DEQ Awards $30 Million for Clean School Bus Replacements

From the N.C. Volkswagen Settlement Program, $30.1 million will be distributed by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to fund 161 new school buses across the state, with the majority of the funding going toward new all-electric school buses. Some of the dirtiest diesel buses in the state, over 30 years old emitting more than 20 times the nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter of today’s clean buses, will be replaced by low- or zero-emission school buses. 

More than $16.5 million will fund 43 electric school buses and associated charging infrastructure, providing a 100% reduction in diesel emissions and greenhouse gases for these projects. Grant recipients span across 84 counties and include public schools, charter schools, and a tribal school. 130 of the buses will be placed in rural counties, 80 of which were awarded to schools in the 37 historically under-resourced counties that DEQ targeted for additional outreach and support during the application process.

Learn more about other funding programs and the full list of awarded projects on the DEQ website. 

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VW Settlement First Funding Awards Announced

Of the $68 million available to North Carolina in Phase 2 of the NC Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Program, $225,000 in rebates has been announced. This funding is the first to be awarded. Additional rebates are still available to qualifying applicants.

Rebates announced will help fund 59 new Level 2 charging ports at 23 sites across the state. The DEQ is awarding Level 2 Public Access rebates to qualifying applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the full $1,070,877 is allocated for this program. Local government agencies, nonprofits, and private businesses are all eligible to apply. 

Currently, funds are still available and applications are still open. View the webpage here for more information.

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Region of Excellence Awards Clean Cities Category Now Open

The nomination period for the Centralina Region of Excellence Awards is here! The awards are opportunities to recognize and celebrate how local governments and partners expand opportunity and improve quality of life across our region. As partner organizations in the Centralina region, we encourage you to submit nominations for project, programs, or plans that were initiated or completed during the past calendar year. 

The recipient of this award is a stakeholder organization that reduced the consumption of traditional transportation and fossil fuels by recognizing the environmental, economic and national security benefits. The awardee demonstrates leadership and excellence in clean transportation options, emerging mobility initiatives and alternative fuel activities. These activities include but are not limited to purchasing alternative fuel and/or fuel-efficient vehicles, using alternative fuels in their fleet, implementing idle reduction policies, improving fleet fuel economy, partnering with fuel providers to expand alternative fuel availability or generally supporting and participating current Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition/Clean Cities programs and priorities. The Clean Cities award has its own unique evaluation process and judges. Visit the Centralina Region of Excellence award page for more information!

Pictured: Chris Davis, Operations Supervisor & Fleet Manager Charlotte Department of Transportation

The 2021 Clean Cities Award was presented to the Charlotte Department of Transportation for implementing fleet improvements as part of the Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP). The SEAP listed several goals including participation in Duke Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan, the development of three new EV charging locations that will provide 13 additional chargers through infastructure installations, the introduction of an electric street sweeper and installing up to 874.4 kilowatts of solar capacity that would generate 1M kwh of zero-carbon electricity, a projected savings of approximately $3 million over the life of the solar units. Interested in learning more about the Charlotte DOT award? Contact csoriano@centralina.org to get in touch with Charlotte award contacts. 

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