By purchasing new zero-emission transit buses in 13 counties throughout Florida, the cash will assist in reducing the state’s carbon emissions. Florida has announced that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will receive more than $68 million from the Volkswagen settlement to purchase 227 electric transit buses across 13 counties.
In the counties of Alachua, Broward, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Leon, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, and Pinellas, the zero-emission buses will take the place of the current diesel transit buses. According to Governor Ron DeSantis, “this money will assist cut emissions while also bringing our transit bus fleets up to more current standards.” This benefits both the state’s attempts to support the rising use of electric vehicles and the purity of the air.
In addition to this funding for electric transit buses, the DEP has also provided grants to seven school districts in Broward, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Sarasota to buy a total of 218 electric school buses. Pollutant emissions will decrease as more electric vehicles are used, enhancing Florida’s air quality.
According to DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton, “Florida continues to be a national leader in air quality and is gratified to be the most populous state in the nation to have met all of EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards.” We can carry out projects to safeguard air quality and meet the requirements of our communities thanks to cooperation with partner agencies and the business sector, the statement reads.
The Florida Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, developed by DEP to specify how the state will use its allotted $166 million from the Volkswagen settlement, is the source of these and other projects. The plan’s primary objectives include the development of additional electric car charging stations, acquiring electric buses for particular school districts and transportation systems, and providing funds for Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) initiatives.
The DEP has given funding under Florida’s settlement allocation to put 150 electric vehicle charging stations along the state highway system. Many DERA awards have been given to cut pollution near the state’s ports. These initiatives include replacement for marine engines, an electric freight switch, and cargo handling equipment for ports.
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