$18.7M VW Settlement to Fund Air Quality Improvements, EVs in Vermont

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Nov. 30, 2017—In partnership with an interagency working group, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) released the draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) for how to spend the $18.7 million Vermont will receive as a beneficiary of an Environmental Mitigation Trust funded by the car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW), Vermont Business reports.

The draft BMP proposes spending 15 percent of Vermont's total allocation, the maximum allowed under the Trust, toward the purchase and installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to support EV travel.

In 2015, VW admitted to installing software in over 500,000 diesel passenger cars designed to cheat motor vehicle emission standards by allowing excess nitrogen oxides (NOx) into the air.

Because of the large number of affected VW diesel vehicles on Vermont roads, the state is receiving a relatively significant share of the settlement between the U.S. EPA and VW.

Funds will be used to mitigate the harm caused by the excess NOx released by VW vehicles and will go toward projects that reduce NOx emissions by replacing or repowering diesel vehicles with cleaner, innovative technologies.

Investments will aim to reduce NOx emissions from mobile sources in the most cost-effective way possible; demonstrate market viability of all-electric or alternative fuel heavy-duty and transit vehicles that mitigate NOx; and maximize public and private investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

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