Final Plan Allocation
On December 7, 2018, the Department of Environmental Protection issued a final Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. The plan provides details on how the state plans to allocate the initial funding provided under the settlement. Decisions regarding future allocations will be announced later. Using the $23.5 million allocated in the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan’s first phase of funding, the Commonwealth will dedicate:
- $11 million to support the replacement of diesel transit buses with new electric buses at the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) (8 buses) and the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) (five buses);
- $5 million to supplement the network of existing electric vehicle supply equipment, with a focus on funding charging stations at workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, and publicly accessible sites; and
- $7.5 million to be made available for proposals that will be submitted in response to a VW Open Solicitation by MassDEP this year for eligible projects specified under the settlement agreement that reduce emissions from certain types of diesel vehicles, non-road equipment, and marine vessels.
Reopening of Comments
MassDEP in October 2019 issued a Draft Amendment to its December 2018 plan and is seeking public comment until 5:00 p.m. on November 4, 2019. Comments should be sent to email@example.com. The DEP’s notice indicates an intent to spend most of the available funding on electrification projects. The notice indicates that the goals for the plan are to help the state:
- Reduce greenhouse gas and other pollutant emissions in the transportation sector;
- Promote electrification of the State’s transportation network; and
- Foster equitable distribution of funding across Massachusetts by considering projects’ geographic locations and benefits to environmental justice communities.
Consistent with previous public comments received and with the December 2018 BMP, the Draft Amendment proposes additional funding of approximately $17.3 million for:
- $11 million in additional electric transit buses and
- Approximately $6.3 million for the purchase and installation of additional electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
These additions bring total planned spending to approximately $40.8 million of Massachusetts $75 million allocation:
- $22 million for electric transit buses;
- Approximately $11.3 million for the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Massachusetts; and
- $7.5 million allocated under the December 2018 BMP for other mitigation actions eligible under the settlement that would reduce emissions, promote electrification of the state’s transportation network, and serve environmental justice populations.