HELENA—The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is pleased to announce two new clean transportation funding opportunities. The grants are funded by the Volkswagen Settlement, which is intended to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide emissions that can contribute to unhealthy air.
Nearly half of Montana’s nitrogen oxide emissions come from sources such as cars, buses and trucks, according to Montana’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. Both grant programs will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions while providing economic investment opportunities throughout Montana communities.
The “Fast Charge Your Ride” grant aims to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions while also making it easier to travel across Montana in an electric vehicle. The grant helps businesses install direct current fast charging electric vehicle stations, known as Level Three. Stations will be installed along key travel corridors in Montana, such as Interstate 90, Interstate 15, US Highway 93 and US Highway 2. The grant also prioritizes key travel route connections such as Seeley Lake, Gardiner and West Yellowstone.
DEQ will host a webinar on Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. to provide additional information on the “Fast Charge Your Ride” grant and to answer questions. The webinar will be held via Zoom, accessible both online and by telephone.
“Fast Charge Your Ride” Grant Webinar
What: A remote webinar on the “Fast Charge Your Ride” grant held via Zoom.
When: Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, 11 a.m.
Where: Participants can attend the meeting via Zoom at: https://mt-gov.zoom.us/j/95881746869?pwd=cjRwSXhpZktUNmx0TWdqcHJXTDk4QT09
DEQ’s Montana Clean School Bus Program has also opened a grant for all school districts in Montana to replace diesel buses with battery-electric or certified low nitrogen oxide emission school buses. DEQ recently held a webinar for school district administrators interested in learning more about this grant opportunity. In addition to using funds from the Volkswagen Settlement, this program is supplemented by funding from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Montana received $12.6 million from the national Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Settlement funds. The funding for the grants comes from this settlement against Volkswagen concerning the use of devices installed in certain VW diesel cars sold between 2009-2016 that were intended to defeat emissions tests. These devices allowed the vehicles to emit up to 40 times the level of nitrogen oxide pollution allowed under the Clean Air Act. Replacing diesel vehicles with electric and alternative fuel options not only reduces nitrogen oxide emissions, but has the added benefit of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the transportation sector.
Applications for both grants are due Jan. 11, 2021. For additional details on the grant opportunities and eligibility, please visit: https://deq.mt.gov/Energy/transportation/VW-Settlement-Page