The state has released its draft proposal for how it wants to use the $30.9 million we will get from Volkswagen as our part of the company’s payment for lying about diesel emissions for years, and thus contributing to the deaths of many people.
Here are the main points in what is known as the draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan:
- Approximately $15.5 million (50 percent) of the allocation will be used to replace state and municipal vehicles, mostly diesel, and equipment. (Can they be replaced by electric vehicles? Don’t see why not, although I suspect higher up-front cost means that few, if any, will be.) Of that, the bulk ($9 million) would go to municipalities, including departments of public works and school districts – in other words, replacing school buses and those old, beat-up trucks that local road crews use. “This sector includes some of the oldest and dirtiest vehicles in the state” says the report, and I believe it. One note: The report says that replaced vehicles “must be scrapped,” so they can’t be sold and stay out there polluting.
- Approximately $4.6 million (15 percent) will be used for the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of electric vehicle supply equipment, details to be decided. “Decisions on the location and type of charging infrastructure in the state should consider investments and programs in neighboring states and provinces and investments made by Electrify America“, which is $2 billion worth of the VW settlement that is being used nationally. Expect considerable debate about how to use this money: Build public charging stations on highways? Subsidize charging stations at workplaces? Subsidize charging stations at homes?
- Approximately $6.2 million (20 percent) will be available to all entities, public and private, through a competitive solicitation for various projects of all sorts. Details on how to apply will come later. “In order to be responsive to lessons learned through the initial funding opportunity, changing priorities, new technologies or other events that warrant changes in the program, projects will be selected through multiple funding rounds. Project selection criteria will include, but not be limited to: emissions reductions (including NOx, PM and GHG); location in the state relative to economically challenged communities; demonstrated public benefit; and cost effectiveness.”
- No more than $4.6 million (15 percent) will be used for administrative costs.
Public comment will be accepted through June 5 via email or at several public sessions to be held in May and June.
The whole document is here. It includes such lighthearted details as the categories of vehicles eligible for replacement:
1. Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks
2. Class 4-8 School Buses, Shuttle Buses or Transit Buses
6. Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks (Medium Trucks)
7. Airport Ground Support Equipment
9. Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment
10. Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Option