Alabama’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan is the result of a collaborative process consisting of a series of stakeholder meetings, written surveys, information and listening sessions, a public hearing, and a public comment period beginning in March 2018 through February 2019. Alabama’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan summarizes how funds from the Environmental Mitigation Trust will be allocated to fund projects for on-road heavy duty vehicles, non-road equipment, locomotives, commercial marine vessels, and light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.
Read the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan below:
Written comments received during ADECA’s public comment period for the Draft Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Beneficiary Mitigation Plan can be found here:
Public Information and Outreach
Public Information and Listening Sessions were held throughout the state during March and April at the following locations: Decatur, Bessemer, Montgomery, Bay Minette, and Dothan. The presentation from these sessions is posted below. Written questions and answers from the sessions may be viewed in the FAQ below.
Submissions from a public participation survey and additional comments from the public were accepted through May 9, 2018. Information gathered from these efforts were evaluated and used to help direct the development of the VW Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for the State of Alabama.
Public Input FAQ
Timing for completion of the draft Mitigation Plan is dependent on the volume and type of input received; however, we are hopeful to have a viable draft in the third or fourth quarter of 2018. A public hearing will be held before submission.
The State’s Mitigation Plan must be submitted and approved prior to funding. Once this has been completed, we will request proposals for projects dependent upon the mitigation actions selected for the plan.
Beneficiaries may submit requests for Eligible Mitigation Action funding at any time, except for the first funding request which must be at least 30 days after the mitigation plan is submitted, by filing with the Trustee a Beneficiary Eligible Mitigation Action Certification form (Appendix D-4), containing each of the certifications required by the Trust Agreement. Due to these requirements, ADECA will need to rate and score proposals to ensure each of these certifications are met prior to funding individual projects. Awardees will be required to provide all applicable certifications or reporting requirements to ADECA.
(Trust Agreement, Paragraph 5.2)
Distribution of the funds will be determined after evaluation of public input and other relevant considerations.
Plan development is currently in process. There are no hard dates for when the plan will be completed and applications accepted. Please check the timeline on the website for updates as we move through the process.
The consent decree does not directly address this. A determination will be made prior to release of the request for applications. Our current thinking on the matter is that anything permanently attached to the vehicle when purchased would be eligible but after-market equipment would not.
No, distribution of the funds will be determined after evaluation of public input and other considerations.
No, the referenced language is quoted directly from the consent decree. We do not have the authority to make changes to these requirements.
No, the consent decree requires that all replaced vehicles be scrapped.
If the replacement of medium/heavy duty vehicles is chosen as an eligible mitigation action in the Alabama Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, the applicant would need to provide information on estimated hours in service and potential NOx reductions to be considered for funding.
New trucks can only be purchased as a replacement for existing trucks with the requirement that the old trucks must be scrapped. Funds cannot be used to expand fleets.
No, the only infrastructure costs eligible for funding with mitigation funds are those for all-electric vehicle charging and hydrogen dispensing equipment for light duty hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
These time frames have not yet been determined, but ample time will be given for application preparation. The time-period for evaluation of applications will be dependent on the volume of applications received; however, efforts will be made to complete the process in as timely a manner as possible.
Distribution of funds will be determined after evaluating public input and other relevant considerations. It is unlikely that funds will be equally distributed geographically due to required considerations such as impact on areas bearing a disproportionate share of air pollution.
Parameters for expenditure of settlement funds do not include an education component; however, this is something that we at ADECA can explore as a potential future project utilizing other resources.
States may request up to 1/3 of their allocation during the first year of the settlement and up to 2/3 of the allocation during the first two years. We are currently in the first year. Although we do not yet have a firm timeframe for the application and award process here in Alabama, it is anticipated that the first awards will likely be made fourth quarter of 2018 or first quarter 2019.
The only current air quality non-attainment area in Alabama is Troy (for lead). There are no non-attainment areas in the state for NOx. A GIS based emissions map for Alabama can be found here.
The cost to repower a school bus depends on the type and size of the bus and the repower option chosen.
Yes. The consent decree allows states to revise mitigation plans at any time by providing plan updates to the Trustee.
That is one possible definition for “local.” The term “local” will be defined in our planning process. We are asking for public input, so please submit your suggestion in our online survey.
Technology employed must directly reduce emissions. Eligible mitigation actions are limited to those specifically listed in the consent decree.
At this point, ADECA is interested in allocating up to the allowable 15% of funds for zero emission vehicle supply equipment. However, we would like to hear the public’s opinion on this possibility. The final decision on eligible mitigation actions will be made after a careful evaluation of public input and other relevant considerations.
All possibilities that fit in the eligible mitigation actions categories outlined in the consent decree are being considered. We are very interested in opportunities to leverage other funding sources.
There are currently no hard dates for when the plan will be completed and applications accepted. Public comments are being accepted through May 9. Public input evaluation and plan development will begin immediately afterward. Please check the timeline on the website for updates as we move through the process.
Eligible mitigation actions include support for all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure only.
No. Vehicles made after 2009 employ more effective emissions controls, so replacement of these newer vehicles would not produce the desired reductions in emissions.
There are currently no hard dates for when the final plan will be completed. Public comments are being accepted through May 9. Public input evaluation and plan development will begin immediately afterward. Our unofficial goal is to have a final plan in place by the third or fourth quarter of 2018.
This requirement is not specifically stated in the consent decree. However, the state has the discretion to place restrictions such as this in considering eligible measures for the application process. It is likely that we will adopt this restriction, because if a vehicle is not being used, there would be no emissions reductions if replaced or repowered.
A method for calculating “bang for the buck” has not been officially determined; however, we are particularly interested in getting the biggest impact from the dollars spent. Although the primary goal for the funds is NOx emissions, impacts also include other factors such as benefits to vulnerable populations, economic development, and energy assurance.
Application and reporting requirements will be determined during the planning process. We appreciate the suggestion and will take this under consideration.
If specified as a focus area in the Alabama Mitigation Plan, a municipality in Alabama would be eligible to install a plug-in EV facility for public/private use on city-owned property. Charging stations for light duty vehicles would be covered under the Light-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment category; however, if the municipality repowers or replaces vehicles under other categories (trucks or buses) with all-electric options, charging infrastructure to support those vehicles would be covered under the same category as the vehicle replacement or repower.
Outside of the guidance given in the consent decree, specific determining factors for project eligibility have not yet been determined. It is likely that factors such as air quality in the area will be weighted in the evaluation criteria, for example projects located in areas with heavier air pollution would be scored higher for that specific criteria than projects located in areas with less pollution.
No, the model year for vehicles eligible for replacement will not change over time.
Eligible mitigation actions included in the Final Plan will be determined by careful evaluation of public input and other relevant considerations. Eligible mitigation actions could include all allowable categories or only a few.
First, submit a comment through one of our public input portals suggesting that school bus replacement/repower be included in the Alabama Mitigation Plan. If this category is then included in the Plan, apply for funding when a request for applications is issued.
The information about the DERA Option is taken directly from Appendix D-2 which is an Appendix to the Environmental Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries and can be found through a link on the “Resources” page of our website.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
No, the eligible mitigation action categories do not address generation/refining of alternative fuels. However, it is possible that the mitigation action categories involving all-electric charging infrastructure could include integration of solar generation for charging purposes. This option will be considered during our planning process.
Yes. Applications have not yet been developed but will definitely require project cost estimates.
The state will require funding recipients to measure/demonstrate and report NOx reductions and project impact and provide information on methods used to calculate these benefits.
The Trust Agreement does not directly specify that charging stations be grid connected, except for eligible action item #5, Oceangoing Vessels Shorepower. Storage units that are a part of charging infrastructure are also not directly addressed in the Trust Agreement. We will consider the inclusion of storage units and make a determination on eligibility during our planning process.
Medium-duty trucks (class 4-7) may be replaced, including gas burners. No light duty vehicles are eligible for replacement. Please note that although the vehicle being replaced may be gasoline powered, all replacement vehicles must be new diesel, alternative fueled, or all-electric.
Yes, if the charging station is funded under Eligible Mitigation Action #9, Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment. This is not necessarily the case if the infrastructure is funded under one of the other mitigation action categories to support vehicles repowered or replaced.
Yes, the purpose of the mitigation actions is to reduce emissions so it is important that the vehicles being replaced be rendered inoperable.
Proof of scrappage will be required but once the motor is drilled and the frame cut, it would seem that other unrelated parts would be allowable to offer for sale. This is something we will consider and address during the planning process.
This is not directly addressed in the Trust Agreement but will likely be a requirement of the Alabama Plan.
Although not directly addressed in the Trust Agreement, eligibility for integration of solar generation for charging infrastructure will be considered during our planning process.
No, there will be no retroactive funding.
No, this limit is set by the Trust Agreement.
No, using 15% of the funds for infrastructure is optional, as are all of the other eligible mitigation actions. A determination of which actions to include in the Alabama Plan will be made after a careful evaluation of public input and other considerations.
Generally, those individuals more susceptible to the harmful effects of air pollution (such as children, people with certain health issues, those living in heavy traffic areas, etc.) are considered to be “vulnerable populations”. Public input on how to identify these populations and how to measure benefits to vulnerable populations is welcomed. This will be more clearly defined and determined during our planning process.
Reducing NOx is the primary purpose of the environmental mitigation funds allocated through the settlement to the states to mitigate the damage to air quality caused by the VW infraction. Several different calculators are available to assist with evaluation of emission reductions. A listing of some of these may be accessed through a link on our website.
Specific metrics to measure economic development potential and return on investment have not been developed. Suggestions from the public are welcome.
The VW Settlement funds are not federal. Our office is not aware of any federal highway and federal transit regulations impacting the funds; however, it is recommended that you contact these federal agencies directly with any questions in this area.
Yes, ADECA has been designated by Governor Ivey to handle all matters related to the administration of the VW Settlement funds in Alabama.
No, the replacement of stationary diesel generators is not included as an eligible mitigation action in the Trust Agreement.
ADECA was not involved in determining eligible mitigation actions under the Trust Agreement and has no information on the reason certain fueling infrastructure was not included.
No, eligible model years for truck replacement/repower have been set by the Trust Agreement to be 1992 – 2009. ADECA must abide by the terms of the Trust Agreement and does not have the authority to make changes.
Eligible Mitigation Actions are specified in the Trust Agreement and listed here. Public input and other considerations will determine which of these eligible project types will be included in the Alabama Mitigation Plan. Certain mass transit options are listed as eligible mitigation actions in the Trust Agreement; however, bike lanes are not.
Information on vehicle buyback and modifications for consumers can be found at www.vwcourtsettlement.com/en/. This portion of the VW Settlement is not administered by the state of Alabama.
Two types of projects involving marine vessels are included in the listing of eligible mitigation actions under the VW Settlement Trust Agreement: Ferries/Tugs and Ocean-Going Vessels Shorepower. If you would like to see these types of projects funded with VW Mitigation Action funds in Alabama, please submit your comments through our VW Settlement email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. After careful evaluation of public input and other relevant considerations, a Mitigation Action Plan for Alabama will be developed and a request for applications will be released. Please stay updated on our progress by visiting our website, www.adeca.alabama.gov/vwsettlement.
Alabama will receive a total of $25,480,968 from the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust.
A Beneficiary Mitigation Plan will be developed to determine how the funds will be spent in Alabama. Information on the planning process and specific plan requirements may be found by visiting www.adeca.alabama.gov/vwsettlement.
The Consent Decree and Trust Agreement allow for up to 15% of Mitigation Trust Funds to be spent for light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment. Details can be found here.
States have up to 10 years to spend 80% of their allocation and up to 15 years to spend 100% of their allocation.
The cost of scrap removal will be the responsibility of the owner.
ADECA is aware of no available funding source for scrapping equipment.
Any cost incurred in scrapping of equipment will be the responsibility of the entity receiving the funds.
This issue is currently being researched. Information on equipment inventory and disposal requirements will be provided during the application process.
Recipient administrative expenses are not expected to be considered as eligible for funding under the Alabama Mitigation Plan; however, a final determination of this issue will be made after careful evaluation of public input.
Standardized documentation requirements will be developed during the planning process and fully explained prior to a request for applications.
Verification of scrappage will be required; however, specific procedures have not yet been determined.
Eligible vehicles may be replaced or repowered with any new diesel or alternate fueled (e.g., CNG, propane, hybrid) engine.
The purpose of the Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund is to mitigate damage to air quality and the environment caused by the VW infractions. Beneficiaries are required to consider areas that bear a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden when developing mitigation plans.
The settlement does not provide funds for monitoring air quality; however, air quality impact estimates will be required as part of the application process.
This is not specifically addressed in the Trust Agreement. A determination on the issue will be made during the planning process.
Entities replacing equipment will be required to follow standard procurement procedures and laws applicable to their organization.
No, the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement specifically states that to be eligible for repower or replacement, freight switcher locomotives must operate 1,000 or more hours per year.
Off-road diesel vehicles like backhoes and tractors may be eligible for funding under the DERA Option only.
Ending a contract employing diesel buses and replacing it with the purchase of new alternative fueled buses would not, in itself, qualify for funding through the VW settlement. To be eligible for VW Settlement funds to purchase new alternative fueled buses, old diesel buses be scrapped.
The Trust Agreement defines “freight switcher” as a locomotive that moves rail cars around a rail yard as compared to a line-haul engine that moves freight long distances. All-electric options are eligible for funding under this mitigation action category.