The state awards $7 million to emission-saving projects from the VW settlement
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced Thursday that it is awarding $7.3 million from a 2016 settlement by Volkswagen for low-emission transportation projects statewide.
Most of the money, $5.4 million, will go to a dozen public school districts and a private school for lower-emission diesel buses, electric school buses and charging stations. Specifically, this money will help pay for 42 lower-emission diesel buses, 12 electric buses and 10 charging stations.
Jackson County School District Receives Biggest $1.5 Million Award for Six Electric Buses and Six Charging Stations.
In all, Mississippi received $9.87 million from the $2.7 billion Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, a fund set up through court settlements after the Environmental Protection Agency found the automaker intentionally designed its vehicles that way programmed to cheat emission tests. The money is intended to offset the excessive emissions of nitrogen oxides from Volkswagen cars.
“The goal of mitigation projects is to reduce diesel emissions, particularly nitrogen oxide pollutants, which have been linked to increased levels of ozone and air pollutants,” said Chris Wells, executive director of MDEQ.
All 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are beneficiaries of the fund. According to the EPA, money was allocated to states primarily based on the number of affected Volkswagen cars registered in each state.
About half of the remaining $2 million will go to three companies: Waste Management, Sysco in Jackson, and Pan Isle Inc., also known as Ship Island Excursions. Waste Management raises $570,000 to replace 13 diesel garbage trucks with clean natural gas vehicles.
Meridian Airport Authority receives $430,435 for new electric ground support equipment.
An additional $330.00 will be used to build 18 charging stations at seven locations across the state.
The money awarded to MDEQ Thursday comes in the form of a rebate and can account for up to 70% of the project’s cost. To access the funds, recipients must complete the projects by September 2025 and then apply for refunds.
Use the table below for a full list of projects MDEQ received funding for Thursday:
— Article credit to Alex Rozier of Mississippi Today —