MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has announced the state’s plan for investing the money it got from the Volkswagen emissions settlement on Wednesday.
In 2016, a federal judge has approved a $15 billion settlement for claims following the emissions cheating controversy, making it the largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history.
Thousands of Volkswagen diesel vehicles have been driving around Minnesota for years, sending potentially harmful nitrogen oxide into the air.
In all, Minnesota is getting a $47 million settlement from the German auto maker, which will come in installments over the coming years.
Their plan will manage the funds through five grant programs focused on school bus replacements, heavy-duty on, off-road and electric vehicles as well as electric vehicle charging stations.
The federal government has air quality standards for vehicles because they want to protect people with respiratory diseases like asthma and bronchitis.
“The funds Minnesota is receiving through this settlement provide our state a unique opportunity to improve the quality of our air and our environment,” Gov.r Mark Dayton said. “I commend the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and its many stakeholders, for developing this comprehensive proposal.”
The MPCA says the settlement funds will be distributed in three phases over 10 years. Forty percent of the funds will target Greater Minnesota.
The first phase will be used to replace large, older, dirtier diesel equipment or vehicles. Those vehicles will be replaced with newer, cleaner burning models. Later phases will take account of changing technologies and lessons learned in the first phase.
For more on the plan, click here.