Gov. Jay Inslee designated Ecology to manage the $112.7 million Washington will receive from the federal Volkswagen settlement. In response, we developed a mitigation plan
for the funds that meets the settlement agreement’s requirements. We assembled a multi-agency steering committee to develop the plan, design the funding program, and oversee project selection.
Coordinated efforts and expertise
The federal Volkswagen settlement provides an opportunity to make significant, transformative improvements within Washington’s transportation sector. To ensure these funds are invested wisely, we developed the VW steering committee.
The settlement agreement contains specific 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. The committee’s first responsibility was to guide the development of Washington’s mitigation plan that lays out the state’s goals and priorities for using the settlement funds.
The committee includes representatives from the:
- 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, we solicited ideas from the public and interested parties on how to use the funds. Additionally, we met with legislative committees and briefed legislators for feedback and input. The committee considered several issues while developing the plan, including:
- The registration location of the violating VW vehicles
- Potential public health benefits
- Eligible investment categories
- Communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution
- The location of the highest levels of diesel pollution in Washington
Some of the next steps for the steering committee include:
- Guiding the development of the funding program
- Prioritizing categories for project solicitation
- Designing processes for awarding project funds
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