Illinois EPA Announces Draft Plan to Fund Alternate Fuel, Electric Projects

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

The state is unveiling its plan to spend its share of a multi-billion dollar Volkswagen Settlement. Illinois has been allocated more than $108 million dollars after it was discovered Volkswagen installed emissions cheating software in certain diesel vehicles. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director Alec Messina announced that the state’s draft plan will use the money to fund mobile source projects such as locomotives, large and medium trucks, buses that reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in Illinois, and related infrastructure – including electric charging stations.

The draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) was developed after a thorough review of settlement requirements and after numerous meetings, discussions and communications with stakeholders. The draft is available on the Illinois EPA website. The Agency will accept formal public input through April 13, 2018. Illinois seeks to achieve the maximum reduction of NOx emissions possible. Funds can be used to replace old diesel engines with new cleaner diesel, alternate fueled or electric engines. Illinois EPA anticipates a minimum of three rounds of funding. The draft BMP seeks to maximize NOx reductions by focusing on:

• Reducing NOx emissions in areas where the affected Volkswagen vehicles are registered, while considering areas that bear a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden, including environmental justice areas.
• Maximizing emission reductions and funding.

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