In celebration of Earth Day and DEP's 50th Celebration, the Department announced today that it is seeking to fund approximately $37.2 million worth of projects that convert old diesel trucks, buses, port equipment, marine vessels, and trains to electric power. Funding will be prioritized in disproportionately impacted communities. The Department will also dedicate an additional $7.6 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure prioritizing DC fast chargers. Strategic Infrastructure mapping is underway to inform electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state.
For more information, visit the project solicitation page. Project proposals will be accepted until June 22, 2020. Project proposals not selected under VW may be considered for other funding sources (RGGI, CMAQ, DERA).
In September and November 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) alleged that Volkswagen had secretly installed defeat devices – software designed to cheat emissions test and deceive federal and state regulators – in certain Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche-branded turbocharged direct injection diesel vehicles. The defeat device renders the subject vehicles’ emissions controls inoperable unless the vehicles are undergoing emissions testing. It was only by installing the defeat device that Volkswagen was able to obtain Certificates of Conformity from USEPA and Executive Orders from CARB; in reality, these vehicles emit oxides of nitrogen (“NOx”) up to 40 times the USEPA-permitted limit.
On October 25, 2016 and May 17, 2017, two Partial Consent Decrees were approved between the United States, California, and the defendants (Volkswagen Corporation and its subsidiaries). The purpose of the Decrees is to address installation and use of emissions control defeat device software. The use of the defeat devices has resulted in increased emissions of NOx in New Jersey and throughout the United States. NOx significantly contributes to the formation of ground level ozone which negatively impacts the respiratory system and cardiovascular health. One of the goals of the Partial Consent Decrees is to offset the excess NOx emissions.
The Partial Consent Decrees establish an Environmental Mitigation Trust (“Trust”) which will provide funds to all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and federally recognized tribes, to implement actions to counter the air quality impacts of the excess NOx emissions resulting from the use of the defeat devices. The allocation to New Jersey is $72.2 million.
Consistent with Governor Murphy’s commitment to achieving 100% clean energy by 2050 and the State’s commitment to wide-scale deployment of electric vehicles, New Jersey’s goals for the Mitigation Plan are to reduce NOx, benefit disproportionately impacted communities, and support the expansion of zero emission vehicle adoption across the state. Consequently, NJDEP is particularly interested in pilot projects that enable residents of disproportionately impacted communities to access electric modes of transportation including electric transit buses.
NJDEP anticipates primarily funding pilot electrification projects, including the replacement of heavy-duty vehicles/engines such as buses, trucks, and non-road equipment in urban areas disproportionately impacted by diesel emissions, as well as electric vehicle charging/fueling infrastructure installation in strategic locations across the state.
The Beneficiary Mitigation Plan has been finalized. .
Click here for a summary of project proposals received as of December 31, 2018 and here for the actual project proposals.
Questions? Contact VWComments@dep.nj.gov with all questions.