In 2018, Washington filed its mitigation plan with the federal trustee, Wilmington Trust, allowing the state to begin requesting settlement funds. We developed the required mitigation plan with extensive input from stakeholders and the public, as well as guidance from the Governor and representatives from state agencies. The plan lays out goals, spending priorities, and high-level principles that are used to guide the selection of eligible mitigation projects.
The goal in the state’s plan is to fully mitigate the total lifetime excess nitrogen oxides from the affected vehicles, prioritizing public fleets and zero emission vehicles.
The following principles are used to guide our selection of eligible projects:
- Improve air quality for communities that have borne a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden in Washington
- Provide air quality benefits in addition to NOx reductions
- Maximize air quality benefits that improve public health
Washington is prioritizing funding for projects that:
- Accelerate adoption of electric vehicles, equipment, and vessels.
- Promote electrification technologies in public transportation fleets.
- Accelerate fleet turnover to the cleanest engines.
- Achieve substantial additional emission reductions — beyond what would already occur, absent trust funding.
- Ensure cost effectiveness.
- Leverage additional matching funds.
Under the settlement, mitigation funds can be invested in projects that replace or repower eligible vehicles, vessels, and equipment with new, less-polluting diesel engines, alternate-fueled (compressed natural gas, propane, or hybrid), or all-electric engines. Funds can also be invested in projects that develop charging infrastructure for light duty electric vehicles.
A steering committee, consisting of representatives from state agencies and the Governor’s office, help inform our planning efforts.
Read Washington’s full Beneficiary Mitigation Plan.
To learn more about the federal settlement visit the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust website.
Volkswagen paid Washington a $28.4 million settlement for violating the state Clean Air Act. In 2018, the Washington Legislature approved the use of these penalty funds to reduce diesel pollution in communities to benefit children, commuters, and people living near major transportation corridors. Funds are being invested in cleaner school and transit buses, replacing state agency vehicles with all-electric vehicles, helping purchase cleaner trucks, and installing shore power for ocean-going vessels at public ports.
The Legislature allocated funds as follows :
- $12 million to replace old 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