Wyoming DEQ Volkswagen Funding

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is now accepting grant proposals for emissions reduction projects across the state.

Proposed projects must involve methods to mitigate nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from vehicles listed within the eligible mitigation actions established in DEQ’s Volkswagen (VW) Mitigation Plan.

More detailed information about eligible mitigation actions can be found in DEQ’s mitigation plan, which is available at https://deq.wyoming.gov/outreach-public-information/volkswagen-settlement/.

DEQ will fund accepted grant proposals from $1,000,000 of funding provided through the Volkswagen Settlement Funds.

In 2019, DEQ awarded over $500,000 VW Settlement funds to Grand Teton National Park, Western Wyoming Beverages, the Jackson Hole Airport, and Sublette County School District #1. YTCC supported both Jackson Hole Airport and Grand Teton National Park on their applications.

This is an open and competitive process. Applicants must submit their proposals to DEQ no later than 5:00 p.m. January 31, 2024, to be considered. Project applicants will be scored on a numeric, 70-point scale. Points will be awarded based on how well applicants demonstrate that their project meets the criteria specified in the DEQ VW Mitigation Plan, as well as the level of detail included in the applicant’s responses to application questions. All project applicants will receive fair and equal consideration.

The following criteria will be used in selection and ranking of proposals

  1. Greatest NOX emissions reductions.
  2. Cost benefit – Projects that achieve the highest emission reductions at the lowest cost.
  3. Potential for achieving measurable NOX emission reductions in nonattainment areas.
  4. NOX Emission reduction benefits to areas of greater population density.
  5. NOX Emission reduction benefits to sensitive populations, such as children and the elderly.

Projects Eligible for VW Settlement funds:

  1. Class 8 Local Freight Trucks (Eligible Large Trucks)
  2. Class 4-8 School Bus, Shuttle Bus, or Transit Bus (Eligible Buses)
  3. Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks (Medium Trucks)
  4. Airport Ground Support Equipment

Please reach out to alicia@ytcleancities.org if you would like to discuss a project.

Apply for the grant HERE.

YTCC hosted an informational webinar with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, you can find the recording HERE.

Clean School Buses are a Win-Win for Our Region

The Opportunity

Clean school buses reduce emissions by 90-100%. The US EPA Clean School Bus Program, provides $5 billion over the next five years (through FY 26) to replace existing school buses with electric, propane, and compressed natural gas. The state of Wyoming has DERA and VW Funding programs to support the purchase of alternative fuel and newer diesel buses. The state of Montana also has DERA funding available to support the purchase of clean school buses.

The US EPA Clean School Bus Program application deadline was just extended to February 14th!


Our children’s health, the health of the planet and to be fiscally responsible.

  • Emissions from diesel school buses produce 4-12x worse air quality than ambient air. Children are particularly susceptible to negative health impacts of diesel emissions, which include asthma, cancer, and other respiratory illnesses. (1)
  • The electricity to power electric school buses produces half the annual greenhouse gas emissions compared to compressed natural gas, propane, diesel, and biodiesel fuels.
  • An alternative fuel or electric school bus can reduce annual fuel costs by $12,000 annually and lifetime savings range from ~$150,000-$380,000 per bus depending on the fuel.

(1) Chen Z, Salam MT, Eckel SP, et al.. Chronic effects of air pollution on respiratory health in Southern California children: findings from the Southern California Children’s Health Study. J Thorac Dis 2015;7:46–58

(2) afleet.es.anl.gov/afleet. Assumptions: Five fuels for school buses: electric, compressed natural gas, propane, diesel, and biodiesel. Utilizing various electricity mixes for electric school buses and North American natural gas for compressed natural gas. 15,000 miles per bus per year.

Cost Savings

There are currently numerous funding sources to support the purchase of Clean School Buses in addition to the necessary charging stations needed if electric school buses are selected. The funding sources can cover nearly the entire cost of an electric bus and a significant portion of propane and CNG buses. The fuel costs of electricity, propane, and CNG are also significantly less than gasoline and diesel. The combination of the reduced upfront cost of the bus in addition to fuel cost savings provides a solid financial case for a school district in Montana or Idaho and the state of Wyoming (In Wyoming the state reimburses each school district for their bus and fuel purchases, therefore the state of Wyoming owns the school buses. The Department of Education receives the financial benefits of the clean school buses, which will free up budget spending for other prority areas in the state.)

By combining funding sources, a single electric school bus can save approximately $380,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle. If a school district chooses to implement 2-4 electric, propane or CNG buses into their fleet, the savings really stack up. See the image below to visualize the lifetime cost savings of one clean school bus for electric, propane and CNG, respectively.

There are many ways to view the cost savings associated with clean school buses. Please view the document linked below for a Wyoming-focused analysis of clean school bus savings.

Wyoming Clean School Bus Financial Analysis

Current funding opportunities to support clean school bus adoption:

The Known Barriers

If there are so many benefits, why do we not see more clean school buses on the road in our region? Well, there are a few barriers and they differ by state and school district, but we (YTCC), in addition to others in the state, including the Wyoming Outdoor Council, have been working to understand and help alleviate some of these barriers. However, one of the greatest barriers is misinformation, and we all can work together to ensure the facts about clean school buses are communicated properly. Please view the “Clean School Bus Program for Wyoming Schools” document and the Frequently Asked Questions to understand the barriers and responses to the perceived barriers.

How You Can Help

Working towards more Clean School Buses in our region is unique in that every layer of the community can engage in some way. Some paths forward are below:

Parents: Write a letter to your school board and school superintendent requesting they deploy clean school buses. Make the letter personal and explain why clean school buses are important to you. Share the EPA’s clean school bus activity book with your children. SAMPLE LETTER TO SCHOOL BOARD.

Students: Send a letter to your school board and school superintendent requesting they deploy clean school buses. If you are a part of an environmental club, introduce the concept to your environmental club and send a letter to your school board and superintendent from the group. Also, request your school introduce the clean school bus activity book at appropriate grade levels.

Advocacy Organizations: Does your organization promote clean energy, climate, improved air quality, the well-being of children, and more? You can also send a letter to your local school board in addition to providing education at the state level, such as informing your elected officials at the state level about the value to our environment, health and finances.

Policymakers: Those at the state level can introduce legislation and support legislation as it promotes an easier transition to electric vehicles. As this legislation is introduced we’ll provide updates here.

School Districts Fleet or Business Manger: The EPA has developed a very short hand-out succinctly explaining the steps to follow when assessing your school bus fleet’s compatibility with electric school buses, this can be slightly modified for propane and CNG. Quick Guide to Electrifying Your School Bus Fleet.

(1) Understand route and energy needs

(2) Select preferred charging strategies

(3) Identify infrastructure requirements


Clean School Bus Program for Wyoming Schools

Cold weather impacts on electric school buses

Educational resources for students

Sample letter to school board (PDF)

Sample letter to school board (Word)

Havre, MT Cold Weather Rural School District Case Study

Wyoming Clean School Bus Financial Analysis

Renewable Diesel Availability at Public Gas Stations to 3 New States!

Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities (YTCC) is excited to announce a significant expansion of its sustainable fuel efforts with Renewable Diesel now available at public gas stations in Belgrade, MT; Jackson, WY; and Nampa, ID. This collaborative effort, with Parkland USA and Farstad Oil underscores YTCC’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a practical way and promoting cleaner transportation solutions in the region.

Renewable Diesel is a premium alternative to traditional diesel fuel that is produced from renewable resources such as animal fats, vegetable oils, and other organic feedstocks. It is a lower-carbon emitting, high-performance fuel that can help reduce the environmental impact of transportation while maintaining the efficiency and increasing reliability demanded by consumers.

“We are thrilled to bring Renewable Diesel to Belgrade, Jackson, and Nampa,” said Jesse Therien,  Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities, Project Manager. Jesse has been working persistently and attentively for over a year to educate fleet managers and station owners in the region about the benefits of Renewable Diesel. 

“This endeavor not only supports YTCC’s mission but also aligns with the broader goal of the Biden administration to transition to a decarbonized transportation system”, said Alicia Cox, Executive Director of Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities.

Renewable Diesel offers several key benefits, including:

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Renewable Diesel produces up to 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional diesel, contributing to a cleaner environment.

Improved Air Quality: Using Renewable Diesel can help reduce air pollutants and particulate matter, leading to improved air quality in urban areas.

Compatibility with Existing Engines: Renewable Diesel can be used in existing diesel engines without modifications, making it a practical choice for fleets and individual drivers. It reduces DPF regens and DEF consumption.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Jesse and Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities  to be the first to offer renewable diesel in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming,” Cole Mort, Sales Manager Northern Regional Operating Center (ROC).

YTCC is actively working with local gas station owners, fuel distributors, government agencies and businesses to facilitate the introduction of Renewable Diesel at public stations as well as deliveries to specific fleet fueling locations. Through educational outreach and logistical support, YTCC works to make this sustainable fuel option easily accessible to those in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

The success of this partnership will not only benefit the local communities by offering cleaner fuel options but also contribute to the nationwide effort to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. YTCC recognizes the critical importance of expanding access to domestic sustainable fuels like Renewable Diesel to meet environmental goals and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. 

Schedule an Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive

Next month we will be celebrating National Drive Electric Week from September 22nd through October 1st. During this week the EV Experience team will be offering electric vehicle ‘ride and drives’…

Celebrating 20 years of YTCC

Check out this beautiful video highlighting some of YTCC’s work over the past 20 years.

The Wheel House Commuter Bike Parking Hub Launches for the 2023 Season

Skip the Traffic and Enjoy Your Ride

Jackson, Wyoming – June 8, 2023: The Wheel House commuter bike hub is now open at Stilson Parking Lot, offering a secure location for overnight bike parking and electric bike charging. Commuters can take advantage of this facility by parking, locking, and charging their bikes for free within The Wheel House. 

Residents and employees of Jackson Hole can now bypass the summer traffic and experience a stress-free journey to and from work using the local pathways. This program, in its 2nd year,  allows individuals commuting over Teton Pass or from the Westbank to park their vehicles, hop on their bikes, and cycle the remaining part of their commute.

“Most who live here have experienced being stuck in traffic on Hwy 22 during the summer months.  We wanted to offer an option to make it easier for folks to get out of their cars and allow biking to be a more inviting commute option, particularly with the bridge construction this summer,” Alicia Cox, Executive Director, Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities.

If you already bike commute but have been transporting your bike on the back of your vehicle each day, or you want to start commuting with your personal bike, you can simply lock your bike inside the tent and leave it there.  The program is free but please sign-up for the program so we can easily communicate with program participants. You can sign up here at the program page on YTCC’s website: https://ytcleancities.org/wheel-house-commuter-bike-hub/

Interested in improving your employees’ commute so they aren’t stuck in traffic? Consider providing e-bikes at the Stilson location for your employees to use. 


Alicia Cox, Executive Director

Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities



About The Wheel House:

The Wheel House commuter bike hub is the result of a partnership between Friends of Pathways, Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities, Teton Village Association and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. These organizations are dedicated to enhancing traffic flow and reducing emissions along Highway 22 in Jackson Hole.

Congressman Simpson Honored with Clean Transportation Hero Award from YTCC

Idaho Falls, ID | April 17th, 2023 – Congressman Mike Simpson has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to clean transportation, economic and energy security by Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities, a non-profit organization that promotes alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, energy efficient mobility systems and energy security in the region. Simpson was presented with the Clean Transportation Hero award at his office in Idaho Falls on Thursday, April 13th by YTCC staff, board members and stakeholders.

Simpson, who has represented Idaho in Congress for 25 years, has been a longstanding leader for clean energy and clean transportation. He has served on the House Appropriations Committee for well over a decade and has been instrumental in bringing clean energy funding to Idaho. For many years, he was the leading Republican on the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the U.S. Department of Energy – he served as Chairman from 2014-2018 and Ranking Member from 2019-2022. Currently, he is serving as Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior.

Simpson has played a major role in supporting funding for the Department of Energy resulting in support of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), a longstanding stakeholder of YTCC. INL’s work includes their motor coach fleet clean transportation research and demonstration projects, which now include the use of renewable diesel in their motorcoaches and one MCI full electric motorcoach. INL’s projects have been of significant benefit to the Greater Yellowstone region in terms of reducing emissions, improving air quality, and providing examples of alternative fuels successfully deployed in this cold weather climate region. 

Additionally, he has helped to increase funding for two critical clean transportation programs that are important to Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities: the EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants, which replace and rehabilitate dirty diesel engines across the country, and the DOE Clean Cities Program, which enables the nation’s 75 Clean Cities Coalitions to help public and private sector fleets transition to clean fuels and vehicles, establish clean fueling infrastructure, and educate key local and state leaders and the public about the many benefits of clean fuels.

The City of Idaho Falls, another key YTCC stakeholder, is a leader in advancing alternative fuels and energy efficient mobility systems. Idaho Falls Power recently deployed an all-electric Ford Lightning F-150 in addition to their 4 other hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Last year the City of Idaho Falls also launched a micro transit system to serve the community, Greater Idaho Falls Transit (GIFT). Under GIFT director, Kade Marquez’s leadership, GIFT operates 3 plug-in hybrid vans for its services. In addition to deployments, on March 16th, the City of Idaho Falls, Idaho Falls Power, GIFT and YTCC hosted a community electric vehicle charging station engagement lunch. 

Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities Executive Director, Alicia Cox said, “Congressman Simpson has been a consistent advocate for energy secure clean transportation in our region and country, and we are pleased to recognize his outstanding contributions with this award. His leadership and support have been instrumental in advancing critical programs and projects that are making a real difference in reducing emissions, improving air quality, and providing energy security in this region and throughout the country. We are grateful for his partnership and look forward to continuing to work together to create a cleaner, more energy secure future for all.”

L-R: Tad Pearson, INL Transportation Services Manager and YTCC Board Member; Alicia Cox, YTCC Executive Director; Representative Mike Simpson; Basil Barna, YTCC Board Member; Bear Prairie, Idaho Falls Power General Manager; Kade Marquez, GIFT Transit Coordinator

Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities is the sole regional designee of the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program. YTCC works to advance alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructure, and sustainable transportation options to increase energy security and sustainability in the Greater Yellowstone region. For more information about Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities, visit their website at www.ytcleancities.org.

Wyoming Updates NEVI and VW Funding Timeline

Wyoming DOT updated their timeline regarding NEVI and VW Funding. Note the in-person workshop scheduled for May 9th in Casper, WY will be moved to May 24th if any delay in this timeline occurs. If the workshop is delayed, deadlines are also delayed by two weeks.

As a reminder, the NEVI funding can only be used along the previously designated alternative fuel corridors. Year one funding of the NEVI program will only fund stations in the towns of Pine Bluffs, Laramie, Wheatland, Douglas, Buffalo, Sheridan, and Sundance.

The VW Funding is an excellent funding option for communities and businesses that are not located along the alternative fuel corridor. There is a total of $1.2 million available. The draft process to apply for these funds will be posted on April 1st as noted in the timeline below. Some high level priorities and program guidance for VW funds are outlined in Wyoming’s Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy:

  1. VW settlement funds will be open to off route recipients and include Level 2 and lower output Level 3 charging at multifamily dwellings and businesses more suited to local area travel.
  2. These funds will support up to 50% of the purchase and installation costs for this program.
  3. Funds will be awarded to qualified applicants on a first come, first served basis until all funds are exhausted. Applications from corridor funded areas will not be considered in this pool.

In addition to the VW Funding, the Community Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant program is also a great option for communities not along the alternative fuel corridors. This program is not yet open but the program website, linked above, is live.

Yesterday’s Wyoming Timeline Updates below:

Recently, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Standards and Requirements final rule. That release initiated actions for WYDOT and other state agencies to finalize the NEVI Funding Requests for Proposal (RFP) and the procedure for interested parties to apply for VW Settlement Funds.

While the NEVI final rules did answer some questions, it raised others. We continue to work with FHWA to clarify requirements and ensure the NEVI RFP is as comprehensive as possible. We are still waiting for some answers but feel we are far enough along to issue a predicted timeline for the next steps in the funding announcement process.

In addition, WYDOT continues to synchronize electric vehicle infrastructure support activities with other state agencies, which will require a longer RFP review process than normal. We will build that additional review time into RFP issuance and submittal schedules. This updated timeline is subject to change based upon FHWA responses and other State Agency review requirements.

Updated Timeline – Expected completion dates (NLT = no later than)

  1. Draft Cybersecurity requirement language received from the Wyoming Department of Enterprise Technology Service – March 3, 2023
  2. Final FHWA answers or clarification to NEVI final rule questions – March 7, 2023
  3. Draft RFP complete and submitted for State Agency Review – March 10, 2023
  4. RFP approved and posted for public review / comment – NLT April 1, 2023
  5. VW Settlement Fund Application Procedures posted – NLT April 1, 2023
  6. RFP questions due to WYDOT (RFP will provide additional information) – NLT April 21, 2023
  7. VW Settlement Application Procedures questions due to WYDOT – NLT April 21, 2023
  8. WYDOT response to RFP and VW Settlement application procedure questions – NLT April 28, 2023
  9. NEVI / VW Settlement Funding Workshop – May 9, Thyra Thomson State Office Building Casper, WY
    • Registration procedures and agenda will publish NLT April 10, 2023
  10. Final questions for NEVI RFP due to WYDOT NLT May 31, 2023
  11. WYDOT response to additional NEVI RFP questions NLT June 7, 2023
  12. RFP closes for proposals – on or about June 15, 2023
  13. VW Settlement Fund Application submissions activate on or about June 15, 2023

There is a possibility the timeline could be delayed during the RFP review process or by additional guidance we may receive from FHWA. In that case we have a secondary date for the Workshop arranged at the Thyra Thomson State Office Building on May 24, 2023. If we must delay the workshop, the final questions, RFP closing, and VW Settlement Funding Application opening dates will also be delayed by two weeks. We will publish an updated timeline.

If FHWA publishes guidance for discretionary grant programs prior to the workshop, we will cover those programs at that workshop. We will post any additional information on this site when it becomes available.