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 legislature will likely revisit the issue of authorizing additional allowable mitigation actions in future sessions.
The plan for Oregon is to treat at least 450 diesel powered school buses with strategies like exhaust control retrofitting or bus replacement. School districts are selected among those holding buses in the median model year of the state’s fleet, the 2006-7 model years. School districts with buses in these model years, as necessary to reach the 450 bus target, will be contacted to determine their interest and capability to participate. The order in which DEQ contacts districts is the draw of numbers randomly assigned to districts with buses within this contingent. DEQ expects to complete about one quarter of the 450 buses per year. This is to better manage administrative costs and to minimize the replacement bubble as even these buses eventually age out of the fleet 10-15 years in the future.
Based on the number of model year 2006-7 diesel buses, the selected school districts will have the option to install one or more 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 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 replacing 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.

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