NGVAmerica applauds final New Mexico Volkswagen emissions settlement plan

July 26, 2018. NGVAmerica recognized the State of New Mexico for its final Volkswagen Settlement Trust Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) released earlier this week.

   New Mexico’s plan allocates a full 70 percent 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 “the 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,” said NGVAmerica President Dan Gage. “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. This tool presents the very latest in emissions data including information on alternative fuel engines and in-use diesel emissions. It also allows users the option of evaluating the benefit of renewable fuels like renewable natural gas. NGVAmerica encourages states to use the HDVEC when evaluating different mitigation control strategies under the VW Settlement.

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