Governor Pete Ricketts has designated the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) to administer funds allocated to the state from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. NDEQ will now begin seeking input from the public on the development of a plan to best use these funds to benefit Nebraska. Nebraska is expected to receive approximately $12.25 million from the VW Trust.
As the state’s designated lead agency, NDEQ will establish a public process to develop a plan to fund projects across the state. The state’s plan will be submitted to the court-appointed Trustee of the settlement for approval.
“We intend to develop a plan that will effectively direct our share of the settlement funds to improve Nebraska’s air quality and support local projects,” NDEQ Director Jim Macy said. “Public input is an important component of this plan development, and NDEQ will be inviting public comments and will hold meetings to promote public involvement.”
The settlement with VW establishes a list of the types of projects available for the states’ settlement funds, and the states’ plans will describe the options they intend to pursue. Some examples of the eligible projects for funding include:
- Replacing older diesel vehicles or their engines with cleaner diesel or alternative fuel, hybrid or all-electric vehicles or engines. This includes vehicles such as school buses, transit buses, medium and large local freight trucks, garbage trucks and railroad freight switcher locomotives.
- All-electric replacement of airport ground support equipment and forklifts.
- Recharging equipment for zero-emission vehicles, including all-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
- Matching funds for projects under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, which is an EPA-funded program that is administered by NDEQ.
For more information about Nebraska’s Volkswagen Mitigation Funds, go to http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirVW. Or, to electronically submit comments related to the development of a Nebraska plan, go to https://ecmp.nebraska.gov/DEQ-VW/.