The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality invites public comment on the state’s plan to invest $67 million in Volkswagen Settlement funds. The Draft Phase 2 Mitigation plan focuses on efforts to reduce pollution impacts while incentivizing zero emission vehicles and increasing outreach to under-resourced communities.
The funds represent North Carolina’s share of the $2.9 billion federal settlement with Volkswagen due to its misrepresentation of diesel emission standards in certain vehicles. Governor Roy Cooper designated the Division of Air Quality as the lead agency to manage the project in November 2017. Wilmington Trust officially designed North Carolina as a State Beneficiary in January 2018.
In Phase 1 of the program, North Carolina awarded nearly $27 million to replace 111 school buses and 16 transit buses and to install 33 zero emission vehicle (ZEV) fast charging stations and 78 Level 2 charging stations across the state.
The Division of Air Quality held a series of public information sessions to explain the draft plan. Members of the public and entities interested in receiving funds for eligible projects are encouraged to review the recording and submit questions:
- 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesday, July 14: Western NC Region
- 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 14: Centralina/Triad Region-link to recorded webinar is here.
- 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesday, July 21: Triangle Region
- 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 21: Coastal NC Region
The Division of Air Quality will also hold a series of in-person public information sessions for counties eligible in the Historically Under-Resourced Counties Outreach Program. Additional meeting dates, locations and times will be posted on the DEQ Volkswagen Program webpage.
Comments may be submitted online via Microsoft Forms at https://bit.ly/3jMMu3i or emailed to daq_NCVWGrants@ncdenr.gov. Voicemail comments will also be accepted at 919-707-8429. All comments will be accepted until September 7, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Additional information regarding Phase 2 can be found on https://deq.nc.gov/vw-settlement.