For Immediate Release: March 4, 2019
Contact: Norah Langweiler, NJ Work Environment Council, 908-303-4546 ext. 302
Trenton – On Thursday the Department of Environmental Protection announced allocations for the first round of VW settlement funding. The funds were made available to all states as a result of federal action against Volkswagen for fraudulent emissions reports. New Jersey will receive $72.2 million of those funds. Governor Murphy has committed 15 percent of the settlement, $10.8 million dollars, to electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state, $3.2 million of which will be awarded as grants which will more than double NJ’s number of nonresidential EV charging stations. There are 786 outlets at 322 charging stations across the state. The infusion of funds will create approximately 827 new charging outlets at 533 stations, effectively doubling the number of outlets throughout the state.
NJ Transit will receive $8 million for an electric bus pilot program to be launched in the City of Camden. This pilot project will study the implementation of electric buses with daily use and is a first step to address some of the environmental justice issues many urban communities face in New Jersey. There is still $60.4 million from funds that have yet to be disbursed and another round of project funding slated for later this year.
“Investing in clean transportation strategies is essential for NJ to do its part in reducing our emissions, cleaning up our communities, and ensuring a safe a livable world for future generations,” said Norah Langweiler, Jersey Renews Campaign Organizer. “But to do that, we need to ensure NJ Transit is fully funded for daily operations and capital improvements. The small fraction from the VW settlement that has been allocated for those improvements is not enough to meet our goals.”
“This is an important first step to cleaning up our transportation sector. To make the biggest impact for our states most vulnerable population, we must continue to invest in the electrification of NJ Transit,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director of New Jersey Work Environment Council.
“The state should be focusing these and future resources on reducing air pollution in New Jersey’s cities, and pressing NJ Transit to commit to a 100% electric bus fleet by 2030. We need this level of leadership for our state,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, executive director of GreenFaith.
“Electric cars are on New Jersey’s roads, but there are still not enough places to charge them in our downtowns and highways,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “This first installment of VW settlement dollars will double the number of public chargers available and finally get an electric NJ Transit bus on the road. We still have a long way to go, but it is fitting that VW’s corporate malfeasance can help start electrifying New Jersey’s roads.”
“We are excited to see the first of the VW settlement money out the door. It is long overdue,” stated Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director, Clean Water Action. “Communities, like Camden, have long needed relief from the disproportionate adverse impacts of dirty diesel. We are eager to see electric vehicle options (buses, ride shares, electrification of goods movement from port to market) in additional environmental justice communities and on a larger scale.”