File photo courtesy of Coastal Review Online

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The Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality has more than $1 million available in rebates for eligible applicants interested in installing a publicly accessible light-duty zero-emission vehicle Level 2 charging stations.

The division released the request for proposal for the Public Access Level 2 Charging Infrastructure Program rebates under Phase 2 of the Volkswagen mitigation plan March 21.

The request for proposals explains how local, federal and tribal governments, nonprofits and businesses incorporated in North Carolina, metropolitan or rural planning organizations, and air quality or transportation organizations can apply for a portion of the $1,070,877.

The application will not be available in the division’s Grants Management System until May 2. Applicants are encouraged to register for access to the system before that date.

PDF version of the application is available on the program webpage for applicants to prepare all required materials for the online application. The webpage includes instructions on how to register for the Grant Management System and submit an application in the RFP.

A webinar at 1 p.m. Monday, March 28, will discuss the Grants Management System. Registering online before the webinar is required to participate. Current users with access are not required to attend but may attend for a refresher on the system.

After the application opens in the Grants Management System May 2, the division will accept applications for the Public Access Level 2 ZEV Charging Infrastructure Program until no funds remain.

Rebates up to a maximum of $5,000 are available to government applicants and up to $4,000 to nongovernment for each new charging port installed. Rebates will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify until all funds are exhausted.

The VW mitigation plan is part of a settlement agreement between the German automaker with the Department of Justice on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency. Volkswagen sold thousands of diesel motor vehicles with software the EPA alleged was designed to cheat on federal emissions tests, according to the state. The Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement was for $14.7 billion for violating the Clean Air Act. The state Department of Environmental Quality manages North Carolina’s share of the VW Settlement.

The division will hold a webinar 1 p.m. April 4 on the Level 2 Public Access Program request for proposals. During this webinar, staff will discuss the RFP and the requirements and answer questions. This webinar is for applicants interested in submitting applications for the Level 2 Public Access Program only. Registration is required to participate in this webinar.

For help with an application, email daq.NC_VWGrants@ncdenr.gov with subject title line: “Level 2 Public Access RFP” before submitting an application and ahead of the submission deadline.

Phase 2 of the VW Mitigation Plan covers the remaining $68 million of the state’s share of a national settlement with the automaker. DEQ is allocating the full 15%, or about $10.19 million, allowed in the VW State Trust Agreement for ZEV charging infrastructure projects under Phase 2. Additional settlement funds will support the replacement of diesel vehicles with newer, cleaner alternatives, according to the state.