The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved a plan it said is meant to mitigate harm in California caused by Volkswagen’s use of diesel defeat devices in passenger cars. The National VW Environmental Trust provides California with $423 million for this purpose.
“This is a landmark moment in the saga of Volkswagen’s environmental violations,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “Over the next 10 years this plan will put in place not only tools to clean up VW’s excess emissions, but also to help achieve further reductions of smog-forming pollution for decades to come.”
The mitigation plan approved by CARB will invest primarily in zero emission replacements for heavy duty trucks, buses and equipment. There is also money to reduce emissions at freight facilities, marine projects and light-duty vehicle charging.
California Senate Bill 92, passed last year, also requires that a minimum 35 percent of the mitigation investment benefit disadvantaged communities. As designed, the plan will invest about 50 percent of the available funds in those communities.
The plan provides:
- $130 million for zero emission shuttle buses, school buses and transit projects
- $90 million for zero emission heavy duty freight and drayage trucks
- $70 million for zero emission port equipment and marine projects
- $60 million for combustion port equipment and marine projects
- $10 million for light duty vehicle infrastructure
- $63 million in reserve
The plan will be submitted to the fund trustee before the first actual withdrawal from the trust fund.