Submit comments today to Utah Division of Air Quality
Now through November 30, the Utah Division of Air Quality is accepting public comments to help the State of Utah develop a plan to use $35 million in funding from the Environmental Mitigation Trust that was set up as part of a settlement resulting from VW’s violations of the Clean Air Act. (Read more from our friends at SWEEP.)
As a condition of the settlement, states can only use this funding for specified investments that reduce local NOx emissions, including replacement or “repowering” of specific types of diesel vehicles and building out electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Note: this funding can’t be used to create incentives for EV passenger vehicles for the general public.
Utah Clean Energy encourages all Utahns to submit comments to help Utah DAQ formulate a plan that is bold and transformative, and helps Utah take steps toward zero emission transportation. Transportation electrification is a critical strategy to achieving a zero emissions transportation sector as more and more of our electricity is generated with renewable energy sources.
Things we’re recommending:
- DAQ should use the full 15% of its allocation to help expand Utah’s EV charging infrastructure. Why? Utah is part of an 8 state compact that is working to electrify over 5,000 miles along the main Interstates (I-15, I-70, I-80, and I-84). Utah needs the full 15% of funding (about $5.2 million) to help Utah succeed in its plan to electrify Utah’s highways! Both Colorado and Nevada already have draft plans that use their full 15% for EV charging.
- DAQ should prioritize funding that replaces existing diesel vehicles with electric vehicles, including heavy duty trucks, delivery trucks, transit buses, and school buses. Specifically, we suggest that the state allows and encourages vehicle replacement and repowering to encourage a shift to electric vehicles wherever electric options are available in the market. Electric transit buses, delivery vehicles, and even semi-trucks are becoming increasingly available, and should be encouraged through this unique funding opportunity!
- DAQ should allocate a modest, but sufficient amount of the funding to effectively administer this program, so as not to detract from its other important responsibilities. The state is allowed to use up to 15% to administer the program and we encourage at least 8% to 10%.