Gov. Lamont Announces Release of $6 Million in Volkswagen Settlement Funds to Support Clean Air Projects in Connecticut
15 projects receive funding; third round to focus on electrification
Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut is making available $6 million from the legal settlement in the Volkswagen (VW) Corporation emissions cheating scandal to fund 15 clean air projects in the state. Administered through the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Connecticut is making these funds available for a variety of vehicle electrification and diesel mitigation projects. The projects announced today are part of the second funding cycle under the distribution of the state’s VW settlement funding.
“Climate change is not a future problem; it’s real, it’s now and it cannot be ignored. It is imperative that we make every effort to reduce emissions,” Governor Lamont said. “The projects we are supporting through the VW settlement funds will go a long way in helping to improve air quality and protect public health in Connecticut, while also providing economic development opportunities.”
“The transportation sector is responsible for approximately 70 percent of smog forming air pollution and 38 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Connecticut,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “All of the projects announced today will help us realize both short-term nitrogen oxide (NOx) reductions and longer-term greenhouse gas emission reductions from mobile sources in Connecticut. Through each round of VW grant funding, we are identifying new ways to overcome barriers and support the switch to electric vehicles. We look forward to initiating subsequent grant rounds that attract innovative proposals for electric vehicle deployment, in partnership with municipal and private fleet owners.”
DEEP’s approach in the next VW grant round will focus on electrification and be informed by both the Electric Vehicle Roadmap for Connecticut and the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) Zero Emission Vehicles Docket (No. 17-12-03RE04), as well as subsequent stakeholder feedback prior to issuing the next solicitation for projects.
By spring 2020, DEEP will initiate a stakeholder-driven process to assist in identifying and developing concepts, opportunities and solutions to overcome barriers in order to identify viable electrification proposals under the VW NOx mitigation program. The third round will also seek proposals within the category of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), for which DEEP reserved 15 percent of all VW funding – the maximum allowed under the program.
In 2015, Volkswagen publicly admitted that it had deliberately installed a defeat device – software designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive federal and state regulators – in nearly 590,000 VW, Audi, and Porsche model year 2009 to 2016 diesel vehicles sold nationwide, with nearly 12,000 vehicles sold in Connecticut. As a result of a federal civil enforcement case against VW for violating the Clean Air Act, Connecticut was allocated more than $55.7 million to be distributed over a ten-year period for use toward offsetting the excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution emitted in the state by these vehicles.
Earlier this year, DEEP released the second solicitation under the VW Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program and began accepting applications to fund projects that will further the goals of the settlement agreement. The agency received 29 applications from both non-government and government entities. Projects were ranked by a variety of criteria, including air pollution reduction, cost effectiveness, positive impact on environmental justice communities, transformative and innovative impact, and applicant cost sharing. The $6.2 million in funding awarded today is balanced by additional investments of $10.4 million from the recipients so that the total direct economic impact of today’s action is $16.6 million.
The 15 projects selected for funding under this funding cycle, over their lifetime, will reduce almost 68 tons of NOx emissions and almost 5,100 tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. In addition to NOx and GHG, a total of 4 tons volatile organic compounds (VOC) and 3.4 tons of fine particulate matter, which contributes to asthma and other negative health impacts, will be cost-effectively reduced from environmental justice communities and other areas of Connecticut that bear a disproportionate share of air pollution.
NOx and VOC contribute to the formation of ground level ozone, an air pollutant known to cause a number of adverse respiratory health effects, including significant decreases in lung function and inflammation of airways. Ozone forms when NOx and VOC from combustion sources like motor vehicles react in strong sunlight. DEEP has and continues to implement emission control programs to mitigate ozone’s negative impact on public health in Connecticut.
The projects announced under this funding cycle of DEEP’s VW Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program are:
USA Waste & Recycling
- Replace eight (8) Class 8 MY1997-2006 diesel-powered refuse trucks, the oldest in the proposal, with 8 MY2021, Class 8 CNG-powered refuse trucks.
- Award: $591,600.00
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $1,873,400
- Location: Waterbury, New Britain, Hartford, Bridgeport, East Hartford, Bristol, Meriden, Enfield, Naugatuck, and New Haven, CT
- This is partial funding of an initial proposal that included five additional refuse trucks with newer model years.
Sysco Leasing, LLC
- Replace fifteen (15) Class 8, MY2006-2009, diesel-powered heavy duty local freight trucks with MY2020 diesel-powered equivalents.
- Award: $346,500
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $1,228,500
- Location: Rocky Hill and Hartford, CT
Hocon Gas, Inc.
- Replace four (4) Class 7 diesel-powered delivery trucks with four (4) MY2020 propane-powered Class 7 delivery trucks.
- Award: $139,805
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $419,415
- Location: Waterbury, CT
H. I. Stone and Son, Inc.
- Replace two(2) Class 5, MY2004 & 2006, diesel-powered trucks and two, Class 8, MY 1995, diesel-powered trucks with MY2020 equivalents.
- Award: $152,161
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $456,483
- Location: New Haven, Stamford and Waterbury, CT
R + L Transfer, Inc.
- Replace eight (8) Class 8 MY2004-2007 diesel tractors with MY2019 diesel-powered equivalents
- Award: $183,720.00
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $734,880
- Location: South Windsor and Wallingford, CT
State Line Propane, LLC
- Replace three (3) Class 7, MY1995 & 2000, diesel-powered delivery fuel trucks with one MY2020 diesel-powered and two MY2020 propane-powered delivery fuel trucks.
- Award: $96,264
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $288,790
- Location: Granby, CT
Eversource Energy Service Company
- Replace five (5) Class 7, MY2007 & 2009, diesel-powered utility bucket trucks with MY2020 diesel-powered hybrid electric utility buckets trucks.
- Award: $326,083
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $978,247
- Location: Berlin, Hartford and Torrington, CT
- This is partial funding of an initial proposal that included five additional bucket trucks.
- Replace five (5) Class 8 diesel-powered tractors, the oldest in the proposal, with MY2021 diesel-powered equivalents.
- Award: $175,000
- Awardee’s Cost Share:$525,000
- Location: New London, Ansonia, Waterbury, Derby, New Britain, Hartford, Bridgeport, Windham, Bristol, Meriden, Torrington, Enfield, Naugatuck, New Haven, and East Haven, CT
- This is partial funding of an initial proposal that included thirty-seven additional tractors with newer model years.
Student Transportation of America, Inc. (Naugatuck)
- Replace eighteen (18) Class 7 MY2008 school buses with MY2021 diesel-powered equivalents.
- Award: $912,070
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $491,114
- Location: Naugatuck, CT
First Student, Inc.
- Replace twelve (12) Class 6 and Class 7, engine model year (EMY) 2006-2007 school buses, the oldest in the proposal, with EMY 2021 diesel-powered equivalents
- Award: $668,398
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $359,906
- Location: Watertown, Ridgefield, Hamden, Weston and New Fairfield, CT
- This is partial funding of an initial proposal to replace a total of 90 diesel school buses in Bethel, Chester, Watertown, Ridgefield, Hamden, Weston, Somers, Branford, Vernon and New Fairfield, CT
Town of East Hartford
- Replace four (4) Class 8 MY 1999-2007 diesel-powered refuse trucks with two MY 2020 CNG-powered equivalents and two MY 2021 diesel-powered equivalents.
- Award: $637,780
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $425,220
- Location: East Hartford, CT
Connecticut Department of Transportation
- Replace one (1) Class 7, MY2005, diesel-powered transit bus, with a MY2020 full electric transit bus.
- Install associated charging infrastructure.
- Award: $576,225
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $1,623,775
- Location: Windham, CT
Fisher’s Island Ferry District
- Replace EMY 1985 propulsion engines, gearboxes, auxiliary generator sets and related equipment in the ferry M/V Race Point.
- Award: $819,260
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $441,140
- Location: New London, CT
- Replace one (1) Class 4 MY2009 diesel powered school bus with a MY2020 electric powered school bus.
- Award: $122,689
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $169,268
- Location: Middletown, CT
- Replace one (1) Class 8, MY2009, diesel-powered shuttle bus with a MY2020 electric equivalent.
- Install associated charging structure.
- Award: $505,500
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $337,000
- Location: New Haven, CT