The South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) Governing Board has approved $26 million in statewide funding for Combustion Freight and Marine Projects under the Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust program to replace or upgrade older, in-use vehicles and engines for freight trucks, switcher locomotives, ferries, tugboats and towboats. The VW Environmental Mitigation Trust program is intended to fund projects in California that will fully mitigate the excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions caused by vehicles included in the statewide VW settlement.
This is the second statewide solicitation for this funding category under the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust program. The solicitation will provide up to $26 million on a first-come, first-served basis, for eligible projects to repower or replace older, in-use vehicles and equipment with the cleanest commercially available certified internal combustion or hybrid technologies including:
• Replace or upgrade Class 7 and 8 freight trucks (including waste haulers, dump trucks and concrete mixers) with low NOx engines;
• Replace freight switcher locomotives or upgrade engines to Tier 4; and
• Upgrade ferries, tugboats or towboats to Tier 4 or hybrid with Tier 4-equivalent NOx emissions.
New vehicles, equipment and engines funded through the program must be operated in California for a minimum of three years. Existing vehicles, equipment or engines being replaced or upgraded are required to be scrapped. South Coast AQMD will administer the funding statewide with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) providing program and fiscal oversight. Applications will be accepted online at http://www.aqmd.gov/vw/ beginning June 22, 2021 at 1 p.m. PST.
The VW Environmental Mitigation Trust is a nationwide program that allocated $423 million to California to mitigate the excess NOx emissions caused by VW’s use of illegal emissions testing defeat devices in VW diesel vehicles. California’s funding is intended to accelerate the replacement of older, higher polluting engines throughout the state, including but not limited to areas disproportionately impacted by air pollution, such as freight corridors, ports and rail yards. At least 50 percent of the funds from this category are expected to benefit disadvantaged or low-income communities.
The following details four other project categories under the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust program in California and the regional air quality agencies assigned to administer funds statewide on behalf of CARB:
• Zero-Emission Transit, School and Shuttle Bus Projects, administered by 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 Projects category, visit http://www.aqmd.gov/vw/.