DNREC, DelDOT To Deploy New EV Charging Stations Along State’s Major Travel Routes Via BIL Initiative Funding

DNREC and DelDOT will locate 11 multi-car, fast-charging electric vehicle charging stations along major travel routes followed by an expansion of EV charging stations into communities over the next five years.

 

Major Expansion Into Communities To Follow Over Next Five Years

Delaware plans to locate 11 multi-car, fast-charging electric vehicle charging stations along major travel routes followed by an expansion of EV charging stations into communities over the next five years as part of a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) initiative to dramatically expand EV charging across the country.

Under an initial plan submitted to the federal government July 29 jointly by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), Delaware proposes to utilize almost $18 million in federal funds to:

  • In a first phase, locate five new charging stations around the state, meeting a requirement with the BIL funding that EV charging stations be available at least every 50 miles along major travel routes identified by the federal government: I-95, SR 1, U.S. 13 and U.S. 113. Subject to additional data and public input, the general targeted areas are the I-95 Biden Welcome Center near Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach, Laurel and Selbyville.
  • In a second phase, locate six additional charging stations in additional areas along the identified corridors, meeting a state goal of every-25-mile availability. Subject to additional data and public input, the general targeted areas are Middletown, Smyrna, Harrington, Milford, Bridgeville and Georgetown.
  • In a third phase, locate charging stations in high-density residential areas, focusing on areas with multi-family housing and/or street parking in areas that may not otherwise have convenient charging options.

The operators and exact locations of the EV stations in the general identified areas would be chosen through a competitive process after additional planning and public input. EV drivers would pay for the use of the chargers.

The initial state plan is part of the National Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program that aims to place half a million new EV charging stations across the country by 2030, making it easier and more predictable to travel in electric vehicles. NEVI includes requirements that the charging stations along major highway corridors be “DC fast chargers” capable of charging at least four vehicles at a time, operate 24 hours a day, and use common payment platforms.

NEVI is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021 and championed by U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester.
“Tailpipe emissions from our vehicles are the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions both here in Delaware and across the country. Making it easier for Delawareans to choose to drive electric is a key strategy in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The federal funding made available through the NEVI program accelerates our efforts in Delaware to not just reduce transportation emissions, but improve air quality in our communities, improve public health and expand transportation choices.”

DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski said installing charging stations here and around the country will increase consumer confidence that purchasing an electric vehicle is a practical choice, and is good for Delaware. “Increased temperatures, sea level rise and more frequent and intense storms and flooding take a toll on our transportation network,” Majeski said. “Accelerating our transition to cleaner transportation is essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Further development of the plan will include engagement from industry, environmental and community stakeholders. The submitted NEVI plan and other information about creating support for EVs in Delaware can be found at https://deldot.gov/Programs/NEVI/index.shtml.

The NEVI funding is one of several funding opportunities and activities the State will utilize in a broader effort to encourage electric vehicle use. Gov. John Carney’s administration has supported electric vehicles by offering rebates for the purchase or lease of electric vehicles through DNREC’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program and incentives for the installation of public, fleet, workplace and multi-family charging stations through DNREC’s Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Rebate Program.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media contacts: DNREC: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; DelDOT: C.R. McLeod, charles.mcleod@delaware.gov


Governor Carney Announces Five-Year Effort to Improve Water and Wastewater Systems, Protects Residents

NEWARK, Del. – Governor John Carney announced Wednesday that state agencies will begin accepting applications to loan or grant money for drinking water and wastewater system improvements around the state, with capacity for historic levels of investment in water infrastructure from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the state Clean Water Trust, created in 2021.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — championed by U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, and U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and signed by President Biden in November 2021 — is a once-in-a-generation commitment to improving roads, bridges, transit, water and wastewater systems, broadband, energy and other infrastructure areas.

Cities, towns, counties, water companies and communities are eligible to apply for the increased and more flexible funding coming from the federal government to the existing Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) administered by the state Division of Public Health and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF, which focuses on wastewater and stormwater projects) administered by the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. As directed by Congress, these existing processes will manage requests and inquiries related to this funding. The joint DWSRF/CWSRF workshop to begin the 2022 application process takes place Thursday, March 24 at 10 a.m. and pre-registration is open.

On Wednesday, Governor Carney toured a City of Newark water facility that used funding from the state Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to construct a 250,000-gallon storage tank, install a contaminant removal system, and complete plant building upgrades that will allow for additional treatment if needed in the future.

Click here to view photos from the tour.

“Delawareans deserve clean water. It’s as simple as that,” said Governor Carney. “Access to clean and safe water should be a promise we make to our residents, and we need to protect this resource for future generations. The combination of the Clean Water Trust – led by Representative Longhurst and Senator Townsend – and the new federal funding led by Senators Carper, Coons and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, will help us deliver on the promise of clean water for all Delawareans.”

With Delaware’s $315 million for clean water and drinking water from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more money will be available for the next five years for the types of water and wastewater projects traditionally financed by the funds, and with dedicated funding for disadvantaged communities, to address emerging contaminants such as PFAS, and to find and replace remove lead water lines or water line components. Delaware water systems are not known to have many lead water lines, but the funding can be used for a federally required inventory of systems for any lead lines and components that must be completed by October 2024, as well as for any needed replacements.

In the 2022 round of annual loans and grants, Delaware communities will have access to:

  • $29 million for the general Drinking Water fund projects, such as source water protection, treatment, storage, distribution, cybersecurity and sustainable energy projects, which is almost three times as much as usual
  • $16.5 million for the general Clean Water fund projects, such as wastewater treatment plant upgrades, septic elimination projects, and sewer interceptor rehabilitations, which is about twice as much as usual
  • $28 million specifically for lead service drinking water line identification and, if needed, replacement, which is new dedicated funding
  • $8 million for projects to address PFAS or other emerging contaminants in drinking water or wastewater systems, which is also new dedicated funding

Of the traditional project lines and the lead pipe replacement lines, 49 percent of the fund must be provided as forgivable loans or grants to communities that qualify as disadvantaged. The definition of disadvantaged varies by programs but can be updated by the state programs this year to expand the potential access. The emerging contaminant funds also have requirements for spending in disadvantaged communities.

“Clean water is critical to everything we do – from our health to our environment and to our economy – access to safe and clean water is a basic necessity,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Ph.D., R.N. “Thanks to President Biden and our Congressional Delegation, these critical infrastructure funds along with the Clean Water Trust Fund will help ensure clean water for all Delaware communities, particularly the underserved. Protecting our water quality is the foundation of a stronger and healthier Delaware.”

“Planning for the future is a key strategy in responding to emerging contaminants,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “DPH is thankful and pleased to support Newark and other municipalities and communities in providing clean water to residents. The infrastructure investments being made now, and that will be possible with the funds coming to Delaware, will substantially expand DPH’s reach to ensure all Delawareans have access to safe drinking water.”

“With this historic investment, we will be able to advance our goal of clean water for all Delawareans,” said Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Even so, addressing the water challenges of our state will not happen overnight. We have a lot of work to do – work we’ll do together – to support water quality improvement projects in communities across Delaware, particularly our overburdened and underserved communities.”

The federal funding will work in conjunction with the state’s Clean Water Trust, created in 2021 to plan and deploy water investments from multiple funding sources. Because of the five-year increase in infrastructure funding from the federal government, the state water loan programs are urging potential applicants to consider the next several years of improvements, and to potentially apply for planning grants this year that could turn into infrastructure projects that need to be funded in future years.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s provisions include the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act that Senator Carper authored in the Environment and Public Works Committee in the U.S. Senate. Specifically, the law will provide states with increased State Revolving Loan funding and program flexibilities that allow them to invest in community water projects to address aging infrastructure and improve water quality.

“Up and down the state and across the country, we’ve seen the dire consequences when our water infrastructure fails. That’s why we made unprecedented investments in our nation’s water infrastructure through the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Senator Carper. “I am proud that our committee’s work led to this announcement today and that we are now one step closer to ensuring that all Delawareans – and all Americans — have clean and safe drinking water and wastewater.”

“Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right,” said Senator Coons. “The bipartisan infrastructure framework that President Biden signed into law is a blue-collar blueprint for our country to deliver historic investments, including upgrades to our water systems so that every Delawarean can enjoy that right. Thanks to Governor Carney and my colleagues in the congressional delegation, and we’re one step closer to all Delawareans having access to the clean drinking water they deserve.”

“Access to clean, safe, and reliable drinking water has been a mounting crisis in our country including in communities right here in Delaware, and ensuring access is critically important for improving not only Delawareans’ quality of life but our overall public health,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “That’s why I was proud to vote for President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that brings the largest investment in drinking water and wastewater in American history, and I commend Governor Carney for utilizing this funding, compiled with the Clean Water Trust, to ensure Delawareans have access to clean water across the state.”

For more information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, visit: de.gov/infrastructure

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Delaware Announces Start of Universal Broadband Construction

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney and State Chief Information Officer Jason Clarke of the Department of Technology and Information (DTI) on Thursday announced $56 million in Broadband Infrastructure Grants to begin making high-speed wired broadband connections available to every Delaware home. The award recipients, Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom, are current State of Delaware service providers with existing broadband infrastructure that responded to a grant application released in October 2021. The three companies will extend their existing coverage areas to serve more than 11,600 Delaware homes and businesses which do not have access to high-speed, wired broadband service. Construction is expected to begin in the next few weeks.

Broadband Infrastructure Grant Awards:

  • Comcast – $33.1 million
  • Verizon – $11.8 million
  • Mediacom – $11.1 million

“Stable, high-speed internet connection is important for all Delaware families, students, and businesses,” said Governor Carney. “Now, with the availability of federal funds, we are on our way to giving Delawareans across the state access to connect to school, work, health care, and more. Thank you to the Department of Technology and Information working toward our goal of being the first state to connect every residence and business to broadband internet.”

Over the next 36 months, Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom will build out and extend current infrastructure to deliver fixed, wireline internet access with transmission speeds that, at a minimum, provide 100 megabits per second (100 Mbps) download and 20 megabits per second (20 Mbps) upload.

Delawareans can find out if their area has internet access and report addresses that do not using Delaware’s Broadband Hub (https://gis.broadband.delaware.gov/). DTI plans to update the interactive map with expansion project updates and real-time data. Addresses reported as lacking service during the construction phase will be included within the current project.

“Expanding access to reliable broadband service has long been a priority for Delaware,” said Chief Information Officer of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information Jason Clarke. “Thanks to our ability to leverage funding made available from Congress and the President and with the support of Governor Carney, we are excited to execute on the strategy of our stakeholders and our well-positioned vendor community to close the digital divide in Delaware.” 

The Broadband Infrastructure Grants are part of the $110 million commitment to broadband infrastructure Governor Carney announced in August 2021. Funding for this initiative comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, both of which were supported by the Delaware congressional delegation –  Senator Tom Carper, Senator Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester – and signed into law by President Biden. 

The grants cover up to 75 percent of the capital construction costs, with the internet service providers contributing a minimum 25 percent match. Selections were made based on an efficient edge-out strategy extending the services of current vendors to close broadband gaps as outlined in the Delaware Broadband Strategic Plan. This plan was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders with representation from the public and private sector across the state. Applicants had to be current State of Delaware service providers with existing broadband infrastructure to be eligible for the grant.

“We are thrilled to be given this opportunity to expand Mediacom’s fiber network and increase high-speed broadband access within Delaware,” said Chris Lord, Mediacom’s Director of Government Partnerships. “The staff at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information created an amazingly efficient application process that effectively utilizes public resources to encourage private investment while leveraging existing fiber infrastructure.”  

“Verizon is excited to participate in Delaware’s Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, ” said Tony Lewis, Vice President of Public Policy for Verizon. “This Grant will help Verizon deploy our best in class all-fiber network technology to deliver our flagship Fios Home Internet service — with speeds up to 940 Mbps and no data caps —  to roughly 3,000 additional unserved locations. We appreciate the leadership of Governor Carney and the other State officials in quickly and aggressively implementing the federal funding that President Biden and Congress have made available to help close the digital divide. We look forward to a continued partnership with the State for this and future programs that will flow from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

“We’re proud to partner with the state of Delaware and continue our investment to bring our fiber-rich network and advanced services to residents up and down the state,” said Michael Parker, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Beltway Region. “This partnership will bolster the hundreds of millions of dollars Comcast has already invested in the state to connect thousands of currently unserved homes to our gigabit speed fiber network. Technology is a powerful driver of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth, and we’re committed to helping individuals and communities fully participate in the digital economy.”

For more information on investments with American Rescue Plan Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds, visit de.gov/rescueplan and de.gov/infrastructure.

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Delaware to Adopt Zero Emission Vehicle Regulation

Goal is to Increase Electric Vehicle Availability, Purchases in First State and Save Delaware Drivers Money

WILMINGTON, Del. — Governor John Carney on Thursday announced that Delaware will join 13 other states in adopting California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations, providing drivers looking to purchase an electric vehicle with more choices at Delaware dealerships.

“In 2017, we signed on to the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing to reduce our carbon emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025. Adopting ZEV regulations will help us make progress on those goals, as well as the other goals outlined in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan,” said Governor Carney. “By adopting the ZEV regulations, Delaware drivers won’t have to go out of state to find an electric vehicle to purchase, and our dealerships will benefit by keeping Delaware customers in Delaware. By creating a better environment for the sale and purchase of electric vehicles, and aligning the environment with massive investments in infrastructure from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will create a positive electric vehicle future in our state.”

Managed by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the ZEV program is designed to accelerate the commercialization of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles. The regulations mandate that a certain percentage of the vehicles delivered for sale in a state are ZEV vehicles. Manufacturers receive credits for each delivered vehicle based on the type of vehicle, range and other factors. Each year, manufacturers must meet a ZEV credit amount that is based on average annual sales. In states already in the program, the automobile industry has successfully met the required percentage.

Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware. DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin said increasing the number of zero emission vehicles on Delaware roads, along with building out the state’s electric vehicle charging network are key strategies outlined in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, a result of a two year-long process involving residents, businesses, and technical experts.

Advancing these strategies will reduce carbon pollutionimprove air quality and help support fuel savings for the average consumer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, switching to an electric vehicle could save a household approximately $500 to $1,000 on fuel costs per year. Electric vehicles also tend to have lower maintenance costs than gasoline cars, which also reduces ownership costs.

“Since 2015, Delaware has managed several successful incentive programs to encourage residents and businesses to switch to clean transportation alternatives,” said Secretary Garvin. “In tandem with the electric transportation infrastructure investments being made by the state, ZEV will help provide momentum to our transition to an electric transportation future.”

The DNREC Clean Vehicle Rebate Program currently offers rebates up to $2,500 within 90 days of a vehicle purchase or lease before June 30, 2022. In November, DNREC also announced a $1.4 million grant program to expand Delaware’s electric charging network. Funding will be targeted to increase the availability of electric vehicle infrastructure in areas where access to fast charging stations is limited. 

In addition, the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide almost $18 million to Delaware over five years to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging networks along major routes, and contains possible funding opportunities for electric transit buses, electric school buses and other electric vehicle infrastructure.

Implementation of the ZEV regulations would not take place until model year 2027 (2026) to provide manufacturers time to adjust their inventories and prepare dealerships. There are currently at least 45 ZEV models available to customers in the United States, and over 1.5 million ZEVs have been sold nationwide.

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