On June 19, 2018, Gov. Gary R. Herbert approved the State of Utah’s plan to use $35 million in funds from the VW settlement to purchase cleaner government-owned trucks and buses and expand electrical charging resources.
The settlement was reached after it was discovered that Volkswagen had violated the Clean Air Act by installing software that rigged results on vehicle emissions testing. Gov. Herbert designated the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) as the lead agency to administer these funds. Settlement funding will be used to offset the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from the 7,000 VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles in Utah affected by VW’s violations.
The VW settlement included a prescribed list of categories for NOx mitigation projects. DEQ crafted an Environmental Mitigation Plan (EMP) using these guidelines, input from the public, and recommendations from an advisory committee. The plan focuses the $35 million settlement funds on upgrades to government-owned diesel truck and bus fleets as well as the expansion of electric-vehicle (EV) charging equipment.
“The projects we have selected will make the biggest impact on our air quality at the lowest cost, allowing Utah to maximize the air-quality benefits of this settlement,” says DEQ Executive Director Alan Matheson. “By targeting government-owned fleets, taxpayers receive a double benefit.”