Zero Emission Supply Equipment (ZEV) Included in TCEQ Proposed Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Texas
On August 8th, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) released a draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Texas for public review and comment, prior to the TCEQ issuing a final plan. This plan is proposed in accordance with the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries (Trust Agreement) that resulted from litigation between Volkswagen (VW) and its related entities and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State of California.
The proposed plan is a culmination of over a year’s worth of work by the TCEQ and Governor Greg Abbott’s Office. According to the settlement and trust administrator, there are ten items on which the State of Texas may allocate their allotment. Each state’s share of the VW Trust is based upon the number of diesel Volkswagen vehicles were sold in each state. Texas is to receive the second largest allotment.
One of the most innovative proposals includes statewide implementation and allocation of up to 15% (approximately $31.4 million) of the funds for light-duty zero emission vehicle (ZEV) supply equipment. The statewide funding will help establish additional availability of charging or refueling infrastructure, so vehicles can travel longer distances and in a greater number of areas within the state. It will also will help support the expected continued increase in use of ZEV and will include funding for electric charging stations along major transportation corridors in the state.
Funds for ZEV projects will be made available not only in certain metropolitan areas, but also to provide for electric vehicle charging or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle fueling along major transportation routes and in areas around the state including the installation infrastructure at public areas, workplaces, and multi-unit residences.
Under the proposed plan, funding may be prioritized for applicants that own the land and the facility at which the equipment will be installed and will have a vested interest in the use of the equipment, in order to maximize the long-term sustainability of the equipment.
Other areas of focus will be on replacing certain freight trucks, transit and school buses, airport support equipment, etc.
We applaud the hard work of TCEQ and the Governor’s Office. The TCEQ is currently accepting public comment on the Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Texas through October 8, 2018. Comments may be submitted by email to VWsettle@tceq.texas.gov.