The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is asking for applications for the second round of projects under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (EMT).

The purpose of the EMT is to execute environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides.

Some $16 million in EMT funding is available for eligible Class 4-8 transit and shuttle bus projects, according to a news release from TDEC.

The grant program is managed by the TDEC Office of Energy Programs and will provide financial assistance to public, non-profit, and private fleets in Tennessee that apply to replace eligible transit or shuttle buses with any new alternate fueled or all-electric transit or shuttle buses. Fleets may also apply to repower transit or shuttle buses with new all-electric transit or shuttle bus drivetrains.

“Replacing older diesel buses and engines with new, alternative-fueled options will reduce air pollutants that threaten public health and the environment,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “We look forward to awarding projects that will reduce transit and shuttle bus emissions and improve air quality for Tennesseans.”

Transit or shuttle buses eligible for replacement or repower include 2009 engine model year or older Class 4-8 diesel buses used for the transportion of people. “Transit buses” includes all vehicles that provide public transportation, and are open to the general public. “Shuttle buses” includes vehicles that provide transportation services for one or more specific entities, intra-terminal or intra-facility transportation services, or mobility-on-demand services.

Eligible applicants are limited to one application each. Applications may include a variety of vehicle and/or fuel types. All terms and conditions of the program, including maximum number of replacements or repowers and associated funding caps, are outlined in an online application manual.

Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted electronically via the TDEC online grants management system, which may be accessed online.

Applications must be received by 4 p.m. CST on Nov. 19, 2019. TDEC will announce awards after conducting a comprehensive review and evaluation of all complete and eligible grant applications. Grant contracting efforts will occur shortly thereafter. More information is available online.

TDEC will host an associated application workshop on Sept. 17 in Nashville. Representatives of transit agencies, transit or shuttle bus contractors, and other interested persons are encouraged to attend and learn about the application process and program terms and conditions, including project eligibility, timelines for implementation, and reporting requirements.

The RSVP link for the application workshop can be accessed online. TDEC will also release additional solicitations in the coming months for Class 4-7 local freight truck projects, Class 8 local freight truck and port drayage truck projects, and light-duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment projects. Interested persons are advised to sign up for the TDEC VW Settlement email list to be kept apprised of all future and related announcements.