The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a complaint against Volkswagen last year because its vehicles were emitting nitrogen oxides that significantly exceeded compliance levels and violated the Clean Air Act. The German automaker was found guilty and agreed to pay a $14.7 billion settlement and establish an Environmental Mitigation Trust. Over the next 10 years, $2.9 billion in trust funds will be allocated for environmental mitigation projects that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. This includes $41 million for the state of Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (Department) has released the draft 10-year Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for awarding the $41,152,051.74 million to Missouri-specific projects based on extensive stakeholder input. During the public comment period, CMT urged them to include transit bus replacement, which is included in the eligible projects list.The following allocation items will be of interest to Transit providers and stakeholders:
- Transit and Shuttle Buses – Transit and shuttle buses with 2009 and older engines can be replaced with a new bus or engine – $4 Million allocation
- Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – Electric vehicle charging stations can be built to for light-duty vehicles near highways, workplaces, or multi-unit residences. – $6 Million allocation
The draft beneficiary mitigation plan and the draft implementation guidelines are available at dnr.mo.gov/env/apcp/vw/index.html. This webpage also has links to comment forms for both documents. The department will accept comments through Friday, May 4, 2018, on the documents.
CMT is urging members and stakeholders to continue to comment on need for transit as a part of the final mitigation plan. According to draft plan document, funding may increase for the school bus, government trucks, and transit and shuttle bus categories if they receive insufficient applications and funds remain unused for other categories. The maximum funding that could be moved to the award category for school buses is $18 million, the maximum for government trucks is $12 million, and the maximum for transit and shuttle buses is $10 million.