We want to update you on some recent news related to the Volkswagen settlement. The state of Minnesota’s share of the Volkswagen emission settlement was $47 million. Gov. Mark Dayton designated the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to manage the settlement funds, which will be spent over 10 years on projects to offset the excess pollution from the violating vehicles.
After seeking input from stakeholders, which included MSBA (see letter from MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind), Minnesota’s plan is structured into three phases, so the MPCA can seek additional input and make changes as needed along the way.
The three phases are:
- Phase I: $11.75 million (25 percent of all funds) — 2018-19
- Phase II: $23.5 million (50 percent) — 2020-2023
- Phase III: $11.75 million (25 percent) — 2024-2027
The program would provide grants for the replacement of school buses up to $10,000 each, or $15,000 each for operators serving school districts where 40 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch. All Minnesota school bus operators including public and private schools are eligible.
It is important to note that the state’s ability to fund projects in each category at the target levels will depend on the applications received and interest by vehicle and equipment owners. The exact percentages may change based on the demand. The table above reflects the preferred investment scenario, but if they do not receive sufficient applications in a category, the MPCA could shift funds between the grant program proposal.
The application process for schools has not yet been completed since the MPCA is still in an open comment period. MSBA expects an application process will be developed and available in summer 2018.