Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries: What You Need to Know
Following the Volkswagen (VW) emissions scandal, a settlement was reached with the U.S. government to resolve claims that VW violated the Clean Air Act. The settlement established an Environmental Mitigation Trust (EMT) to fund projects that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in the transportation sector. This article will provide an overview of the EMT and how state beneficiaries can utilize the funds.
What is the Environmental Mitigation Trust?
The EMT is a $2.7 billion dollar fund established to offset the excess emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) caused by VW diesel cars. State beneficiaries of the EMT include all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Each beneficiary is allocated a certain amount of funds based on the number of affected vehicles registered in their state.
What are the eligible projects?
The EMT funds must be used for projects that reduce NOx emissions from the transportation sector. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
– Replacing or repowering old, heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment with new, cleaner models.
– Upgrading or installing electric vehicle charging stations.
– Installing or replacing diesel engine filters and exhaust gas recirculation systems on public buses and trucks.
– Replacing or repowering diesel locomotives and marine vessels.
State beneficiaries must submit a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) outlining how they plan to use the funds. The BMP must be approved by the trustee overseeing the EMT.
How can state beneficiaries access the funds?
State beneficiaries must follow a specific process to access EMT funds. First, they must submit a BMP to the trustee outlining their proposed projects. The trustee will review the BMP and provide comments or guidance. Once the BMP is approved, the state beneficiary must submit a funding request for each project. The trustee will review the request and make a decision on funding. State beneficiaries must provide regular progress reports on their projects to the trustee.
What are the deadlines?
State beneficiaries must submit their BMPs within 120 days of their EMT allocation date. The deadline for submitting funding requests varies based on the type of project. For example, requests for light-duty zero-emission vehicle supply equipment must be submitted by December 31, 2020, while requests for Class 4-8 school buses must be submitted by December 31, 2022.
The Environmental Mitigation Trust provides a significant opportunity for state beneficiaries to fund projects that reduce NOx emissions in the transportation sector. State beneficiaries must follow a specific process to access the funds, including submitting a BMP and funding request for each project. With careful planning and execution, state beneficiaries can maximize the impact of the EMT funds in their communities.