Driving a Cleaner Illinois

Driving a Cleaner Illinois is the Illinois EPA’s grant program developed to distribute funding for various types of diesel emission reduction projects.  The Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program receives funding from a variety of sources, including the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Program, and Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. 

When a Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is available for applicants, it is posted to this page in addition to Illinois' Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) website.  Each NOFO will include the funding source and amounts, applicant and vehicle/equipment eligibility, and specific information on how and when to apply.  More information about each funding source may be found below and on the respective webpages listed in the Links section below.  Sign up for the Driving a Cleaner Illinois listserv to receive updates and notifications when a NOFO is available.

Current Notice of Funding Opportunities

 

​Application Deadline​Contact
DACI - Volkswagen Round 3 (Chicago Metro)August 9, 2021​epa.vwgrants@illinois.gov
DACI - Volkswagen Round 3 (Metro-East)August 9, 2021​epa.vwgrants@illinois.gov

Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program Funding Sources

Illinois EPA has a variety of funding sources for its Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program.  These funding sources are summarized below. Please periodically check this site or sign up for the listserv for “Current Notice of Funding Opportunities” regarding open application periods for these funds and select project types.

Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund

The VW Environmental Mitigation Trust was established by Appendix D of the VW Settlement because of Clean Air Act violations relating to installation of “defeat devices” in certain Volkswagen diesel vehicles.  Illinois’ initial allocation of funds is approximately $108 million.  The funds are to be used for projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in Illinois.

The Illinois EPA is revising its Beneficiary Mitigation Plan and is soliciting public comments on the revisions. Comments must be received by 5 PM CT on June 21, 2021. More information may be found on our VW Settlement webpage.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Funds

The purpose of the CMAQ program is to provide a funding source to state and local governments for transportation programs or projects that reduce congestion and improve air quality in areas that do not meet, or need to maintain compliance with, federal air quality standards. The Federal Highway Administration provides this funding to State Departments of Transportation. Through Intergovernmental Agreements, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) provides this funding to the Illinois EPA for ultimate granting to eligible applicants for eligible projects.

Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Funds

The purpose of the DERA State Clean Diesel Grant Program is to enable participating states to support grant, rebate, and loan programs to achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions.  Through this program, states enter into Cooperative Agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for administering their allocation of DERA funds for eligible project types. This funding is provided on a federal fiscal year basis.

Current Funding Availability for Driving a Cleaner Illinois

In accordance with GATA, Illinois EPA will provide a NOFO for open application periods and current funding availability for its Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program. Below are summaries of currently available funding along with links to the application materials.

Driving a Cleaner Illinois - Volkswagen

Up to $9,000,000 in Volkswagen funding is being made available for all-electric school buses operating in the Chicago and Metro-East non-attainment areas:

VW Round 3 (Chicago area): Up to $6.5 million for all-electric school buses in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Illinois EPA is accepting applications to replace old, diesel school buses with new all-electric school buses. Applicants may find the NOFO and all application materials below and also at Illinois’ GATA webpage. Applicants must pre-qualify prior to application submission. For further information, see the GATA section below as well at the GATA webpage.  Applications are due August 9, 2021. Applications should be signed, scanned and submitted to epa.vwgrants@illinois.gov by 5:00 pm CT August 9, 2021. Read all instructions as late, incomplete, or improperly submitted applications will be rejected without the opportunity to correct deficiencies.

Current Application Materials

Notice of Funding Opportunity

If you are having trouble opening the NOFO, your browser may be outdated. Please right-click the NOFO link and choose “save as,” then open the downloaded file with Acrobat Reader. If you would like a copy of the NOFO e-mailed to you, please email epa.vwgrants@illinois.gov or call 217-524-0546.

VW Round 3 (Metro-East): Up to $2.5 million for all-electric school buses in the Metro-East

Illinois EPA is accepting applications to replace old, diesel school buses with new all-electric school buses. Applicants may find the NOFO and all application materials below and also at Illinois’ GATA webpage. Applicants must pre-qualify prior to application submission. For further information, see the GATA section below as well at the GATA webpage.  Applications are due August 9, 2021. Applications should be signed, scanned and submitted to epa.vwgrants@illinois.gov by 5:00 pm CT August 9, 2021. Read all instructions as late, incomplete, or improperly submitted applications will be rejected without the opportunity to correct deficiencies.

Current Application Materials

Notice of Funding Opportunity

If you are having trouble opening the NOFO, your browser may be outdated. Please right-click the NOFO link and choose “save as,” then open the downloaded file with Acrobat Reader. If you would like a copy of the NOFO e-mailed to you, please email epa.vwgrants@illinois.gov or call 217-524-0546.

Driving a Cleaner Illinois - Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ)

​Illinois EPA does not have a current Notice of Funding Opportunity open for Driving a Cleaner Illinois - CMAQ.

Driving a Cleaner Illinois - Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)

​Illinois EPA does not have a current Notice of Funding Opportunity open for Driving a Cleaner Illinois - DERA.

Below are responses to common questions that the Illinois EPA received during the first round of Driving a Cleaner Illinois funding.

Frequently Asked Questions - DACI - VW Round 3 updated June 15, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions - DACI - VW Round 1

VW Round 3 - Funding Summary Sheet

Video of the May 16, 2019 Driving a Cleaner Illinois - VW Round 2 Webinar

Driving a Cleaner Illinois - Round 2 Webinar 

Contact - For Questions Regarding:

Driving a Cleaner Illinois - VW grants, please use this email address:  epa.vwgrants@illinois.gov

Driving a Cleaner Illinois - CMAQ grants, please use this email address:  epa.cmaqgrants@illinois.gov.

Driving a Cleaner Illinois - DERA grants, please use this email address:  epa.deragrants@illinois.gov.

Please enter your email into the following listserv form if you would like to receive future updates about the Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with a link that you will need to click to confirm addition of your name to the list.

 Documents and Links

Illinois EPA's VW Settlement page

U.S. EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) page

U.S. EPA's DERA State Program Information Guide

U.S. Department of Transportation CMAQ Program