The Meridian Airport Authority will receive more than $430,000 through an initial funding round provided through Mississippi’s Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced Thursday.
MDEQ will award $7,331,408 to 22 governmental and non-governmental organizations, including 12 school districts, for eligible projects using funds allocated to the State of Mississippi from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.
The Trust was formed as a result of a settlement agreement between Volkswagen and the US government regarding excessive nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel vehicles equipped with a “defeat device”.
MDEQ Executive Director Chris Wells said: “This fund is intended to have a local impact and we are excited to participate in spreading these funds to our community in hopes of creating a healthier Mississippi.”
Selected winners will receive an award in the form of a rebate that can cover up to 70% of the project costs. Most of the project funding will help replace older diesel-powered vehicles and equipment with newer low-emission diesel, clean fuel, or electric vehicles and equipment. The remainder of the funds will support the installation of publicly accessible charging stations for small electric vehicles.
Meridian Airport Authority will use a $430,435 grant to replace seven diesel-powered ground support equipment with electric equivalents.
Recipients must complete the project by September 30, 2025 and claim a refund up to the amount awarded.
12 public school districts have provided funds to replace old school buses.
Corinth School District – $995,452 for 4 electric buses and 4 charging stations
• George County School District – $353,340 for 6 diesel buses
Jackson County School District – $1,500,000 for 6 electric buses and 6 charging stations
• Louisville City School District – $54,000 per diesel bus
Lowndes County School District – $217,428 for 4 diesel buses
Monroe County School District – $412,800 for 8 diesel buses
New Albany School District – $223,650 for 4 diesel buses
• Ocean Springs School District – $625,020 for 11 diesel buses
Pontotoc County School District – $453,537 for 2 electric buses
Union County School District – $474,000 for 8 diesel buses
In addition to Meridian Airport, the following governmental and non-governmental organizations have funded various environmental mitigation projects.
City of Batesville – $9,000 for four Level 2 Dual Port Pedestal Charging Stations in downtown Batesville Square
City of Clarksdale – $6,129 for two Level 2 Dual Port Pedestal Charging Stations to be installed in the Clarksdale Civic Auditorium
Columbus Light and Water – $48,060 to install two DC fast-charging stations in auxiliary parking lots
Oxford Utilities – $48,060 to install two DC fast charging stations in a parking lot in downtown Oxford
Pan Isles, Inc. – $282,986 to replace two diesel engines and one diesel generator on the M/V Gulf Islander Ferry, a 250-passenger ferry that services Gulfport Harbor to Ship Islands; exchange for
• Cent. Andrew’s Episcopal School – $53,645 to replace two diesel school buses with new diesel school buses
Starkville Utilities – $48,060 for two DC fast charging stations to be installed at Starkville Electric Department
Sysco Jackson – $310,170 to replace 14 large short range diesel combination tractors with 14 new diesel tractors
Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association – $123,057 for four DC fast charging stations to be installed at the Batesville Civic Center
Tombigbee Electric Power Association – $48,060 for two DC fast charging stations to be installed at Coles department store
Waste Management – $570,000 to replace 13 large diesel solid waste collection vehicles with clean natural gas (CNG) vehicles