Grants given to nine Indiana companies to fight diesel emissions
Author: Andrew Miller
The Indiana Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund Committee awarded $3,361,120 to nine companies in Indiana to help reduce diesel emissions in its latest round of funding on Feb. 24. In 2016, the U.S. government sued Volkswagen after finding the company used sophisticated software to cheat regulatory emissions tests, violating federal law. The settlement required Volkswagen to pay a $2.7 billion fine. From this fine, states were given a certain amount of money to spend to reduce diesel emissions. In total, Indiana received $41 million to allocate from this settlement. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management oversees the allocation of funds to industrial companies for the purpose of diesel emission reduction. Several rounds of funding have already been sent to companies that applied. Roughly 95% of the initial $41 million has been awarded to the industrial company applicants so far, Barry Sneed, public information officer for IDEM, said in an email. Around two-thirds of the companies applying have received funding. Sneed said in the email that the funding thus far has been focused on replacing diesel-powered equipment with cleaner diesel, natural gas or electric models. Two-hundred school buses and 20 transit buses running on diesel were able to be replaced by either electric or compressed natural gas-based models.