Governor Ivey has awarded nearly $5.8 million to nine public agencies and two businesses in the first allocation of funds the state received as part of a nationwide settlement against Volkswagen. See the entire press release.
The grant recipients will use the funds to buy or upgrade pollution-reducing equipment and vehicles. The aim is to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions to offset environmental damage from Volkswagen Group of America Inc.’s manipulation of emission tests.
Volkswagen was found in violation of the U.S. Clean Air Act in 2016 by installing software in about 590,000 vehicles which misled the amount of emissions the vehicles were emitting. As a result, the company agreed to a $2.9 billion nationwide settlement with some of those funds allocated to the states.
Alabama was awarded about $25 million in the settlement which will be allocated over the next 10 years. In the first round of grants, some recipients were awarded more than one grant.
“I commend the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for developing a fair and equitable plan for distributing these funds, and I am pleased to announce the first grants from this program,” Gov. Ivey said. “This settlement will result in safer and more efficient vehicles traveling Alabama’s roads and equipment operating in plants.”
ADECA’s Energy Division initiated the state’s plan and conducted multiple public hearings across the state to explain and obtain comments on the plan.
“I appreciate the confidence that Gov. Ivey has shown in ADECA through appointing our agency to handle the settlement funds,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “Our Energy Division worked long and hard to come up with a plan that meets the specifications of the settlement and benefits the state, and we are now pleased to award the first grants.”
Replacement vehicles and equipment will be powered by electricity, propane or cleaner-burning diesel fuel. Those awarded grants are (listed alphabetically):
Alabama Forestry Commission (Montgomery) – $128,800 to replace two medium-sized trucks.
Alabama Port Authority (Mobile)– $697,200 to repower one train locomotive.
Boaz Board of Education– $263,524 to replace four school buses.
Fort Payne Board of Education (Fort Payne) – $805,750 to replace four school buses.
Huntsville (City of) – $532,935 to replace nine trucks.
Huntsville (City of) – $356,750 to replace two dump trucks and a boom crane.
Mobile (City of) – $303,000 to replace a garbage truck.
Mobile (City of) – $124,667 to replace a truck.
Mobile County Board of Education (Mobile) – $2.16 million to replace 76 school buses.
Oakland Metal Buildings Inc. (Florence) – $111,365 to purchase an electric forklift to replace one that burned fuel.
Sysco Central Alabama Inc. (Shelby County) – $315,000 to replace 15 short-haul trucks.
ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation, and recreation.
Contact Jim Plott or Mike Presley