VW steering committee
Gov. Jay Inslee designated Ecology as the agency to lead efforts to manage the $112.7 million Washington will receive from the federal Volkswagen settlement. As the lead agency we are developing the state’s plan for the funds, ensuring the plan meets the settlement requirements, and will manage the funds. To accomplish this we formed a multi-agency steering committee to guide the development of the state’s plan, design the funding program for administering the money, and oversee project selection.
Coordinated efforts and expertise
The federal Volkswagen settlement represents an unprecedented opportunity to make transformative improvements across Washington’s transportation sector. To best manage this opportunity, we developed the VW steering committee.
The settlement contains prescriptive court requirements and processes we must follow. The committee provides guidance and expertise in the areas of policy development, legal requirements, transportation management, finance, utilities, air quality, and fleet management to ensure we meet the court requirements while shaping and implementing the state’s Mitigation Plan.
Agencies partnering with us on the Committee include:
- Office of Gov. Jay Inslee
- Office of the Attorney General
- Office of Financial Management
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Enterprise Services
- Department of Transportation
What the committee has worked on
Since early 2017, the VW Steering Committee has been working to inform and educate the public, legislators, and local governments about the settlement. They informed the public through news releases, webinars, blogs, listserv emails, and website updates. The Committee also conducted public surveys to get feedback on the plan goals, principles, priorities, and how to invest the $112.7 million the state will manage. Additionally, they met with multiple legislative committees and briefed legislators to gain feedback and insights.
After a significant amount of outreach and consideration of public input, the Committee developed the state’s proposed Mitigation Plan. While developing it, the group ensured the draft plan complies with court requirements and reflected public input from the surveys held. The Committee considered several key issues when drafting the plan, including:
- Where the violating VW vehicles are registered.
- Potential public health benefits.
- Eligible investment categories.
- Communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution.
- Where the highest levels of diesel pollution are in Washington.
The VW Steering Committee is currently reviewing feedback from the public on the draft mitigation plan. Some of the next steps for the group include:
- Finalizing the mitigation plan.
- Prioritizing categories for project solicitation.
- Designing funding processes for awarding money for projects.
If you're interested in staying informed as the settlement progresses, sign up for our listserv to receive updates by email.