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    Deadline to Apply for VW Settlement Funding: April 12th

    The 2019 period for applications for VW Mitigation Trust Settlement projects Is about to close

    Deadline to apply: April 12, 2019

    Funding for Alternative fuels Projects

    In 2017, Volkswagen AG (VW) agreed to plead guilty to charges that it installed software in its model year 2009-2015 2.0-liter diesel cars and 3.0-liter diesel cars that circumvented EPA emissions standards using a “defeat device.” These vehicles emit up to 40 times more pollution than emissions standards allow in the form of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a pollutant that harms public health and contributes to ozone or smog formation.

    As part of a settlement, states are eligible to receive funds to pay all or part of the cost of projects to reduce emissions from diesel vehicles and to install electric vehicle charging stations. 

    Louisiana's Mitigation Plan

    The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) was designated the lead agency (beneficiary) by the Office of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Three Louisiana state agencies were designated to receive equal shares of the fund: LDEQ, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD). These agencies were tasked to allocate the VW Mitigation Trust funds.

    School Buses

    The agencies, with public input, have pooled their funds to target replacement of eligible diesel school buses. The bus replacement program will offer partial funding primarily to school districts to replace their buses with electric, alternative fuel, or high-efficiency diesel vehicles. LDOTD is proposing to use its share of the funds to replace eligible diesel vehicles and heavy equipment with new, less polluting engines. Other projects allowable under the mitigation plan will also be considered. See Appendix D-2 (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-10/documents/statebeneficiaries.pdf) for a complete list of project types allowed under the Volkswagen Settlement (begining on page 53 of the document).

    The state's plan gives first consideration "to replacement or repowering of school buses owned or used by Louisiana school districts with newer, cleaner vehicles, and/or new cleaner burning engines." These funds will not be used for fleet expansion. The goal is to get older, polluting vehicles off the road and to replace them with new, cleaner options. The amount of funding that the state is proposing for school bus replacements are as follows:

    1. 25% matching funds will be given for the replacement or repowering of eligible buses with newer cleaner-burning diesel.
    2. 50% matching funds will be given for the replacement of eligible buses with eligible alternate fuels powered buses, including CNG, propane, or Electric.

    Assistance for School Districts

    School Districts wishing to take advantage of this funding should bookmark the state's VW webpage and watch for any requests for proposal (RFP) by the state. Louisiana Clean Fuels is working closely with the LDEQ on outreach for the state's bus replacement program. If your school district would like to learn more about the different fueling options available under the plan or would like assistance with their proposals to the state, please email Ann Vail at Louisiana Clean Fuels at [email protected].

    Funding for Electric Vehicle Charging INfrastructure (EVSE)

    The state's plan also includes language which allows the state to utilize "up to 15% of its allocation of Mitigation Trust funds on the costs necessary for, and directly connected to, the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of new, light duty, zero emission vehicle supply equipment for projects..." Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is the only type of fueling infrastructure allowed under the VW Settlement.

    The lead agency has put a priority on Public EVSE infrastructure applications from state agencies and other government entities. Proposals from private entities will also be considered. Application guidance has been issued by the LDEQ and can be found on their website. If you would like assistance with preparing your proposal, please email Ann Vail with Louisiana Clean Fuels [email protected]. To view the state's plan and for more information, visit the LDEQ's Volkswagen page. For more information or to comment on the state's plan, please email [email protected].

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    2019 DERA Clean Diesel National Grants Request for Applications

    Deadline Extended to March 26, 2019 (11:59 p.m. ET)

    Application packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than Wednesday, March 26, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (ET) to be considered for funding.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the deadline for submitting applications for the Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA). There are approximately $40 million in grant funds available to support projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of older diesel engines. Under this competition, EPA is anticipating making between 20 and 80 awards to eligible applicants.

    Eligible Entities

    Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, or port authorities, with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or have, as their principal purpose, the promotion of transportation or air quality.

    For more information about this grant and how to apply, please see the EPA Clean Diesel page.

    Source: US EPA


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    Energy Department Announces Opening of Battery Recycling Center at Argonne National Lab

    Original article from the Department of Energy

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In celebration of National Battery Day on February 18th, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Daniel Simmons announced the opening of a Battery Recycling Center at Argonne National Laboratory. Aiming to reclaim and recycle critical materials (e.g., cobalt and lithium) from lithium-based battery technology, this recycling center focuses on cost-effective recycling processes to recover as much economic value as possible from spent lithium-ion batteries.

    “Partnering with the private sector, National Laboratories, and universities, the Battery Recycling Prize and R&D Center will develop innovative technologies that recover and use recycled materials,” said Simmons. “These efforts will reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, strengthening America’s economic growth and energy security.”

    Also announced today is the opening of the Energy Department’s Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize. Previously announced by Secretary Perry, the prize encourages American entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions to collecting, storing, and transporting discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling. It will award cash prizes totaling $5.5 million to contestants in three progressive phases designed to accelerate the development of solutions from concept to prototype. For additional information about the prize, visit AmericanMadeChallenges.org/BatteryRecycling.

    The goal of the Recycling Center and Battery Recycling Prize is to develop technologies to profitably capture 90% of all lithium-based battery technologies in the United States and recover 90% of the key materials from the collected batteries. Currently, lithium-ion batteries are collected and recycled at a rate of less than 5%.

    Commercially released in 1991, lithium-ion batteries were initially used in individual portable devices. Lithium-ion batteries can now be found in laptops, mobile phones, electric vehicles, energy storage devices, and a variety of defense applications. This work supports the Department’s goal of providing consumers with a range of transportation and energy storage options that are affordable, reliable, and secure.


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