Ohio EPA is inviting public comment on a draft plan to invest $75 million over the next 10 years to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution from transportation. Funding will come from ollars allocated to Ohio from the Volkswagon Mitigation Trust Fund. Three regional public information sessions are scheduleds from January 2018 to explain how the plan was developed and to answer questions. Sessions will be held at the following locations:
- Thursday, January 11, (10a.m. to noon) Auditorium, Ohio Department of Transportation, 1980 West Broad Street, Columbus
- Thursday, January 18, (1 p.m. to 3 p.mp) Estabrook Recreation Center, 4125 FOlton, Cleveland
- Monday, January 22, (10 a.m. to noon) Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Government (OKI), 720 Est Pete Rose Way, Suite 420, Cincinnati. Directions to OKI
In 2016, the United States and California sued Volkswagon and associated companies, alleging that VW installed defeat devices on certain vehicles (model 2009- 2016). The devices activated during emissions testing made vehicles appear compliant with the law, when in fact, during on-road operatin, the vehicles emitted none to 40 times tha allwable amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a harmfull air pollutant. A settlement files with the federal court allocated funds to states based on the number of vehicles with the defeat devices that were registered in each state. The trust agreement requires each state to develop a plan-explaining how funding will be allocated amoung 10 allowable uses that can reduce NOx emissions and offset damages. Eligible projects include replacement or engine repowers of the following: agency diesel trucks, school/shuttle/transit buses, ferries/tugboats; switcher locomotives, airport ground support equipment, and forklifts and cargo handling equipment in ports. Funds may also be used to install shorepower for ocean-going vessals in Great lakes ports, and charging or fueling units for light duty zero emission vehicles.
Ohio EPA has posted the draft beneficiary mitgation plan on the Office of Environmnnetal Education web page and will accept written comments on the plan through 5 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2018. Comments may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (Plkease include VW Comment in the subject line.) Written comments may also be mailed to Carolyn Watkins, Ohio EPA- OEE, P. O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049, or hand delivered to Ohio EPA headqarters, 50 W. Town Street, Suite 700, Columbus, OH 43215.