Government entities and certain organizations may now submit applications for grants to replace their older transit and shuttle buses through the second phase of funding from the Volkswagen air emissions legal settlement.
The request for proposals released Tuesday explains how to apply for the $13.5 million available to replace older, diesel transit or shuttle buses with cleaner, low-emission vehicles to significantly reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and improve air quality, the Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality announced this week.
In Phase 2, the Division of Air Quality will prioritize electric vehicle replacement projects to maximize emission reductions and public health benefits. Projects within the 37 counties identified as historically under-resourced are eligible for bonus project scoring points as well as additional technical support during the application process.
Local, state and tribal government organizations, public or private nonprofit organizations and public-private partnerships may submit proposed projects where the lead applicant is a public sector, public or private nonprofit organization.
The division said it will also hold additional information workshops during the application period. Information regarding applications, eligibility and registration for the division’s online information sessions is to be posted on the division’s website, at https://deq.nc.gov/VW-Transit-Bus-RFP.
The VW settlement is an agreement between the German automaker and the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency. These settlements resolve allegations that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by the sale of approximately 590,000 model year 2009 to 2016 diesel motor vehicles equipped with “defeat devices,” the EPA states on its website.
The division said it will accept applications for the program until May 2.
Phase 2 of the VW Mitigation Plan covers the remaining $68 million of the state’s share of a national settlement with the automaker and includes programs for school bus replacement and zero emission vehicle infrastructure.
Contact the division at daq.NC_VWGrants@ncdenr.gov with the subject title: “Transit and Shuttle Bus_Program RFP” before submitting an application and in advance of the submission deadline.
The schedule for future requests for proposals is available online.