Dory Larsen | October 14, 2019 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Florida

On October 8, 2019, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) launched its Final Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, outlining how at Florida’s $166 million portion in Volkswagen Dieselgate funds will probably be spent. Similar to how the funds had been allotted in the preliminary draft, this announcement outlines the three eligible mitigation actions:

  1. Bus Replacement Initiative Request for Information (RFI) – 70%, or $116.4 million for faculty, transit, and shuttle bus replacements;
  2. Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Initiative RFI – Maximum allowed 15%, or $24.9 million for EV set up; and
  3. Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Initiative RFI – 15%, or $24.9 million, for continued administration of the Environmental Protection Agency’s DERA State Grant Program.

The general aim is to enhance air high quality and mitigate the impacts of the air pollution brought on by Volkswagen’s autos. Using these funds to transition polluting diesel buses to electrical ones and growing the construct-out of the electrical automobile charging community are two crucial steps in direction of that aim and we’re happy to see that Florida seems to be taking the required steps to implement them. 

Funding Opportunity: Electric School Bus Project – Initial Phase

In the preliminary part, DEP is making obtainable $5 million {dollars} to switch previous diesel faculty buses with electrical faculty buses which is a step in the best route. Florida public faculty districts could apply for as much as 100% value-reimbursement from DEP for the alternative of 2009 or older diesel faculty buses with new electrical battery-powered faculty buses and related charging infrastructure, together with the prices to put in the infrastructure. Funding will probably be supplied on a primary-come, first-served foundation, and faculty districts inside an Air Quality Priority Area designated in the Mitigation Plan are eligible for this preliminary part. It will assist decide finest practices. 

Interested faculty districts are inspired to fill out the worksheet, and submit by way of e-mail to VWMitigation@FloridaDEP.gov. Projects will probably be prioritized by discount of emissions, so you will need to fill the worksheet in as precisely as doable in order that DEP can calculate these estimated emission reductions. 

Requests for Information

In addition to publishing the Final Plan and requesting functions for School Bus Projects (Initial Phase), DEP issued three separate Requests for Information (RFI) to deal with the three elements of the plan. The RFIs are usually not functions for funding, fairly they’re a option to develop the method for figuring out and figuring out funding for future tasks. The three RFIs can be found for a interval of 30 days and expire on November 7, 2019, at 5:00 PM, E.T. 

School, Transit and Shuttle Bus RFI

The bus RFI seeks to tell future bus tasks. This RFI will assist decide what companies, faculty districts, transit authorities, cities and counties have an interest in submitting future tasks and the place throughout the state the curiosity is biggest. All events are inspired to take part by finishing the RFI which is able to assist inform the scope and timeline for upcoming funding alternatives. For extra data or to start the RFI, click here.

Light-Duty Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure 

DEP is requesting information from these events (each governmental and non-governmental) who’re in putting in charging infrastructure. Like with the varsity bus RFI, participation doesn’t assure funding nor does lack of participation preclude a project from being chosen in the long run. The RFI is designed to assist information future tasks and set up a timeline for tasks. DEP has established most value-share quantities and will set the precise value-share after the RFI has closed. 

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act – DERA
The third RFI pertains to changing eligible diesel engines with extra environment friendly diesel autos. While bus replacements do qualify below DERA, DEP will deal with funding bus tasks by means of the devoted bus mitigation motion first. The RFI for the DERA tasks might be accessed here.  

SACE is happy that Governor DeSantis has chosen to spotlight the significance of electrification efforts in his statement concerning the DEP Final Mitigation Plan announcement:

“My administration is committed to making smart investments to help improve our state’s air quality long-term,” stated Governor DeSantis. “This funding will allow us to focus on projects that will reduce harmful emissions, help modernize school and transit bus fleets, and provide access to charging stations in our state as electric vehicle usage continues to increase.”

Although Florida was the final state in the union to launch a Draft Beneficiary Mitigation plan, it appears determination-makers right here have been weighing what different states have completed properly and listened to suggestions indicating Floridians have a transparent desire for electrification in order to create a closing plan that may outcome in essentially the most decreased air pollution and drive us into the long run. To learn extra concerning the plan go to the DEP’s Diesel Mitigation Program’s webpage, here.

Tampa Bay Clean Cities Coalition in conjunction with different state Clean Cities Coalitions and Florida DEP will host a webinar on the State of Florida’s Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (VW) on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, from 12 to 1 pm (ET). To be part of the webcast: https://cutr.adobeconnect.com/cutrwebcast/ OR to all in Toll-free: (800) 832-0736 | Room Number: 6889609#. For these unable to attend, the webinar will probably be recorded and obtainable at www.cutr.usf.edu. Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition has a page devoted to the VW Settlement if you’re in studying extra.

Please e-mail questions concerning the VW Settlement course of to Dory Larsen at SACE.  To study extra about SACE’s electrical transportation work please go to electrifythesouth.org.

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