TALLAHASSEE, May 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Florida is set to recieve a $166.3 million infusion of cash through the Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust. The VW settlement is designed to fund projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Through 5 p.m. today, Florida's citizens have the opportunity to chime in on how these funds should be spent.

"According to the latest NOx emissions inventory, the largest sources of NOx in Florida are engines that power heavy-duty vehicles and equipment. A strategy that replaces or upgrades these large engines is one that offers Florida the greatest opportunity for NOx mitigation," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. "Upgrading these oldest and highest-emitting engines and equipment with the newest generation of advanced diesel engines will yield 17.5 times the emissions reductions as allocating the funds toward electric school bus purchases. That translates to dramatic environmental and public health benefits for the most people in the shortest amount of time."

For Florida's $166.3 million, the state could replace 119 of the oldest work boats plying Florida's coastlines and ports. This would reduce 3.5 MILLION POUNDS OF NOx EMISSIONS. Or, the state could invest those funds in just 189 electric buses, and reduce less than 200,000 pounds of NOx.

"Using the funds to buy new electric buses would no doubt be a benefit to those few who got to ride a new bus, but not to everyone else," continued Schaeffer. "Why? Compared to working engines and equipment, school buses have low annual miles, may not operate all year round, and most importantly contribute very little to Florida's emissions inventory. Electric buses would cost a lot of money, and yet are among the LEAST cost effective ways to use Florida's funds.

"Getting rid of the oldest and largest and dirtiest diesel engines will yield the most clean air for Floridians, and the clean diesel option will yield those NOx reductions more quickly and at a lower cost. For the most clean air for the settlement dollar, large engine diesel upgrades are the way to go."

The Forum's formal comments to Governor Scott and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection may be found here. Visit https://www.dieselforum.org/vwfund for more information about best options for Volkswagen settlement funds in Florida and other states.

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The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.

Attachments

Sarah Dirndorfer
Diesel Technology Forum
301-668-7230
sdirndorfer@dieselforum.org