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The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) Division of Air Quality is now soliciting proposals for participation in the second and final phase of the NC Volkswagen Settlement Mitigation Program.

The agency expects to invest the remaining $67.9 million in settlement funds between 2022-2024. Of that amount, about $27 million is set aside specifically for Class 4-8 school buses. Replacements can be of any fuel type, although the NCDEQ is giving priority to electric battery vehicles. The rest covers shuttle and transit buses, as well as other government fleet vehicles.

The application deadline for the school bus program is June 6. Proposals will be evaluated in June and July, with projects selected and awards announced between July and August.

During this phase, the Division of Air Quality wants to give priority to 37 historically under-resourced counties. Public sector (state, county, or local government), tribal, non-profit organizations, and public-private partnerships are eligible to apply for the funding to replace buses and to install zero-emission vehicle charging stations.

“These funds are a big opportunity for advancing transportation electrification and other alternative fuels across the state,” said Heather Brutz of the NC Clean Energy Technology Center.

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