New Mexico’s Final VW Settlement Plan Offers ‘Fuel-Neutral Approach’


NGVAmerica is applauding the State of New Mexico’s final Volkswagen Settlement Trust Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP), which was released last week.

New Mexico’s plan allocates a full 70% of funding toward the replacement of old, high-emitting on-road diesel vehicles with new, cleaner Class 4-8 trucks and buses. The plan reads, “[T]he State will submit project proposals that will reduce or eliminate emissions of NOx, focusing on the most cost-effective projects that will maximize emission reductions.”

“NGVAmerica applauds New Mexico for its fuel-neutral approach that allows transportation technologies to compete against one another based on cost, commercial availability and effectiveness,” says Dan Gage, NGVAmerica’s president. “Evaluating projects on this basis greatly benefits natural gas vehicle proposals since natural gas engines are 90 percent cleaner than the strictest federal emissions standards. With a zero-emission equivalent, natural gas delivers greater NOx emission reductions than any other powertrain option, including electric.”

VW project proposals in New Mexico are also required to use the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emission Calculator (HDVEC), made available by Argonne National Laboratory, to evaluate effectiveness and impact on the state’s air quality, notes NGVAmerica, which also encourages other states to use the HDVEC when evaluating different mitigation control strategies under the VW settlement.

New Mexico’s plan also concentrates on funding for areas with the state’s dirtiest air, focusing on “vehicles, engines and equipment operating or located in or near areas that bear a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden” and on “projects located in areas with high population density and high traffic density.”

“In New Mexico, areas of high population density are often the areas with the poorest air quality,” the plan explains.

NGVAmerica applauds New Mexico for targeting its plan to deliver emission reductions to those areas and persons most affected by harmful air pollution.

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