Air Quality Funding FAQs

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In order to facilitate public knowledge of the Air Quality Funding Opportunities, DEQ has compiled a list of frequently asked questions. Below you will find some common questions about the General Volkswagen Settlement, the Alternative Fuel School Bus Program, ChargeOK: the Oklahoma Electric Vehicle Grant Program, and the Clean Diesel (DERA) Grant Program. At the bottom is contact information in case your question has not yet been answered.

 

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General VW Questions         Alternative Fuel School Bus Program

ChargeOK Grant Program        Clean Diesel (DERA) Program         CONTACT INFO

 

General Volkswagen Questions

Volkswagen Settlement Page

What types of projects will DEQ fund under the Volkswagen Settlement?
According to our Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, DEQ is currently or will in the future be opening up funding opportunities for the following project categories:

What is the schedule for announcing funding availability for the Volkswagen Settlement project types?

Oklahoma will be announcing funding programs in phases. Phase 1 began in the fall of 2018. There is currently no timeline for when phases will begin and end, but each phase can be expected to last for at least one year.

  • Phase 1 will consist of the Alternative Fuel School Bus Program and light-duty zero emission vehicle infrastructure projects.
  • Phase 2 will consist of on-road vehicle projects.
  • Phase 3 will consist of off-road vehicle projects.
  • The Oklahoma Clean Diesel/DERA Program is ongoing and will recur each year that adequate federal funding is available.
Can we schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss our potential project?
No. Within Oklahoma, Volkswagen State Mitigation Trust Funds are being administered similar to a grant program. A Request for Proposal will be issued for each funding opportunity. Project applications for each RFP will be accepted for a limited time and scored based on criteria in the RFP. Funds will then be awarded to the top scoring applicants.

 

Alternative Fuel School Bus Program Questions

Program Page

Where can applicants purchase (any type of project vehicle or equipment)?
As a state agency, DEQ cannot refer you to a specific business. Purchase information should be available by online search or by contacting a dealership or manufacturer of your choice.
What if an applicant does not wish to own or operate an alternative fuel vehicle?
Funding for gasoline and diesel school bus projects is only available under the Oklahoma Clean Diesel Program.

Who is eligible for funding?
Per Section II.A of the Grant Solicitation: “The Alternative Fuel School Bus program will be open to all school districts within the State of Oklahoma that transport pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 students.”

Are school contractors eligible for funding?
No; contractors are not eligible for funding under the Alternative Fuel School Bus Program, per Section II.A of the Grant Solicitation: “The Alternative Fuel School Bus program will be open to all school districts within the State of Oklahoma that transport pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 students.”

Can applicants schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss a potential project?
No. Within Oklahoma, Volkswagen State Mitigation Trust Funds are being administered similar to a grant program. A Grant Solicitation will be issued for each funding opportunity. Project applications for each Grant Solicitation will be accepted for a limited time and scored based on criteria in the Grant Solicitation. Funds will then be awarded to the top scoring applicants.
Does The Alternative Fuel School Bus program include vocational or technology centers that transport 11th and 12th grade students?
Yes. Projects at technology centers are eligible if the bus in question will be regularly transporting any pre-K through 12th grade students.
If an applicant already purchased a bus, are they eligible for funding?
No. Funding is for new projects only. In order to be eligible for funding, no work towards the project may begin before a Memorandum of Agreement has been fully executed and the award recipient has received a work commencement notification. Per Section IV of the Grant Solicitation: “Any funds spent prior to official notification will not be reimbursed.”
Are buses owned by public school districts considered to be government-owned?
Yes; if your school district is publicly funded and owns the school bus, the bus is government-owned. Buses owned by privately-funded school districts are considered to be “non-government owned.”
Can an applicant/school district submit more than one project application under the Alternative Fuel School Bus Program?
No; a school district may only be awarded one project under this program.
Is the $300,000 cap per school district?
Yes; because each school district may only be awarded one project, and the project cap is $300,000, the project cap also applies per school district.
Can an applicant submit projects for both the Oklahoma Clean Diesel Program and the Alternative Fuel School Bus Program?
Yes; awards may potentially be granted under both programs, but only if the projects are separate and do not affect the same eligible buses.
Can the original school bus be gasoline?
No, the original school bus to be replaced must be diesel.
Are projects to replace activity buses eligible?
Yes
Is there an award cap for the Alternative Fuel School Bus program, either for number of buses or dollar amount?
There is a total award cap of $300,000 as well as a per item cap detailed in Table 2 of the Grant Solicitation.
Does it matter if I submit my application via email or via postal mail?
No, but an email submittal will arrive quicker, which may be important if you are concerned about hitting a deadline.
Does it matter who scraps the old bus?
No. As long as scrappage meets the requirements described in Section VI.F of the Grant Solicitation as well as the MOA then it does not matter who scraps the bus. Additionally, proper photographs and scrappage forms will be required.
Is leasing eligible under this program? Is an entity allowed to lease buses under the Alternative Fuel School Bus program?
Traditional lease agreements without the option to purchase the vehicle are not eligible. However, “Lease Purchase Agreements” or other similar agreements may be eligible only if the award recipient owns the title to the vehicle by the end of the announced project period, and prior to submitting reimbursement paperwork. Eligibility of said agreements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

 

ChargeOK: Oklahoma Electric Vehicle Charging Grant Questions – updated for Round 2 (FY2021)

Program Page

What is the desired result of the ChargeOK grant program? (Updated July 7, 2020)
The desired result of this grant program is to locate direct current fast chargers (DCFCs) no more than every 100 miles apart on the designated corridors and to locate some level 2 chargers in the urban areas, with the ultimate goal being to reduce range anxiety. Successful applicants will be those that reinforce this plan.

Round 2: The desired result of Round 2 is to fill in the gaps we have in the Oklahoma Charger network. Successful applicants will be those that reinforce this plan.

What is the total funding of the ChargeOK grant program? (Updated July 7, 2020)
Total program funding is about $3.1 million. Round 2 program funding is about $1.1 million.
When will applications be accepted? (Updated July 7, 2020)
Round 2: July 7, 2020 – September 8, 2020
How will successful applicants receive their funds?
Funding will be in the form of reimbursements.
Are funds awarded under the ChargeOK program on a first-come-first-served basis?
No. This is a competitive grant, meaning all applications received by the deadline will be scored, and the applications receiving the highest scores will be awarded the grant.
Will the ChargeOK program reimburse for 100% of a charging station project?
No. This grant will reimburse up to 80% for any charging station project.
Can ChargeOK be used to pay for a charger at my house?
No. This grant will not reimburse for residential chargers.
Is the ChargeOK program for light-duty infrastructure only?
Yes. Funds will only be awarded to light-duty charging station projects.
Will electric vehicle (EV) charging stations be covered at 100% through this fund, if they are located on public property? (Updated July 7, 2020)
No. The VW State Mitigation Trust Agreement allows for reimbursement of government-owned EV charging stations at 100%, but the ChargeOK Grant Solicitation Round 2 states, “Grantees will be required to provide a minimum 20% match.” Please keep in mind the grant request will be evaluated on a competitive basis, with preference going to the requests that provide the greatest Nitrogen Oxide reduction per dollar spent, and those projects that best fill-in the charging network to reduce range anxiety.
When can successful applicants begin work on their projects?
Once the grant is awarded, the recipient and DEQ must first sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). DEQ will then send the recipients a Notice to Proceed via email. After receiving the Notice to Proceed, the recipient may start the project. Any work completed prior to receipt of the Notice to Proceed will not be reimbursed.
The Grant Solicitation discusses in Sections IV.C. and V.3.g. that projects must come with and will be reimbursed for a 5-year manufacturer's warranty. Can DEQ provide names of manufacturers who offer 5-year warranties? (updated July 7, 2020)
DEQ is not recommending a specific manufacturer. The requirement of a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty is standard language in the Grant Solicitations of most of the states that have issued Grant Solicitations for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.
If the applicant is the owner of the property, what kind of site-host agreement is required? Is there a preferred template?
A simple statement that the applicant is the owner, and therefore the site-host, will suffice. There is not a preferred template on which an applicant must make this statement.
The Grant Solicitation states in Section V.2.a. that projects must be located within a maximum distance of 2 miles of an exit off highway or interstate, though closer proximity of less than 0.5 miles is highly encouraged and points will be awarded accordingly. How strict is this requirement? (Updated July 7, 2020)
Round 2: This requirement has some flexibility, depending on the other attributes of the application.
What kind of operation and maintenance costs will be reimbursed under the ChargeOK program? Will the cost of electricity be reimbursed?
The VW State Mitigation Trust Agreement states in Appendix D-2, paragraph 9 that trust funds may be used “on costs necessary for, and directly connected to, the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of new light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment …” However, the Trust Agreement goes on to state that “Trust Funds shall not be made available or used to purchase … general maintenance (i.e., maintenance other than of the supply equipment).” Due to the language of the Trust Agreement, it has been determined that the cost of electricity falls within general maintenance and thus will not be reimbursed. It has been determined that allowable costs for operation and maintenance under the Trust Agreement (i.e., costs for maintenance of the supply equipment only) is the cost of a 5-year warranty on the equipment and a 5-year contract for the software/networking of the equipment.
May a foreign company apply to the ChargeOK program? (updated July 7, 2020)
Pursuant to Section IV.A. of the Grant Solicitation, eligible businesses are those registered with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.
Section V.4.a. of the Grant Solicitation states that each charging unit must offer CHAdeMo and SAE CCS charging protocol connectors. (updated July 7, 2020)
Yes. Both types of connectors are required for each charging location.
Is it permissible under the ChargeOK program for an applicant to purchase the equipment and construct a charging station on the property of the site-host, then donate the station to the site host who will then own and operate the station?
This is permissible under certain circumstances. A Memorandum of Understanding, or another equivalent agreement, between the applicant and site-host should be submitted with the application. Further, the site-host must enter into an MOA with DEQ prior to assuming title to the station. It is important to also note that DEQ will only reimburse the party that holds title to the equipment at the time of reimbursement.
What credit card options are required at the charging station? Will the equipment be required to have a physical credit/debit card reader? (updated July 7, 2020)
Pursuant to the Grant Solicitation at Section V.3.d, if charging service is not provided as a free service/amenity, then charging stations must be Payment Card Industry compliant to allow direct use of a credit or debit card at the charging station itself.
What entities are eligible applicants for the ChargeOK grant program? (updated July 7, 2020)
Pursuant to the Grant Solicitation at Section IV.A, eligible applicants include the following:

  • Businesses, registered in Oklahoma with the Secretary of State
  • Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Government Agencies
  • 501(c)(3) Organizations
  • Air Quality or Transportation Organizations
  • Metropolitan or Rural/Regional Transportation Planning Organizations
Pursuant to the Grant Solicitation Section IV.B., what types of proof of matching funds will be acceptable? (updated July 7, 2020)
Eligible sources of a match include cash, loans, and other grants or capital assets dedicated to the project. All matching funds claimed in a project proposal must be supported with documentation that demonstrates the funds are available. Furthermore, once the project is complete, documentation must be provided showing all equipment, installation, network, and warranties have been paid in full in order to receive a reimbursement.
Will a contract between the Applicant and the Site Host whereby the Site Host will make payments for the EV Charger sufficient to equal the matched funding suffice?
Any proof of sufficient funding to fulfill the applicant’s match will suffice. As stated above, all matching funds claimed in a project proposal must be supported with documentation that demonstrates the funds are available. The cost of equipment and installation must be paid in full and receipts submitted to ChargeOK grant program before reimbursement will be initiated.
Per Section IV.A. of the Grant Solicitation, for eligible applicants who are a Businesses, will the entity be required to be incorporated in the state of Oklahoma, or just have an active DBA on file with the Secretary of State? (updated July 7, 2020)
Please refer to the definition of “Business” in Section VIII. Glossary of the Grant Solicitation (as instructed in Section IV.A.). In order for a business to be considered an eligible applicant, the applicant must either be incorporated in or registered with the Oklahoma Secretary of State to do business in Oklahoma. To the extent an entity with an active DBA on file with the Secretary of State has registered with the Secretary of State, it is eligible to apply.
If the applicant is requesting less than 80% reimbursement, how many additional points will they receive?
Each specific score will depend on how much less than 80% is applied for and how much the dollars-per-ton-of-NOx-reduced decreases. 20% of the total project score is for cost effectiveness.
Can a single point location be on a highway corridor, and how many chargers are necessary?
Yes, a single point location can be on a highway corridor. At least one is necessary, but more chargers would earn the project more points.
Why are 100kW chargers not being considered?
We did not list every charging option available; any DCFC charger 50kW or greater is acceptable.
Per Section V.4.K. of the Grant Solicitation re: use of renewable sources, is it intended that the renewables will be onsite distributed generation resources, or will if suffice if the utility providing electric service to the EV charger has renewable energy generation in its power mix? (updated July 7, 2020)
Renewable generation must be on site to qualify for extra points
Are there different requirements for Tier 1 and Tier 2 corridor locations?
No.
If applying for multiple single-point chargers, should one application per charger be submitted, or one overall application including all requested charge points?
Applicants may submit one application containing more than one proposal, but enough information must be provided such that each charging point can be graded separately (unless it is specified in the application that the application is all-or-nothing).
If a project doesn't fall in the Transportation Corridors identified, can an application still be submitted for a Single Point Fast Charging Hub on I-35?
Yes, but keep in mind that three corridors were omitted from the ChargeOK program because Electrify America is planning to locate DCFCs in them. The corridors are I-35 south of Oklahoma City, I-40 west of Oklahoma City, and I-44 northeast of Oklahoma City.
Can you provide a map of Transportation Corridors with a utility/coop service territory overlay?
If there is a question regarding what territory your charging station may be in, the site host (if different from the applicant) or the applicant should contact its utility to confirm which utility will provide service at the charging station.
Would DEQ line item non-approved locations but still approve some of the locations if multiple locations are in the same application? I don't want to submit an application for 6 locations and the entire application is denied because only 4 or 5 are approvable.
Yes, DEQ may only approve a few of the projects in an application that is for multiple locations, assuming the applicant provides all of the information required to evaluate each location.
What if the only eligible sites for high-way corridor siting of EV chargers are on facilities leased by the Site Host from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT)? Would the Site Host agreement require ODOT's approval as well?
Any applicant proposing a station on property which is leased by the site host should consult the site host’s lease agreement and take any other steps necessary to ensure the station will be sited for the agreed upon term of 5 years. If the site host loses possession of the leased property, causing the station to be removed prior to completion of the 5 year term, the applicant could be subject to repaying all or part of its reimbursement.
Are 24/7 restrooms and water required or preferred?
24/7 access to the charger is required. 24/7 access to water, bathrooms, and other amenities is preferred. If 24/7 access to water and bathrooms is not possible please explain why. This issue falls under a scoring category that is worth 20% of the project score.
Will successful applicants be funded fully for a station or will some projects be awarded only partial funding? (updated July 7, 2020)
Per the Grant Solicitation Section VII., DEQ has the right to award partials grants. Thus, DEQ may choose to fully fund some proposals and partially fund others. The MOA between DEQ and successful applicants will state the matching percentage (a maximum of 80% of the eligible cost), not to exceed an amount equal to 80% of the estimated eligible cost submitted in the application.

 

Clean Diesel (DERA) Grant Program Questions

Program Page

What if an applicant wishes to fund an alternative fuel vehicle project?
Only diesel and gasoline powered school bus replacements are eligible under the Clean Diesel Program. Funding for alternative fuel school bus projects is only available under the Alternative Fuel School Bus Program.
Which program should a school district apply for if they are replacing an old diesel bus with a new diesel or gasoline bus?
Apply to the Oklahoma Clean Diesel Program.
If a school district received a grant under the last round of funding, are they eligible to apply again?
Yes. Having successfully completed the FY18 Clean Diesel Program does not disqualify an applicant or impact an applicant’s score.

If an applicant had late completion of their FY18 Clean Diesel Program project, it may negatively impact their application score for FY19 funding, but their application will not be disqualified.

If an applicant has already replaced buses, would the grant cover those costs?
No. Per Section IV.A in the Grant Solicitation, “Subgrant recipient must execute the MOA with DEQ and receive a written work commencement notification before any work on the project is started. Any funds spent by the subgrant recipient before official notification will not be reimbursed.”
Who is eligible for the Oklahoma Clean Diesel Program?

Per Section II.A of the Grant Solicitation: “The Fiscal Year 2019 grant program will be open to all school districts that transport students in grades pre-Kindergarten through 12.”

Does the replaced bus have to be in active service?
Yes. Eligible buses must be early attrition projects. Per Section II.B in the Grant Solicitation, “All eligible replacement projects must be early attrition projects. Early attrition refers to a project where a vehicle is replaced before that vehicle is scheduled to be replaced. For the purposes of this grant, any vehicle that is due to be replaced, scheduled to be replaced, or has a life expiration date before September 30, 2023 is considered to be normal attrition and therefore not eligible for FY 2019 Oklahoma Clean Diesel Grant Program funds.”
Can an applicant submit projects for both the Oklahoma Clean Diesel Program and the Alternative Fuel School Bus Program?
Yes. Awards may potentially be granted under both programs, but only if the projects are separate and do not affect the same eligible buses.
Can the original school bus be gasoline?
No, the original school bus to be replaced must be diesel, but the new/purchased bus can be either diesel or gasoline.
Are projects to replace activity buses eligible?
Yes
Is there an award cap for the Clean Diesel program, either for number of buses or dollar amount?
No
Does it matter if I submit my application via email or via postal mail?
No, but an email submittal will arrive quicker, which may be important if you are concerned about hitting a deadline.
Does it matter who scraps the old bus?
No. As long as scrappage meets the requirements described in Section II.B of the Grant Solicitation as well as the MOA then it does not matter who scraps the bus. Additionally, proper photographs and scrappage forms will be required.
Is leasing eligible under this program? Is an entity allowed to lease buses under the Clean Diesel program?
Traditional lease agreements without the option to purchase the vehicle are not eligible. However, “Lease Purchase Agreements” or other similar agreements may be eligible only if the award recipient owns the title to the vehicle by the end of the announced project period, and prior to submitting reimbursement paperwork. Eligibility of said agreements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

 

Contact Information

Volkswagen Settlement Contact Information
  • Email: VWSettlement@deq.ok.gov
  • Phone: 405-702-4100
  • Postal Mail:
    • Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
    • AQD – Volkswagen Settlement Programs
    • 707 N Robinson
    • PO Box 1677
    • Oklahoma City, OK 73101
Clean Diesel Contact Information
  • Email: CleanDiesel@deq.ok.gov
  • Phone: 405-702-4100
  • Postal Mail:
    • Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
    • AQD – Clean Diesel Grant Program
    • 707 N Robinson
    • P.O. Box 1677
    • Oklahoma City, OK 73101