Governor Phil Bryant designated almost ten million dollars to the Department of Environmental Quality for projects to reduce emissions.
The money comes from Mississippi’s share of the massive $2.7 billion Volkswagen Diesel Settlement. The auto manufacturer agreed to establish the fund after it was discovered they sold cars with “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests for diesel vehicles
“MDEQ has managed a successful Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program for many years that has reduced diesel emissions statewide. I am confident the agency will administer these funds with the best benefit for the state’s air quality and economy,” said Bryant.
The funds from the trust will be used to fun a variety of projects which will bring older engines into compliance under the Clean Air Act. These efforts stand to improve air quality in the state. Examples include:
· Class 8 local freight trucks and port trucks (large trucks)
· Class 4-8 school buses, shuttle buses, or transit buses
· Railway freight switchers
· Ferries and tugs
· Shorepower for ocean going vessels
· Class 4-7 local freight trucks (medium trucks)
· Airport ground support equipment
· Forklifts and post cargo handling equipment
· Supplementing the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program
Funds may be used for government and non-government owned mitigation projects.
MDEQ will be announcing public meetings for comment on how these funds will be used.