HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday announced that the State of Connecticut is making available $7.5 million dollars from the national legal settlement in the Volkswagen (VW) Corporation emissions cheating scandal to fund clean air projects. Administered through the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), eligible projects must reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions across the state and meet other program requirements.
“Climate change is real and cannot be ignored, and efforts to fight it also make Connecticut residents safer. That’s why it’s so vitally important that we set high standards for reduced emissions,” Governor Malloy said. “While it will be impossible to offset the entirety of pollution that resulted from VW’s emissions cheating, the release of these funds will help to improve air quality and protect public health in Connecticut.”
Application forms and guidance for the Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program are available on DEEP’s website at www.ct.gov/deep/vw. DEEP has also scheduled a webinar for June 14 to review the application forms and related instructions for potential applicants. Project proposals are due to DEEP by 5:00 p.m. on July 31, 2018.
“The transportation sector is responsible for approximately 70 percent of smog-forming air pollution and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut,” DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said. “The VW funding will help us reduce more NOx and GHG emissions from mobile sources in Connecticut and move us closer toward meeting health-based air quality standards and long-term GHG reduction targets, while at the same time creating economic development opportunities in the state.”
The funds will – on a reimbursement basis – finance projects that replace, repower, or retrofit an array of aging diesel mobile sources and/or non-road equipment. Eligible source categories and funding criteria are specified in the State of Connecticut Beneficiary Mitigation Plan and limited by the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries. Both non-government and government entities are eligible to apply. DEEP will ensure that projects ultimately funded by this program support the goals of the plan.
Between June 2016 and January 2017, three Partial Consent Decrees were finalized between the United States, the State of California, and VW regarding the installation and use of emissions control defeat device software on nearly 590,000 VW, Audi and Porsche branded diesel vehicles sold and operated in the United States from 2009 through 2015.