The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has released a final Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for implementing the state’s initial allocation of $45.7 million from the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust. The purpose of the EMT is to execute environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides.
"The goal of this plan is to reduce air pollutants that negatively impact our environment and public health,” said TDEC Commissioner Dr. Shari Meghreblian. “We look forward to supporting projects in our state that will ultimately lead to an enhanced quality of life for Tennesseans.”
The state’s BMP targets the largest contributors of mobile NOx emissions in Tennessee, including the on-road, diesel heavy duty sector and the on-road, non-diesel light duty sector. As NOx emissions contribute to the formation of ozone and particulate matter, reductions in emissions will assist in the state’s efforts to maintain compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone and Particulate Matter.
A proposed BMP was released to the public on July 18. The public was encouraged to submit comments. Following the close of a 30-day public comment period on Aug. 17, all comments and input received were reviewed and considered by TDEC personnel prior to the finalization of the BMP.
The state’s final BMP may now be accessed here: http://www.tn.gov/environment/VW_BMP. TDEC anticipates that it will employ the following order when releasing project solicitations, with the first solicitation to be released in late September or early October:
(1) Class 4-8 School Buses;
(2) Class 4-8 Shuttle and Transit Buses;
(3) Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks, Class 8 Local Freight and Port Drayage Trucks; and
(4) Light Duty ZEV Supply Equipment.
Additional project solicitations for these categories will be released until eligible project funds are exhausted.
TDEC will also host workshops throughout the state and/or via webinar in order to provide the public with information regarding the proposal process, program and project eligibility, timelines for implementation, and reporting requirements. Interested persons and entities are advised to sign up for the TDEC VW email list at https://signup.e2ma.net/signup/1843437/1737620/ in order to receive related email updates on topics including, but not limited to, revisions to the BMP, funding cycles, and project solicitation. For additional information on the VW Settlement, visit the TDEC website here: http://www.tn.gov/environment/VWSettlement.