Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality has submitted the Volkswagen Mitigation Plan for Phase 2 of the state’s share of a national settlement with the automaker. The plan details how North Carolina will invest the remaining $68 million on projects to significantly reduce NOx emissions and improve air quality.

Based on the success of Phase 1 and public feedback on the Phase 2 draft plan, the Phase 2 plan includes:

♦ 40% (approx. $27.2 million) for school bus replacements;
♦ 20% (approx. $13.6 million) for transit bus replacements; and
♦ 20% (approx. $13.6 million) for heavy duty equipment replacement

In Phase 2, DEQ will prioritize electric vehicle replacement projects to maximize emission reductions and public health benefits. DEQ will allocate the maximum amount allowed (approximately $10.2 million) to the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure program to increase the state’s charging capacity.

The Phase 1 VW Settlement awards resulted in 172 vehicle replacements (including 111 school buses), 27 DC Fast Charge stations and 78 Level 2 charging stations. The awarded projects will result in a total annual NOx reduction of more than 27.3 tons. Phase 1 disbursed 33% of the state’s $92 million share of the settlement funding.

Once the Phase 2 plan is accepted by the trustee of the Volkswagen Mitigation Fund, the Division of Air Quality will release the request for proposals for each program category. Specific information on the timeline and applications will be available online here. If you would like to receive email updates about this topic, please send an email with the word Subscribe in the subject line to daq.NC_VWGrants@ncdenr.gov.

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