The Baker-Polito Administration announced today (12/20) that Amherst will receive $140,437. to purchase a diesel/hybrid roll-off waste collection truck as part of the State’s share of the Volkswagen Court Settlement. The truck will be used by the DPW for daily runs from the transfer station to the waste handling facility. The Town will provide a match of around $40,000. According to Town Manager, Paul Bockelman, the vehicle will effect a substantial reduction in the Town’s use of carbon-based fuels that are currently being used during these trips. The town had submitted requests for two large vehicles and were awarded one. Amherst’s grants was one of 98 projects funded in a $7.5 million disbursement.
The projects are part of the Massachusetts Volkswagen (VW) Open Solicitation Initiative that seeks to address air pollution that resulted from VW’s illegal tampering of vehicle emission control equipment. With these awards, the Commonwealth will help fund the purchase of electric vehicles, diesel-hybrid electric waste collection trucks, liquid-propane-gas school buses, cleaner-diesel trucks and ferry engines, and a marine shore-power installation. The funding announced today is a portion of the Commonwealth’s $75 million allotment under the Volkswagen (VW) emissions case settlement.
“Massachusetts is using its allocation from the VW settlement to aggressively expand clean-running electric vehicles into our communities, across the transportation sector,” said Governor Baker. “Through this grant program, many of the underserved populations in our state will now be able to enjoy the clean air benefits of electric vehicles.”
“Massachusetts continues to transform the state’s transportation system from a diesel-based sector to an electric one and, in doing so, is helping Massachusetts attain the aggressive emissions reduction goals set under the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said Martin Suuberg, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the agency responsible for distributing the grants.
As a result of the grants awarded, MassDEP estimates a reduction of 12.76 short tons per year of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 2,742 short tons per year of carbon dioxide. NOx contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter pollution, both of which are linked to short- and long-term respiratory and cardiovascular health effects. One of the primary components of NOx – nitrogen dioxide – also aggravates respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, and may contribute to childhood asthma development. Environmentally, NOx emissions contribute to global warming, acid rain formation, and detrimental nutrient overloading in waterways.
In addition to today’s funding, the Commonwealth is using the VW settlement to provide $11 million to support the purchase of eight new electric transit buses by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) and five new electric buses by the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authorities, as well as $5 million for the purchase and installation of light-duty electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to supplement the network of existing EVSE.
A second round of VW grants will open soon and Amherst is contemplating submitting a grant for an electric school bus and/or electric bus infrastructure.
Read the full press release here:
A complete list of the awards can be found here.