Two departments in the Magic City awarded funding for clean emissions

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 6:18 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. – The state of North Dakota has received money as part of a large emissions settlement with Volkswagen. The goal of the funding is to help reduce emissions of the pollutant nitrogen oxide by replacing or repowering diesel-powered vehicles and equipment.

Your News Leader spoke with two Minot departments who were awarded the funding to help Magic City be more eco-friendly.

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency found that Volkswagen cars were cheating emissions testing in the United States.

“Some sort of software in the vehicle would it so the test equipment would not realize what the actual emissions of those vehicles were,” said Angela Seligman, an environmental scientist with North Dakota’s Department of Environmental Quality.

As a result, the global company had to buy back millions of defective cars, promote electric cars and charging stations, and set up funding for states to promote cleaner emissions.

“As part of that trust, North Dakota was allocated $8.1 million to be able to use for our mitigation program,” said Seligman.

Through the settlement grant, businesses and departments across the state could apply for funding to replace diesel-powered vehicles with more emission-friendly ones, and that’s what the Minot Fire Department did.

“We are always looking for more ways to be environmentally friendly and this was just a way that we could take one of our older fleet and replace it with something newer that has better emissions and better safety,” said Kelli Kronschnabel, Minot Fire Chief.

Replacing a much older less efficient engine with one that is safer and promotes cleaner air.

“It means a safer piece of apparatus that’s out there. The newer vehicles are easier to operate, they have better turning radiuses and just a better overall, and they will be safer for us to be out on the roads with,” said Kronschnabel.

The Public Works Department also benefiting from the grant, replacing two of their hauling trucks.

“We burn up a lot of fuel on different things. So every vehicle we can get with better emissions makes just a better impact on the environment,” said Dan Jonasson, Public Works director.

Helping the Magic City breath cleaner.

The grant provides a 50% cost share for the award. The State’s Department of Environmental Quality will be accepting applications for another round of Volkswagen Settlement grant funding in the upcoming months.

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