AQ Programs

DEQ's diesel school bus replacement program

The State of Oregon is eligible to receive at least $72.9 million as a beneficiary of the VW partial consent decree to support eligible pollution mitigation projects outlined in Appendix D of the decree. The Oregon Legislature authorized DEQ to accept funds from the settlement into the Clean Diesel Engine Fund (ORS 468A.801). DEQ is authorized to fund school bus projects that reduce harmful diesel emissions in the first phase of the ten-year period.

The plan for Oregon is to treat at least 450 diesel powered school buses with strategies like exhaust control retrofitting or bus replacement. DEQ expects to complete about one quarter of the buses per year. School districts were selected to participate with 2005, 2006, and 2007 vehicle model year buses. School districts with buses in these model years, as necessary to reach the 450 bus target, have been contacted to determine their interest and capability to participate. DEQ contacted districts based on a random draw of numbers assigned to districts with buses within this contingent. This approach will help manage administrative costs and minimize the replacement bubble as these buses eventually age out of the fleet 10-15 years in the future.

All school districts that were selected to participate in the VW Mitigation Trust school bus replacement/retrofit program have been invited to submit a grant application by September 30, 2020. Please note that in recognition of school district budget issues from COVID-19, districts will be allowed to have an end date up to three years after their grant start date. This should allow ample time and budget capacity to buy new buses. Any allotments not obligated by the selected districts starting October 1, 2020 will be reallocated to eligible applicants on a first come first serve basis to non-selected districts.

Selected school districts have the option to install diesel particulate filters or to scrap and replace buses in their fleet. Buses selected for replacement must have at least three years of remaining useful life, have operated in Oregon in the past year and will continue to operate in Oregon for at least the three years following. The assistance amount offered is up to 100 percent of costs to purchase and install exhaust controls, or up to $50,000 or 30 percent of replacement costs, whichever is less, to purchase an Oregon minimum standard bus to replace the bus that is scrapped. 


Oregon initial Volkswagen environmental mitigation plan   

In December 2017, Oregon DEQ posted the proposal for an environmental mitigation plan for public comment and review. The proposed plan has three main goals:
  • Maximize benefits for vulnerable populations;
  • Prioritize pollution reduction in areas of the state with the highest emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from diesel engines; and
  • Maximize pollution reduction cost effectiveness.
The plan was published for public review and comment with public hearings in January 2018. The summary pf public comments and responses to comment are posted below.

Legal documents