(Jackson, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) released an application package today for the funding of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions reduction projects. This funding opportunity is a reimbursement program for qualifying projects under the State of Mississippi Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program. The project submittal deadline is October 29, 2021.

MDEQ invites universities, private organizations, non-profit organizations, businesses, and any county, city, state, or other local government in Mississippi to submit applications to implement cost-effective and innovative projects to reduce NOx emissions.

The Volkswagen Diesel Settlement required VW to establish a $2.7 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund to be distributed among states to fund eligible mitigation projects to replace diesel emission sources with cleaner technology to reduce excess nitrogen oxide emissions. VW established the Mitigation Trust Fund in part to settle claims that it sold vehicles with “defeat devices” designed to cheat emissions tests. Mississippi has been allocated approximately $9.8 million to fund projects designed to reduce NOx emissions in the state.

The application package (which can be found here) outlines the process of applying for funding and information on the background of the program, the entities and projects eligible for funding as well as the required application content and procedures. The project selection process, a timeline of for administering the grant, and other details regarding project requirements are also included in this package.

 The list of eligible projects is predominantly focused on the reduction of diesel emissions which are a large contributor of NOx emissions. Reducing diesel emissions is currently one of the most important air quality challenges in Mississippi. Although more stringent emission standards have taken effect for new, heavy-duty, on-road and non-road engines, older diesel engines still in use will continue to emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter for years to come. These pollutants affect many areas of the state and hinder its ability to continue to comply with National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and they contribute to public health problems.

 MDEQ will award funds on a competitive basis and will only consider complete applications submitted by the submission deadline. A review committee consisting of MDEQ staff will review proposals and will assign points to each proposal based on criteria listed in the application package. Project proposals will be ranked according to the total points received.

More information can be found on the MDEQ Air Division’s webpage here.

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