Delaware will receive $1.45 million for environmental projects as a result of an additional settlement between 10 states and Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi over the company’s use of “defeat devices” on the emissions controls of diesel vehicles.
The settlement filed Thursday is in addition to a federal and multi-state settlement last year that obtained payments and remediation for vehicle owners (https://news.delaware.gov/2016/06/28/vw/) as well as penalties, and also in addition to a federal environmental trust established with payments from Volkswagen into a national environmental trust to fund air-quality related initiatives (https://news.delaware.gov/2017/03/20/dnrec-seeks-public-input-on-improving-states-air-quality-using-settlement-funds-from-volkswagen-lawsuits/).
The latest settlement involves 10 states known as “Section 177” states that have adopted California’s stringent vehicle emission standards. It marks the first time states have secured environmental penalties from an automobile manufacturer under their own state auto emissions laws. Historically, enforcing vehicle emission standards has been done primarily by the federal government.
The settlement states the funds are to be used for an “environmentally beneficial purpose” and DOJ will work with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control on appropriate plans for the funds.
“This latest settlement continues to hold Volkswagen accountable for its egregious violation of the public trust and the harm to our state’s and country’s air quality as a result of manipulating diesel vehicles to falsify emissions test results and pollute more than allowed,” Attorney General Matt Denn said.
“Pollution from cars contributes significantly to Delaware’s air quality and Volkswagen’s unlawful actions caused excess nitrogen oxides emissions which frustrates our efforts to clean the air in our communities.” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “This settlement requires VW to pay an additional $1.45 million penalty and to advance the sales of zero-emission vehicles in the states involved in the settlement. DNREC recently held a public workshop to gather public input of Delaware’s proposed VW Environmental Mitigation Work Plan following an earlier $9 million settlement. Public comments are being accepted until April 3 on the work plan.”
The others states involved in the settlement are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The settlement document can be found here.
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