the programs in Phase 1 with the following percentages of available funds:
• School bus replacement program: 35%
• Transit bus replacement program: 20%
• Clean heavy-duty on-road equipment program: 10%
• Clean heavy-duty off-road equipment program: 15%
• Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure: 15%
The DEQ is seeking input on the draft plan to ensure North Carolinians feel it reflects their priorities. Comments can be sent to daq.NC_VWGrants@ncdenr.gov until May 3, 2018.
Clean Air Carolina’s Position
We have written comments to support the full allocation to 1) electric charging stations, 2) replacing aging diesel transportation and school buses with electric vehicles, and 3) replacing ground support equipment at our 11 passenger airports with electric vehicles, thereby removing the largest sources of diesel pollution and NOx emissions for every dollar spent in the most critical areas off our state.
For more information about our position, contact Terry Lansdell, Public Policy Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.