Governor Cuomo Announces Details of Volkswagen Settlement Funds
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced details of the Clean Transportation NY initiative on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at CDTA. Details of the $127.7 million dollar Volkswagen settlement will be used toward increasing the number of electric vehicles across New York State, as well as other green initiatives.
"There is a lot of excitement surrounding electric vehicle technology and CDTA wants to be at the forefront of this work.” said Capital District Transportation Authority CEO Carm Basile. We want to applaud the Governor for his forward-thinking and steadfast work on the Clean Transportation NY initiative. This thoughtful process will deliver solutions that are good for the environment, good for our communities, and good for the people and business that rely on us."
In October 2016, a federal judge approved a national settlement plan to address Volkswagen's installation and use of devices in approximately 580,000 Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles that circumvented federal emissions standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx), one of the main contributors to smog and respiratory problems. The companies installed emissions control defeat device software in cars from model years 2009 through 2016, which allowed NOx emissions up to 40 times the certification standard.
With the support of the Attorney General's Office, New York received $127.7 million as part of this legal settlement. The state will invest these resources in projects to mitigate the impacts of VW's air violations. Under Clean Transportation NY, the state will use these funds to maximize the reduction of emissions of NOx and other harmful pollutants, including greenhouse gases, particulate matter, and mobile source air toxics while also spurring investment in clean transportation infrastructure.
Additional Clean Transportation NY investments will fund electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support and encourage the growth of all-electric ground support equipment at airports and light-duty, on-road all-electric vehicles throughout the state. The mitigation plan will also bolster the state's Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) program, which requires vehicle manufacturers to research, develop, and market electric vehicles that will have zero tailpipe emissions. Governor Cuomo's aggressive actions to support electric vehicle sales and infrastructure have already increased the number of electric vehicles sold in New York 67 percent from 2016 to 2017.
After finalizing the plan, DEC will work with state authorities and others to implement it. That implementation process will prioritize electrification in most investment categories. For example, DEC will work with a New York authority with a decided emphasis on replacing old diesel-powered school buses with new, all-electric school buses. This solicitation will recognize the promise of cooperative and community ownership models, without excluding other public and private proposals. Implementation processes will also prioritize investments in EJ areas and other areas disproportionately burdened by diesel emissions.