In 2018, Washington filed its Beneficiary Mitigation Plan with the federal settlement trustee, Wilmington Trust. This required plan outlines investment principles and priorities to improve air quality and mitigate the illegal emissions of the violating vehicles.
We developed the plan with input from stakeholders and the public statewide. We also received guidance from the Governor and representatives from other state agencies. The plan lays out Washington goals, priorities, and principles that guide grant program development. The mitigation plan goals align with the overall purpose of the federal settlement to:
- Reduce emissions where the violating vehicles were, are, or will be operating.
- Fully mitigate the total lifetime excess NOx emissions of the violating vehicles.
The following principles guide Washington's selection of eligible grant projects:
- Improve air quality for highly impacted communities that have experienced an excessive share of air pollution burdens in the state
- Provide air quality benefits in addition to NOx reductions
- Maximize air quality benefits that improve public health
Washington prioritizes funding for projects that:
- Accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, equipment, and vessels.
- Promote electric technologies in public transportation fleets.
- Accelerate state fleet replacement to the cleanest motors or engines.
- Reduce emissions substantially, beyond what would occur without trust funds.
- Create cost-effective grant opportunities.
- Leverage matching funds.
A steering committee made up of members representing state agencies and the Governor’s Office helps inform planning efforts and ensures coordination with other zero-emission transportation efforts across the state.
For more details, please read Washington’s full Beneficiary Mitigation Plan.
To learn more about the federal settlement and eligible projects, please visit the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust website.
Achieving our nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions reduction goal
About 24,000 vehicles with illegal emissions operated in Washington, producing an estimated 3,000 tons of excess NOx over their operating lifetimes and harming community health. The zero-emission transportation grant projects listed below will reduce an estimated 5,100 tons of NOx:
- Electric transit buses
- EV charging stations at public workplaces
- Electric ferry
- Electric school buses
- EV charging stations along high-traffic roadways
- Shore power for ocean-going vessels
- Electric fire apparatuses
In 2018, the Washington Legislature directed use of these penalty funds to reduce air pollution from transit buses, school buses, state-owned vehicles, and trucks serving Washington’s ports.
Funded projects include:
- $12 million to replace old, diesel school buses
- $9.7 million to electrify transit buses
- $5.5 million to add electric vehicles to state vehicle fleets
- $1.2 million to help public ports buy cleaner trucks and install shore power for ocean-going vessels.