By Donald M. Snemis, Ice Miller LLP
The state of Indiana’s plan to utilize almost $41 million in settlement trust funds from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal is nearing completion. On October 24, 2018, the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Advisory Committee met to consider final comments to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's (IDEM) proposed Beneficiary Mitigation Plan and provisionally approved several last-minute changes.
The current draft of the plan, which is expected to be finalized soon, focuses on projects that will promote the reduction of diesel emissions and improve air quality. Expenditures are expected to be allocated as follows:
- $21.3 million toward replacing or repowering on-road diesel-powered vehicles such as trucks and buses, with a special set aside for school buses.
- $8.2 million toward repowering or replacing non-road diesel equipment such as forklifts, port cargo handling equipment, ferries, tugboats, and freight switcher locomotives.
- $4.1 million to IDEM’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program.
- $6.1 million to light-duty electric infrastructure projects such as electric vehicle charging stations.
- $1.2 million to administrative costs.
Private and public projects alike will require matching funds from applicants. The amount required will range from 20 to 75 percent depending upon the nature of the project. IDEM is currently predicting that it will issue a draft solicitation packet and proposed scoring criteria by mid-December for approval by the advisory committee in January of 2019. The agency projects that its first round of solicitations will be issued in February of 2019 and its first round of approvals will be issued the following May.
Additional information can be found on IDEM’s Indiana Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Program website here.
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