Nebraska Diesel Emission Mitigation Program
Funded by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust for State Beneficiaries
Beginning June 1, 2020, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) is soliciting applications to the Nebraska Diesel Emission Mitigation Program for a third round of school bus replacement projects. NDEE anticipates awarding up to 44 school bus rebates during this year’s program. NDEE may adjust the number of rebate awards based on the number of applications received and the types of replacement buses proposed.
The NDEE established the Nebraska Diesel Emission Mitigation Program to administer funds allocated to Nebraska from the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust for State Beneficiaries, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia (VW State Trust). Nebraska’s Volkswagen Environmental Trust Beneficiary Mitigation Plan currently proposes to utilize $6,369,000 (52.5% of the available funds) for the replacement of diesel school buses by new diesel or alternative-fueled buses in accordance with Eligible Mitigation Action 2 in Appendix D-2 of the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries (VW State Trust Agreement) *. The first two years of this School Bus Rebate Program (2018 and 2019) have funded the replacement of 102 school buses.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
BUSES ELIGIBLE FOR REPLACEMENT
- Any Nebraska public school district or private school system that offers primary or secondary education is eligible for this funding opportunity. Companies that own buses and have a current agreement with a school district/system are also eligible to apply if they are either headquartered or have an operational base office in Nebraska.
- Each school district may apply for a maximum of one rebate for one bus.
- Previous recipients of a Nebraska or EPA Clean Diesel School Bus Rebate (2013 or later) are eligible to apply, but preference will be given schools that are not previous rebate recipients.
ELIGIBLE REPLACEMENT BUSES
- Eligible vehicles are school buses with diesel engines with model year 2009 or older and with Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 14,001 pounds or greater (GVWR Class 4 to 8).
- The bus must be currently used to transport students to and from school or school-related activities. Applicants are required to certify that their bus meets these criteria on the application form.
REBATE AMOUNT FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS
- School buses with engine model year 2019 or newer, certified to EPA emission standards.
- The replacement school bus may operate using conventional diesel (ULSD), alternative fuels (e.g. propane or compressed natural gas), or an all-electric drivetrain.
- Diesel engines must be equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF).
- The replacement school bus must be in the same Gross Vehicle Weight Rating class and operate in the same manner as the original school bus.
For public school districts, NDEE will reimburse:
REBATE AMOUNT FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND CONTRACTORS
- 50% of the base purchase cost (up to a maximum of $42,000) of a diesel school bus certified to EPA 2019 or later emission standards.
- 60% of the base purchase cost (up to a maximum of $57,000) of a school bus powered by a propane or compressed natural gas engine certified to meet California Air Resources Board Optional Low-NOx Standards of 0.1 g/bhp-hr, 0.05 g/bhp-hr, or 0.02 g/bhp-hr NOx.
- 40% of the base purchase cost (up to a maximum of $80,000) of a school bus with an all-electric drivetrain.
For non-government recipients such as private schools or private companies providing student transport services under contract, the VW State Trust agreement limits reimbursement to 25% of the base purchase cost of a new school bus. The maximum rebate that NDEE will award in this category is $21,000 for a diesel bus, $23,750 for a bus powered by a propane or compressed natural gas engine certified to meet California Air Resources Board Optional Low-NOx Standards (see above), or $40,000 for an electric bus.
- The replacement bus cannot be used to expand the applicant’s current fleet; it must replace a bus that is currently operational and in use.
- The replaced bus and its diesel engine must be disabled (scrapped) within 90 days of replacement; delays in scrapping the old bus must be approved in advance by NDEE.
- If selected for an award, the rebate recipient must maintain ownership of the new school bus for at least three years from the date of purchase. If the replacement bus is sold before the end of the three-year period or used for purposes other than what is specified under this program, the rebate recipient must notify NDEQ and may be required to return up to the full amount of the rebate to NDEE. The amount required to be returned is at the discretion of NDEE, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
All applicants must completely fill out and submit the Application Form (linked above) and provide all of the listed supporting documents in order to be considered for funding. NDEE may contact you or your organization for clarification and/or additional information using the provided contact information. Applicants will have 10 calendar days to respond to any such request. Applications that remain incomplete after the application deadline will not be considered. Only one application per applicant will be accepted, and only one bus rebate is allowed per application.
Applications must be submitted and complete before 5:00 pm on August 7, 2020 in order to be considered.
Only signed and dated original applications received by mail, e-mail, or in person at the address below will be accepted. Rebate applications cannot be submitted by fax. The department is not responsible for any applications that are delayed or lost in the mail. Applicants will receive an e-mail confirming NDEE’s receipt of the application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that their application was received by the department by the respective deadline.
Mail, e-mail, or hand-deliver applications to:
Nebraska Clean Diesel Rebate Program
Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
PO Box 98922
Lincoln NE 68509-8922
SELECTION OF RECIPIENTS
If the number of complete, eligible applications is greater than the number of available rebates, rebate recipients will be drawn by lottery on August 12, 2020. Each applicant that has not received a previous Clean Diesel Rebate will have two entries in the drawing, while each previous rebate recipient will have one entry in the drawing. Applicant names will be drawn and placed in corresponding order (omitting duplications) until the number of available rebates is reached. The remaining applicant names will be drawn and placed in order on an alternate list. If an applicant on the rebate list withdraws, funds will be offered to the next applicant on the alternate list.
The applicant is responsible for the remainder of the bus purchase price (cost-share). Other grant funds from federal, state, or private sources may be used for part or all of the cost-share. Prior to submitting an application, it is recommended that all applicants also review 1) the portions of the Appendix D-2 of the VW State Trust Agreement that apply to their funding request and 2) Nebraska’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan.
- All rebate recipients must sign an agreement with NDEE. The replacement bus cannot be purchased until the signed agreement is on file at NDEE.
- After NDEE has received the signed agreement, the recipient will be notified that they can complete the purchase of the replacement bus. Note: the date of the purchase order cannot pre-date the signature date of the agreement. Projects must be completed by December 15, 2021.
If you have questions about the program, please review the 2020 School Bus Rebate FAQs (linked above). If you have additional questions or comments, please send them by email to NDEQ.VWSettlement@nebraska.gov. Please continue to refer to this page as it will be updated as questions are received.
Note: Effective Oct. 1, 2009, any individual submitting any application or form that would derive public benefit from the state must also fill out a United States Citizenship Attestation form. This applies to individuals submitting the forms on their own behalf. If applicable, please fill out the United States Citizenship Attestation form below and submit it with the relevant applications and forms.
United States Citizenship Attestation Form
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