Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor to get electric vehicle charging station

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The Town of Burns Harbor is one of 11 communities in Northwest Indiana which will receive a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station, South Shore Clean Cities is announcing.

South Shore Clean Cities partners were awarded a total of $206,000 in Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund grants to aid in the expansion of public electric vehicle charging stations.

Stations will be located in Burns Harbor, Portage, Michigan City, Crown Point, Gary, Lake Station, Whiting, Hammond, Highland, Merrillville, and Munster in Northwest Indiana. Seven more will be located in the Michiana area, in Culver, Elkhart, Goshen, Mishawaka, Plymouth, South Bend, and Warsaw.

The grants were awarded through the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and the Michiana Area Council of Governments, after being approved by the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Trust Fund Committee.

“These stations will help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and will serve as destinations for electric vehicle owners, helping to support the local economy while improving air quality,” said Carl Lisek, executive director of South Shore Clean Cities. “We applaud the leadership at NIRPC and MACOG as well as the municipal leaders they serve for their roles in embracing sustainable transportation and encourage others to follow their example.”

The awards represent 42 percent of the total number of grants awarded. The committee approved a total of $493,000 in grants for 56 communities.

South Shore Clean Cities partnered with NIPSCO for an incentive program dubbed “Project Plug-IN” for this round of grant applications,” South Shore Clean Cities said. “NIPSCO pledged a cash match of up to $500 for each successful grant application submitted that met eligible criteria. Eligible entities included public and nonprofit NIPSCO electric customers and Northern Indiana Green Fleet Program members in good standing who worked with South Shore Clean Cities to submit a proposal.

“South Shore Clean Cities manages the Northern Indiana Green Fleet Program for NIRPC and MACOG, the goal of which is to significantly improve the environmental performance of business and government vehicle fleets through diesel retrofits and other strategies. South Shore Clean Cities guides the member fleets to help mitigate barriers preventing the adoption of sustainable transportation options.

“In Oct. 2017, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order outlining steps to distribute Indiana’s $40.9 million portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund, which was established as a result of a settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Volkswagen Corporation for its violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

“These Level 2 electric vehicle charging station projects in particular lessen the burden on taxpayers by maximizing the use of grant opportunities to fund sustainable transportation infrastructure on public properties,’ Lisek said. “South Shore Clean Cities is proud to play a role in strengthening our local economies, improving air quality, and further positioning Northern Indiana as a state leader is the adoption of sustainable transportation methodologies.”



Posted 12/1/2020




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