ST. JOHN, INDIANA — South Shore Clean Cities and its members were awarded $8.9 million in Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund grants funds for 106 alternative fuel and electric vehicles and pieces of equipment as well as funds for a statewide electric vehicle campaign.
The Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Committee approved the 23 successful grant applications, which were written by South Shore Clean Cities for its members and itself, during a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
“South Shore Clean Cities was pleased to assist our members and partners with another round of successful grant applications for the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund program,” Carl Lisek, Shore Clean Cities Executive Director, said. “These transformational projects will build upon past successes and assist in reducing harmful ozone pollution from diesel vehicles and equipment throughout the state of Indiana.”
The awards will help to fund three electric and 74 propane school buses, six compressed natural gas transit buses, two electric refuse trucks, 18 compressed natural gas refuse trucks, one electric semi truck and two electric material handlers.
The projects span Porter, Lake, Tippecanoe, St. Joseph, Marion, Clark, LaPorte, Hancock, Floyd, Boone, Elkhart, Hendricks, Hamilton and Jasper counties. The awards represent 79% of the grants approved for funding.
Awardees include Scrap Metal Services, the City of Portage, the City of Hobart, Homewood Disposal, the City of Lafayette, South Bend Transpo, Bulkmatic, Wayne Township Schools, MSD of Lawrence Township, Warren Township Schools, School City of Hammond, Greater Clark County Schools, Lake Central School Corp., Michigan City Area Schools, Greenfield-Central Community School Corp., New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp., Zionsville Community Schools, Wa-Nee Community Schools, Avon Community School Corp., South Bend Community School Corp., School Town of Munster and Hamilton Southeastern Schools.
The Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Committee also awarded South Shore Clean Cities a five-year, $800,000 grant for outreach, education and marketing for the statewide electric vehicle charging network funded by the VW program. The DC fast charging network will be managed by the Indiana Utility Group through a grant awarded by the Committee earlier this year.
South Shore Clean Cities will partner with the Indiana Utility Group and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to provide outreach, education and marketing for the project.
“South Shore Clean Cities is excited to lead the way for electric vehicle expansion throughout the state through this project,” Lisek said. “We are thankful for the Committee’s support and look forward to working with all of the partners to build on our existing work by creating and managing a statewide campaign on the benefits of EVs and EV charging for the public and private sectors.”
Governor Eric J. Holcomb in October 2017 signed an executive order outlining steps to distribute Indiana’s $40.9 million portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund, which was formed as a result of a settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Volkswagen Corporation for its violation of the federal Clean Air Act.
The executive order established the 11-member Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Committee and named the Indiana Department of Environmental Management as the beneficiary of and the administrative agency for the trust fund.
Projects eligible for grant funds under the program must reduce NOx emissions from diesel-powered vehicles and equipment and include the replacement and repowering of existing diesel vehicles or equipment with cleaner alternatives serving the same purpose.
Indiana opted to implement the option to use the funding to support electric vehicle charging station development as well.