Posted in | Energy Efficiency

Ohio EPA Chooses to Maximize Air Quality Benefits and Bring More Clean Air to Communities

Nationwide, nearly $3 billion in funds set aside nationwide as part of the 2015 Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust settlement are being heavily invested in the new generation of clean technologies, including in Ohio where 81 percent of the third round of funding disbursements will replace trucks, transit and school buses with new technology diesel engines, according to analysis by the Diesel Technology Forum.   

“In this action, by investing in new technology diesel engines, Ohio EPA has chosen to maximize air quality benefits and bring more clean air faster to communities most in need of emission reductions,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the educational not-for-profit Diesel Technology Forum.  

“The fact that 81 percent of projects were awarded to a diesel option demonstrates that diesel is still the preferred technology best able to meet the wide-ranging demands of the trucking industry, despite higher grant award eligibility for zero-emission solutions like battery electric trucks and buses. 

A widely available near-zero emissions diesel option going into service today is a smart investment that values proven near term benefits over less available zero emissions solutions.”

The principal purpose of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust is to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from trucks, buses and off-road equipment to offset the emission from non-compliant Volkswagen vehicles on the road between 2010 and 2015.

Investments in new diesel technology are a highly cost-effective and available solution to reduce NOx emissions and maximize air quality benefits in communities with poor air quality.

Ohio EPA is ahead of the curve by choosing cost-effective projects to maximize clean air benefits,” said Schaeffer. “Nationwide, 71 percent of projects awarded as of August 2020 funded a new cost-effective diesel truck, bus, piece of off-road equipment or diesel engine.  81 percent of Ohio EPA’s third round of Trust projects incentivized the introduction of new near-zero emissions diesel option.

“With limited VW trust dollars provided to the states, near-zero emissions diesel technology comes with a far lower price tag and a fueling infrastructure that already exists, meaning more funds available to replace a greater number of older and higher emitting vehicles and equipment and deliver the greatest amount of emission reductions for a fixed investment.

“Since 2010, a new generation of diesel technology has become the standard for heavy-duty vehicles, delivering reductions of 98 percent of emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide.  Replacing older and higher emitting trucks and buses today with these near-zero emissions diesel options will pay large air quality benefits directly to the most sensitive communities where these vehicles operate, and do so immediately.”


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