HB 2007 (2019 legislative session) authorizes DEQ to fully disburse Oregon’s remaining Volkswagen Settlement funds. DEQ will complete a rulemaking for the grant program to specify application requirements, project selection criteria, and other requirements pursuant to the preferences included in statute. Estimated rulemaking timeline Oct. 2019 – late 2020. Estimated program launch early 2021.
Below is an excerpt from HB 2007 which defines the parameters with which DEQ will develop the grant program.
Subject to and consistent with ORS 468A.803 (8) and with the terms of the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement, any moneys received by the State of Oregon pursuant to the agreement that are deposited in the Clean Diesel Engine Fund under ORS 468A.801 must be used by the Department of Environmental Quality to award grants for the purpose of reducing nitrogen oxides emissions from diesel engines. To the extent authorized by the agreement, the department shall allocate moneys […] as follows:
- Awarded as grants for the purpose of reducing emissions from diesel engines; or
- Utilized by the department as the State of Oregon’s voluntary matching funds under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Program in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, 42 U.S.C. 16133, and for the purpose of awarding grants for reducing diesel particulate matter emissions from diesel engines.
In awarding grants pursuant to […] this section, the department shall give preference to projects that will:
- Support compliance with section 4 of this 2019 Act or with contract specifications or preferences related to emissions standards for diesel engines established by a public body, as defined in ORS 174.109;
- Be carried out by a grant applicant that is a disadvantaged business enterprise, a minority-owned business, a woman-owned business, a business that a service-disabled veteran owns or an emerging small business, as those terms are defined in ORS 200.005;
- Involve the replacement, repower or retrofit of one or more motor vehicles or pieces of equipment that have at least three years of remaining useful life at the time that the grant agreement is executed;
- Support the utilization of fuels for which regulated parties may generate credits under the clean fuels program adopted by rule by the Environmental Quality Commission under ORS 468A.266 (1)(b);
- Benefit owners and operators of heavy-duty trucks, if the fleet of the owner or operator includes only one heavy-duty truck and the heavy-duty truck is registered in Multnomah, Clackamas or Washington County;
- Benefit small fleets other than as described in paragraph (e) of this subsection;
- Involve the retrofit of concrete mixer trucks or trucks that are used for the transportation of aggregate; or
- Meet the criteria of any other preferences that the commission may establish by rule, if the department determines that the additional preferences are necessary to ensure that grant awards result in the reduction of emissions from diesel engines.