Indiana has received nearly $40 million as part of the Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund created by recent settlement of diesel emission litigation; this money will be awarded as grants to reduce NOx emissions in the state, and Indiana will finalize the framework for distributing those dollars in the next several months. This framework is called the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. The dollars that will first become available in the summer/fall of 2018 can be used for repowering or replacing all kinds of equipment – including certain kinds of trucks, buses, trains, airport ground support equipment, maritime engines, fork lifts/cargo handling equipment.
Money can also be used for costs “directly connected to, the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of new light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment” for certain kinds of projects. Indiana’s draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan proposed to prioritize use of the funds to reduce NOx emissions in ozone nonattainment areas and areas under maintenance plans for ozone or fine particulate matter (PM2.5) to the extent possible.
These nonattainment areas in Indiana include Lake and Porter County; Clark and Floyd Counties, and Dearborn County’s Lawrence Township are also recommended as nonattainment for ozone. Note that Indiana is encouraging other areas of the state to apply for funds to improve air quality through the early replacement of other vehicles and equipment. Municipalities, industries, school corporations, and other organizations that have an interest in receiving or benefiting from these funds can monitor the development of the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (and its implementation) using the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s website. Current timeline for Indiana:
- After holding public meetings to discuss the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, the state accepted public comments regarding its work through March 2018
- Indiana files a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for approval that describes how funds will be used: spring/summer 2018
- Indiana Volkswagen Mitigation Trust program releases Solicitation for Projects for first round of funding: summer/fall 2018
- Indiana may request funds for its program: summer of 2018 (30 days after approval of the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan)