The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has awarded the City of Jersey City $2 million, a part of a federal lawsuit $72.2 million lawsuit settlement against Volkswagen, to purchase five new electric garbage trucks.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We are leading the State by establishing the necessary infrastructure for clean transportation in Jersey City, and this award will bolster our efforts,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“We all play a significant role in the battle against climate change, and replacing our 30-year-old diesel garbage trucks with zero-emission vehicles will significantly improve air quality citywide. We are continually looking for ways to become a more environmentally-conscious City, ultimately increasing quality of life with cleaner, healthier air.”
Jersey City’s proposal to replace five diesel garbage trucks with their electric counterpart was among more than 150 concepts submitted to the NJDEP.
The award is part of the state’s $72.2 million share of federal settlements following a lawsuit against Volkswagen for recording fraudulent emission levels in their diesel vehicles.
“Garbage trucks are the highest polluting vehicles in most municipal fleets, and run their routes down every street, spewing emissions throughout neighborhoods,” added Jersey City Business Administrator Brian Platt.
“This grant encompasses a number of aims as this week we are also installing solar panels at our DPW building and we will start to add charging stations throughout the city for municipal and public use.”
According to the DEP, transportation sector emissions account for 71 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions, as well as 42 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions in New Jersey.
In distributing the second round of funding, the DEP focused on promoting electrification to replace heavy-duty vehicles in overburdened communities.
Of the $16 million disbursed in the second round of funding, the city will receive $2,046,000 in total for the new vehicles. Other projects awarded include school buses and port-related vehicles
Other environmentally friendly initiatives include new public charging stations being installed at City Hall, the Annex and the Department of Public Works this week.
The charging stations will not only power the new garbage trucks, but will also be available for public use.
The city also remains committed to a new car sharing initiative to help reduce the size of the fleet as a whole, but also added electric vehicles to be shared by city employees to further boost clean transportation efforts.
Additionally, solar panels are being installed at the Department of Public Works this month, which will provide electricity to the building as well as the new charging stations.
Also the city plans to implement a ban on plastic bags before the end of June, with officials collaborating with local businesses to come up with alternative solutions.