The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) has been designated as the lead agency to administer funds allocated to Illinois from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust (Trust). The Trust was established by Appendix D of the VW Settlement (Settlement). Illinois’ initial allocation of funds is approximately $108 million to be used to fund mobile source diesel emission reduction projects. The funds are to be used for projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides in Illinois. As directed by the Trust Agreement, the Illinois EPA has developed a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan which addresses Illinois’ planned use of the funds. The Illinois EPA held a 93 day public comment period to solicit public input on the draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. In response to that input, Illinois EPA made changes to both the funding categories and funding allocations. The Illinois EPA submitted the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan to the Trustee on August 28, 2018.
Overview of the VW Settlement
Volkswagen AG and certain of its North American subsidiaries (collectively "VW") have entered into a multi-billion dollar settlement with the federal government for violations of the Clean Air Act. VW publicly admitted to installing "defeat devices" in certain diesel vehicles. The "defeat devices" were software installed which caused the vehicles to operate differently during emission testing compared to normal operation, circumventing federal vehicle emissions standards. Around 580,000 vehicles of model years between 2009 and 2016 containing 2.0 or 3.0-liter diesel engines were affected. A
First Partial Consent Decree and a
Second Partial Consent Decree describe the details of the settlement (collectively the “VW Settlement” or the “Settlement”). Settlement funds are to be used as a remedy to mitigate the environmental impacts from VW's actions. The remedy consists of three programs:
- A vehicle recall and repair program - $10 billion to buy back or repair at least 85 percent of the unlawful vehicles.
- Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Commitment - $2 billion to support the use of zero emissions technology such as battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles and charging infrastructure over the next 10 years.
- An Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund – $422 million to California and $2.44 billion to be dispersed to the other states and tribes to fund projects to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions as mitigation for the unlawful emissions.
Under the Settlement, Volkswagen must remove from commerce in the United States or perform an approved emissions modification on at least 85 percent of the affected 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter vehicles covered by the Settlement. In order to achieve the 85 percent recall rate, Volkswagen must offer owners and lessees of the vehicles the opportunity to have their vehicles bought back by Volkswagen at a fair replacement value of the vehicle as of September 17, 2015, or to have their leases terminated at no cost. This buyback or lease termination option has a limited time availability.
Further information on the details of the recall for specific models and years can be found at
Zero Emission Vehicle Investment
Appendix C of the Settlement requires Volkswagen to invest $1.2 billion in zero emission vehicle (ZEV) charging infrastructure and in the promotion of ZEVs in areas of the country outside of California. Volkswagen Group of America has created a wholly owned subsidiary,
Electrify America LLC, to fulfill its Appendix C commitments. Appendix C commits Volkswagen to separately invest $800 million in California on ZEV infrastructure and promotion.
Electrify America will invest the $1.2 billion in 4 cycles over 10 years.
National ZEV Investment Plan: Cycle 1 (Cycle 1) is currently being implemented and focuses on developing charging infrastructure in two areas: community charging and a long distance highway network. Charging stations will be located first in the areas with the highest anticipated ZEV demand. Cycle 1 aims to establish a network of more than 2500 non-proprietary chargers across more than 450 individual stations. Plans for Cycle 2 are currently under development.
Community Charging: Chicago has been selected as one of 11 metropolitan areas for Cycle 1 investment. Within the 11 selected metros, Electrify America plans to build more than 300 stations to serve multi-family homes, workplaces, commercial/retail spaces, community spaces, and municipal lots and garages.
Long Distance Highway Network: Electrify America will build a long distance high speed highway network consisting of charging stations along high-traffic corridors between metropolitan areas and across the country, with an initial target of approximately 240 highway sites installed or under development by the end of Cycle 1. The sites will be located on prominent U.S. interstates and highways and will focus on installation of fast charging stations that will be able to be upgraded in the future as ZEV technology advances.
In Cycle 1, Electrify America identifies prioritized highways, many of which are located in or cross Illinois, including I-80, I-90, I-70, I-24, I-94, I-64, I-39 and I-55. Electrify America has indicated that it has prioritized highways that correlate strongly with alternative fuels corridors as established by the U.S. Department of Energy. Existing charging station locations may be found at the U.S. Department of Energy’s
Alternative Fuels Data Center.
Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund
The Settlement establishes an Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund, Appendix D of the Settlement. The Trust is established to provide funding for mobile source projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides as mitigation for the excess nitrogen oxides emitted from the VW vehicles with emission defeat software.
Wilmington Trust has been chosen as the Trustee to administer the Trust. Illinois is a
listed beneficiary and the Illinois EPA is the lead agency to develop Illinois’ Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) and administer the subsequent program in Illinois.
Illinois’ initial allocation from the Fund is $108 million. Beneficiaries may not request payout of more than one third of their allocation in the first year and no more than two thirds of their allocation within the first two years; eighty percent of the funds must be obligated within ten years. The Illinois General Assembly has appropriated $20 million for the Illinois EPA to spend on the program in FY2018-2019.
The Settlement allows funds to be used for projects that repower or replace eligible engines or vehicles that fall into ten different categories, listed below. Engines and vehicles may be repowered or replaced with new diesel, alternate fuel or electric engines. Additionally, beneficiaries are allowed to take up to fifteen percent of their allocation in administrative costs. Prior to requesting money from the Fund, beneficiaries must submit a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) to the Trustee. The BMP lays out the beneficiary’s goals and priorities for project funding. The BMP is not binding and may be modified by the beneficiary as needed.
In developing the BMP, the Settlement directs beneficiaries to summarize their plans for use of the mitigation funds, addressing
- The Beneficiary’s overall goal for the use of the funds;
- The categories of Eligible Mitigation Actions the Beneficiary anticipates will be appropriate to achieve the stated goals and the preliminary assessment of the percentages of funds anticipated to be used for each type of Eligible Mitigation Action;
- A description of how the Beneficiary will consider the potential beneficial impact of the selected Eligible Mitigation Actions on air quality in areas that bear a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden within its jurisdiction; and
- A general description of the expected ranges of emission benefits the Beneficiary estimates would be realized by implementation of the Eligible Mitigation Actions identified in the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan.
- The process by which the Beneficiary shall seek and consider public input on its BMP.
The eligible categories of vehicles are listed below.
- Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks (Eligible Large Trucks)
- Class 4-8 School Bus, Shuttle Bus, or Transit Bus (Eligible Buses)
- Freight Switchers
- Ocean Going Vessels (OGV) Shorepower
- Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks (Medium Trucks)
- Airport Ground Support Equipment
- Forklifts and Port Cargo Handling Equipment
- Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment
- Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Option
Illinois’ Transportation Network
Illinois lies at the heart of the nation’s transportation network. Illinois has one of the greatest multi-modal transportation systems in the nation:
- the second largest public transportation system,
- the second largest rail system,
- the third largest interstate system,
- the fourth largest highway system, and
- one of the busiest airport systems.
The diversity of Illinois’ transportation sector lends itself to multiple possible options for the direction of Trust funding and as a focus area for other Settlement funds.
Rail: Illinois is at the center of the nation’s rail network. Chicago is the largest US rail gateway and another major rail center is located in East St. Louis. Rail’s importance to both Chicago and the state is highlighted by the fact that over 1,300 freight, passenger and commuter trains pass through the Chicago region every day. In 2011, Illinois ranked first in the nation in terms of rail freight volume.
Highway: Illinois is at the heart of the country’s interstate highway system. In all, 2,185 interstate miles serve the state, making Illinois the third ranking state in the U.S in the number of miles of interstate highway.
Transit: Across the state, 63 public transit providers serve 96 out of the state’s 102 counties. Illinois transit systems supported more than 736 million trips in 2013.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the second largest public transportation system in the nation, covering Chicago and nearby suburbs, and transporting approximately 500 million riders a year. The CTA system is composed of 129 bus routes and 224 miles of rapid transit rail track. The six-county Chicago region is also served by Metra, the commuter rail agency in Northeastern Illinois, with 11 lines and 241 stations, and an annual ridership of more than 80 million people, and Pace, the suburban bus agency, with over 39 million riders.
Navigable waterways: Illinois has 1,095 miles of navigable waterways that either border or pass through the state. These waterways provide the state with connections to both the Atlantic Ocean (through the Great Lakes) and the Gulf of Mexico (via the Mississippi).
Multimodal Connectivity: Multimodal connectivity describes the interaction between modes of transportation. Multimodal transportation networks provide choices for users, both in passenger travel and moving freight. In 2012, Illinois had approximately 220 intermodal freight facilities supporting the goods movement industry in Illinois with the majority connecting truck and rail. Other multimodal facilities in Illinois connect between the four transport types (air, truck, rail and water) with several connecting three modes. Most intermodal facilities are located within the seven-county metropolitan Chicago region. The three-county metro-east St. Louis area has the second highest concentration of facilities in Illinois. Other cities with truck-rail intermodal facilities include Bloomington, Decatur, Peoria, Rochelle, Rockford and Quincy.
Metrics & Data
In developing the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan and establishing goals, priorities and expected benefits, the Illinois EPA looked at several categories of metrics and data as required by the Settlement and to develop a clear picture of the unique characteristics of Illinois.
The goal of the Settlement is to mitigate excess emissions from the vehicles with defeat devices installed and improve air quality in the beneficiary State. Illinois identified the location of the affected vehicles; scroll over the map to see the number of affected cars that were in each county. The largest concentration of affected cars, more than 69 percent, were located in the six-county metropolitan Chicago area, with almost 32 percent of the cars in Cook County. Almost 4.9 percent of the affected cars are in the metro-east St. Louis counties of Madison and St. Clair.
Air Quality in Illinois
USEPA has a primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. Nitrogen oxides contribute to the formation of ozone. An area whose air quality is worse than the NAAQS is called nonattainment. The NAAQS is revised periodically by USEPA. The NAAQS for ozone was revised and lowered in 2015; the previous ozone NAAQS was from 2008. The 2015 area designations have just recently been established by USEPA.
Two areas in Illinois were designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS of 75 parts per billion (ppb)—the Chicago area (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will and portions of Kendall and Grundy counties) and the Metro-East St. Louis area (Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties). In May 2017, the Agency requested that U.S. EPA redesignate the Metro-East St. Louis nonattainment area to attainment based on air quality analyses demonstrating that the area was meeting the standard. In March 2018, the USEPA redesignated this area to attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS because this area met the statutory requirements for redesignation under the Clean Air Act. The Chicago nonattainment area, on the other hand, is not currently eligible for redesignation.
In June 2018, two areas in Illinois were designated nonattainment for the 2015 ozone NAAQS of 70 ppb – the Chicago area (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will and portions of Kendall and Grundy counties) and the Metro-East St. Louis area (Madison and St. Clair counties). These two areas have been classified as marginal nonattainment under this standard.
Mobile sources represent almost 75 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions in Illinois, more than 87 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions in the metropolitan Chicago area, and more than 69 percent of the nitrogen oxide emissions in the Metro-East St. Louis area. As a result, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines is an important strategy in improving air quality in Illinois and bringing Illinois’ two non-attainment areas into compliance with the federal NAAQS for ozone.
Illinois EPA is committed to protecting the health of the citizens of Illinois and its environment, and to promoting environmental equity in the administration of its programs to the extent it may do so legally and practicably. The Illinois EPA supports the objectives of achieving environmental equity for all of the citizens of Illinois.
Environmental Justice (EJ) is based on the principle that all people should be protected from environmental pollution and have the right to a clean and healthy environment. Illinois EPA has defined an area of EJ concern as a community with an income below poverty and/or minority population greater than twice the statewide average. Illinois EPA has developed the
EJ Start tool to identify areas of the state, at the census block group level, that meet this definition of an area of EJ concern.
Approximately 79 percent of census block groups that meet the Illinois EPA definition for an area of EJ concern are located in the five county Chicago metropolitan area with almost 70 percent of the block groups in the state that meet the definition located in Cook County. Approximately 4.1 percent of census block groups that meet the Illinois EPA definition for an area of EJ concern are located in the three county Metro-East St. Louis area.
Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan
Illinois EPA prepared a draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for public review. In developing the draft BMP, Illinois EPA took into account the factors required by the Settlement and the characteristics unique to Illinois as a crossroads in the national transportation system and a leader in public transit. The Illinois EPA prepared a draft document proposing draft goals and explaining the means by which the goals could be achieved.
In the year, approximately, between when the Consent Decree was entered and the Trust was established and the Beneficiaries named, the Illinois EPA as the putative lead agency for Illinois received many contacts from numerous groups and individuals interested in the Settlement including, environmental, consumer and other advocacy groups, school districts and universities, transit agencies, regional planning organizations, municipalities, counties, other State agencies, trade groups, utilities, vehicle suppliers, consulting groups, manufacturers, and other private businesses. The Illinois EPA, to the extent that information was available, communicated with these groups and individuals to better understand the mobile source sector that the funding would be directed toward. Stakeholder perspectives were valuable to the development of the draft BMP which was made available within 30 days of Illinois’ recognition as a beneficiary and Illinois EPA as the lead Agency. The Agency sought formal public input on the draft BMP from February 28, 2018 to May 31, 2018. Formal public input during the comment period formed the basis of decision making for the final BMP.
To provide for informed comment on Illinois’ use of its Settlement allocation, the Illinois EPA prepared a draft BMP which laid out draft goals, allocations, and benefits for public review and comment. To reach and inform a broad range of the public and potential applicants, and to make public participation easy and convenient, the Agency established this Volkswagen Settlement webpage, set up a survey and an e-mail mailbox to solicit input, and promoted these tools through social media, press releases, direct e-mail notification, and speaking events.
The Agency solicited public input between February 28, 2018 and May 31, 2018 on its draft BMP, presented an overview of the draft BMP and answered questions at nine speaking events to a variety of stakeholders, and held three listening sessions across the state to receive public input. The Agency received over 1600 written public comments and approximately 225 survey responses.
Public input came from a wide variety of sources including elected officials, school districts, public transit agencies, environmental, consumer and other advocacy groups, universities, transit agencies, regional planning organizations, municipalities, counties, other State agencies, trade groups, utilities, vehicle suppliers, consulting groups, manufacturers, other private businesses, and a large number of individual Illinoisans.
Survey responses gave the Illinois EPA some measure of the potential projects that may be of interest to potential project applicants and feedback on the goals laid out in the draft BMP. In the main, the survey responses agreed with the goals established in the draft BMP, that the Illinois EPA should focus on maximizing emission reductions and focusing money on areas disproportionately impacted by air pollution. Based on this input, the goals in the final BMP have not been revised. In the main, the Survey results also indicated a greater interest by respondents in on-road projects. From these results, along with an emphasis in written comments in a preference for on-road projects, the final BMP has a greater emphasis on on-road projects. Written comments also provided input on how Settlement money should be allocated, how to prioritize use of the funds, information about expected emission reductions, technical information on specific engine types, suggestions for clarifications, and numerous other specific comments. Information about the comments and survey results can be found in the graphs below. A complete docket of written comments received may be found below.
Based on the public input received, the Agency revised the BMP prior to submission to the Trust.
The Settlement provides that the BMP may be revised in the future. The Agency will continue to accept public input through the duration of its administration of Volkswagen Settlement funds. Public input should be provided in writing and submitted to the Agency electronically at
EPA.VWSettlement@illinois.gov. Further, the Agency will continue to communicate and meet with any and all interested stakeholders throughout its administration of Volkswagen Settlement funds. Any future revisions to the final BMP will be posted to the Agency’s Volkswagen Settlement webpage and submitted to the Trustee.
The Agency will maintain a listserv of interested stakeholders and will provide notification to this group as updates, including the dates of future funding rounds, become available.
Presentations and Outreach Sessions
Illinois Municipal League's Public Works Director's Committee
February 21, 2018
Illinois' Environmental Justice Commission Quarterly Meeting
February 28, 2018
Conference call & Videoconference:
Springfield & Chicago
Municipal Fleet Manager's Association Meeting
March 20, 2018
Elk Grove Village
East-West Gateway Council of Governments
March 27, 2018
St. Louis, MO
Illinois EPA EJ Officer hosted conference call
March 28, 2018
Metropolitan Mayor's Caucus Environmental Committee Meeting
April 3, 2018
Palos Hills, IL
Chicago EJ Network Monthly Meeting
April 6, 2018
Metro-east VW Outreach Meetings
April 12, 2018 (afternoon and evening sessions)
Central Illinois Listening Session
May 23, 2018, 6 pm to 8 pm
Illinois EPA Headquarters
1021 North Grand Avenue, East (North Entrance)
Southern Illinois Listening Session
May 24, 2018, 6 pm to 8 pm
St. Paul Baptist Church
1500 Bond Avenue
East St. Louis, IL
Northern Illinois Listening Session
May 30, 2018, 6 pm to 8 pm
James R. Thompson Center, Auditorium
100 W. Randolph Street
Docket of Comments
Form Letter #1
Form Letter #2
Form Letter #2 that include changes or additional comments
Form Letter #3
Form Letter #4
Form Letter #4 that include changes or additional comments
Form Letter #5
Form Letter #5 that include changes or additional comments
Illinois' Beneficiary Mitigation Plan
After consideration of public input, including written comments, survey results, and opinion expressed at the public listening sessions, the Agency finalized Illinois’
Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. The Beneficiary Mitigation Plan was submitted to Wilmington Trust on August 28, 2018
The single most frequently made comment to the Agency was a request to increase the amount of money for on-road projects. Additionally, potential applicants that submitted project ideas through the survey indicated a preference for on-road projects. The Agency has changed the BMP to increase funding directed to on-road projects. Other funding categories that received significant support during the comment period were light duty EV charging, directed support for public transit and additional funding for school buses. To achieve these categorical increases, the Agency reduced funding to non-road projects and for the Illinois EPA’s administrative expenditures.
Goals, Priorities and Expected Benefits
Goals: Illinois’ BMP establishes three overall goals for use of the Trust funds. These goals have not changed between the draft and final versions of the BMP.
- Reduce NOx emissions in areas where the affected Volkswagen vehicles are registered while taking into consideration areas that bear a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden, including environmental justice areas;
- Maximize emissions reductions; and
- Maximize and leverage funding.
Priority Areas: In the BMP, Illinois EPA has established three priority areas and anticipates funding projects in all three priority areas. The priority areas are established to realize emission reductions in the areas where the vehicles were located, where the greatest number of mobile source emissions are located, and where the largest concentration of population potentially disproportionately impacted by mobile source emissions is located.
Priority Area 1: The Chicago metropolitan non-attainment area (Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, McHenry, and Kane counties, and Goose Lake and Aux Sable townships in Grundy county, and Oswego township in Kendall county)
Priority Area 2: Metro-East St. Louis non-attainment area (St. Clair and Madison counties)
Priority Area 3: Seven counties, each with 1% or more of the total affected VW vehicles (Champaign, DeKalb, LaSalle, McLean, Peoria, Sangamon and Winnebago Counties)
Categories and Percentages: Illinois has categorized the types of eligible mitigation actions (EMAs) that it will consider funding by project type. Based on public input, the categories have been expanded and clarified between the draft and final BMP. Not all categories will be funded in all rounds; a Notice of Funding Opportunity will be issued for each funding round identifying eligible projects for that round of funding.
Light Duty ZEV Supply Equipment Projects: Up to 10 percent (or up to $10,867,968)
Illinois expects to request up to 10 percent ($10,867,968) of the Volkswagen Trust funds allocated to Illinois for light duty ZEV supply equipment projects. As indicated above, Illinois intends on funding light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment in later funding rounds to provide sufficient time to engage project partners, study the need for and types of ZEV supply equipment, and solicit public input on the factors Illinois should consider in funding such light duty ZEV supply equipment projects.
Public Transit Projects: Up to 30 percent (or up to approximately $32,603,903).
This group includes the following types of EMAs:
- Public Transit Buses; and
- Public Passenger/Commuter Line Haul Locomotives under DERA Option 10.
Illinois expects to request up to 30 percent (or up to approximately $32,603,903) of the Volkswagen Trust funds allocated to Illinois for the above-referenced public transit projects. These projects include, but are not limited to, replacements and repowers with new, cleaner diesel, alternate fueled, and all-electric vehicles and engines. To promote electric vehicle infrastructure, meet the purpose of the Trust Agreement and Illinois’ goal to reduce and maximize NOx reductions, and ensure against stranded electric vehicles or infrastructure, Illinois proposes to fund charging infrastructure within this group of projects where charging infrastructure is needed.
All-Electric School Bus Projects: Up to 10 percent (or up to approximately $10,867,968)
Illinois expects to request up to 10 percent (or up to approximately $10,867,968) of the Volkswagen Trust funds allocated to Illinois to replace older diesel school buses with all-electric school buses. To promote electric vehicle infrastructure, meet the purpose of the Trust Agreement and Illinois’ goal to reduce and maximize NOx reductions, and ensure against stranded electric vehicles or infrastructure, Illinois proposes to fund charging infrastructure within this group of projects where charging infrastructure is needed.
Non-Electric School Bus Projects: Up to 10 percent (or up to approximately $10,867,968)
Illinois expects to request up to 10 percent (or up to approximately $10,867,968) of the Volkswagen Trust funds allocated to Illinois to replace older diesel school buses with new, cleaner diesel and alternate fueled school buses.
Class 4-8 Local Freight Truck Projects: Up to 10 percent (or up to approximately $10,867,968)
This group includes projects listed under the following EMAs:
- Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks; and
- Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks.
Illinois expects to request up to 10 percent (or up to approximately $10,867,968) of the Volkswagen Trust funds allocated to Illinois for the above-referenced projects in Illinois. These projects include replacing older, diesel vehicles with new, cleaner diesel, alternate fueled, and all-electric vehicles. To promote electric vehicle infrastructure, meet the purpose of the Trust Agreement and Illinois’ goal to reduce and maximize NOx reductions, and ensure against stranded electric vehicles or infrastructure, Illinois proposes to fund charging infrastructure within this group of projects where charging infrastructure is needed.
Off-Road Projects: Up to 28 percent (or up to approximately $30,430,309)
This group includes projects listed under the following EMAs:
- Freight Switcher Locomotives; and
Illinois expects to request up to 28 percent of the Volkswagen Trust funds allocated to Illinois for the above-referenced off-road or non-road projects. Off-road or non-road projects, especially those involving tug boats and locomotives, often result in the greatest amount of emission reductions and can be the most cost-effective projects. Off-road or non-road projects include, but are not limited to, replacements or repowers with new diesel, alternate fueled, and all-electric vehicles and engines. To promote electric vehicle infrastructure, meet the purpose of the Trust Agreement and Illinois’ goal to reduce and maximize NOx reductions, and ensure against stranded electric vehicles or infrastructure, Illinois proposes to fund charging infrastructure within this group of projects where charging infrastructure is needed.
Administrative Expenditures: Up to 2 percent (or up to approximately $2,173,593)
While beneficiaries may request up to 15 percent of their Volkswagen Trust allocation for administrative expenditures, as authorized in Appendix D-2 of the Trust Agreement, Illinois expects to request up to 2 percent (or up to approximately $2,173,593) of its allocation. Administrative expenditures may include personnel costs, fringe benefit costs, supply costs, contractual costs, and other eligible costs.
To spread the Trust funds to as many projects as possible, Illinois is requiring cost shares. For non-government applicants, Illinois requires a cost share of at least 50 percent, or a higher cost share where specified by the Trust Agreement or DERA. For government applicants, Illinois requires a cost-share of at least 25 percent, or a higher cost share where specified by DERA. Federal agencies will be treated as non-government applicants consistent with the definition of “government” in the Trust Agreement. For purposes of cost-share, school buses owned by a private company but operated under contract with a public school district will have the match requirement as though they are governmental.
For electric vehicle projects, Illinois will require project applicants to address whether adequate charging exists for the proposed project.
Illinois believes that it can achieve 1129 tons of NOx reductions while providing substantial funding to promote and support on-road alternate fuel and zero emission vehicle transition. Actual emissions reductions will be dependent on the types of projects submitted and funded throughout the lifespan of the grant program.
Driving a Cleaner Illinois
Illinois EPA is establishing the Driving a Cleaner Illinois program to administer Environmental Mitigation Trust funds. Illinois EPA has a $20 million appropriation from the General Assembly for fiscal year 2018-2019. Illinois EPA has set out a Notice of Funding Opportunity for its first round of funding based on the FY2018-2019 appropriation.
Grant Accountability and Transparency Act
must create an account and pre-qualify through the
Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal,
prior to application submittal. During pre-qualification, Dun and Bradstreet verifications are performed including a check of Debarred and Suspended status and good standing with the Secretary of State. The pre-award process also includes a financial and administrative risk assessment utilizing an Internal Controls Questionnaire. Registration requirements may be found at the
Grantee Pre-Award Requirements page.
First Round of Funding
In accordance with GATA, in each round the Illinois EPA will provide a Notice of Funding Opportunity, see application materials below.
In summary, projects to be funded in this first funding round are as follows:
- Up to $19,000,000 for Public Transit projects in Priority Area 1:
- Replacement of existing government-owned diesel public transit buses with new diesel, alternate fueled, and all-electric public transit buses. For this funding round, the Agency has allocated up to $5,000,000 for these projects.
- Government-owned public passenger/commuter line haul locomotive rail projects through DERA. These projects include cleaner diesel, alternate fuel, and all-electric passenger/commuter line haul locomotive replacements, engine replacements, engine upgrades, and remanufacture systems. For this funding round, the Agency has allocated up to $14,000,000 for these projects,
- Up to $1,000,000 for All-Electric School Bus Pilot Projects in Cook County.
First Round Application Materials
Applicants may find the Notice of Funding Opportunity and all application materials below and also at Illinois’ GATA webpage. Applicants
must pre-qualify prior to application submission. For further information see the
Applications are due October 15, 2018. Applications should be signed, scanned and submitted to
firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 pm CST on October 15, 2018.
Read all instructions as late, incomplete, or improperly submitted applications will be rejected without the opportunity to correct.
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 Notice of Funding Opportunity e-mailed to you, please contact Deirdre McQuillen, below, for assistance.
All below listed application forms and instructions may be found at the NOFO link above.
Read all instructions, additional materials as specified by the NOFO are required. A checklist is included in the NOFO.
All Applicants: All applicants must complete the following forms. Additionally, applicants must submit an itemized cost estimate for each vehicle and any associated equipment to be attached to the VW General Application.
Uniform Grant Application
Public Transit Buses: Applicants for Public Transit Buses should fill out the appropriate form listed below depending on if the project is all-electric or non-electric.
VW General Application Form
Electric Public Transit Bus Form
Public Commuter Rail: Applicants for Public Commuter Rail should fill out the appropriate form listed below depending on if the project is all-electric or non-electric.
Non-Electric Public Transit Bus Form
Electric Public Commuter Rail Form
All-Electric School Bus Pilot Project: Applicants for an All-Electric School Bus Pilot Project should fill out the following form.
Non-Electric Public Commuter Rail Form
Electric School Bus Form
Electric Projects: All applicants for electric transit bus, electric commuter rail and electric school bus projects should fill out the following form. If requesting funding, an itemized cost estimate for the charger equipment must be attached to this form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a page of Frequently Asked Questions about the NOFO & Application
Frequently Asked Questions
Any questions regarding the program or application should be directed to:
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Air
Questions about the BMP, inclusion on the listserv, or submission of public input should be directed to Illinois EPA’s Office of Community Relations at the contact listed below or by e-mail to
Questions about application submittals should be directed to:
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.