The draft plan for how the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) intends to spend Volkswagen settlement funding in Phase 2 (2020-2023) is now available on their website. Over the next four years, the agency will invest $23.5 million in projects that will reduce harmful air pollution and move Minnesota towards a cleaner transportation future.
In Phase 2, MPCA has earmarked 65% of funds to support the electrification of Minnesota’s transportation sector. MPCA grant programs will fund eligible electric vehicles (EVs) and invest the maximum allowed on EV charging stations under the terms of the settlement, including:
- $7 million for heavy-duty EVs
- $4.7 million for electric school buses
- $3.5 million for EV charging stations
MPCA will spend 90% of the EV charging station funds on an estimated 43 new direct current fast-charging stations along highway corridors in Greater Minnesota, which will expand the statewide EV charging network by more than 2400 miles.
Approximately $8.23 million (35% of Phase 2 funds) will fund cleaner heavy-duty on-road vehicles, heavy-duty off-road equipment, and school buses. These grant programs will continue our commitment to achieve substantial emissions reductions by replacing older, more polluting diesel-powered vehicles and equipment with newer, cleaner technology that uses a variety of fuel types
Here are just a few reasons Fresh Energy supports this plan:
- Transportation is the largest emitting sector of climate-change-causing pollution. It is essential to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels in order to meet the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals and fight climate change.
- Cleaner cars mean cleaner air. Every year, air pollution contributed to 2,000-4,000 deaths in Minnesota.
- Communities of color and low-income communities currently bear the brunt of negative health impacts from air pollution. Cleaning up emissions from transportation is an environmental justice issue.
MPCA Public Meeting Schedule for Comments and Feedback on Phase 2 of VW Settlement Funding:
December 4 | Duluth
MPCA Duluth office
525 Lake Avenue South, Suite 400, Duluth, MN 55802
December 9 | Saint Paul
MPCA Saint Paul office
520 Lafayette Road, Saint Paul, MN 55155
Also via WebEx (more information here)
December 9 | Minneapolis
MPCA Saint Paul office
Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) – Room 105
2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55411
December 12 | Rochester
Wood Lake Meeting Center, Cedar Room
210 Wood Lake Drive SE, Rochester, MN 55904
December 17 | Attend a webinar at MPCA offices in Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Marshall, or Mankato
Addresses available here: MPCA offices
You can also submit comments about this plan by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.