In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it installed emissions control defeat devices on approximately 500,000 VW/Porsche/Audi 2.0 liter diesel engines and an additional 90,000 3.0 liter diesel engines. These devices were allowed up to 40 times the legal limit of NOx emissions to be emitted from these vehicles.
In October 2016, a settlement was reached between multiple stakeholders in a lawsuit against Volkswagen. At this time, the First Partial Consent Decree for 2.0-liter vehicles was released. As part of that decree, a trustee was required to be appointed to oversee the mitigation process. The decree also required Wyoming to develop a mitigation plan in order to qualify for potential funding from this mitigation trust fund.
In 2018, the State of Wyoming submitted a mitigation plan to the settlement trustee summarizing the state's plan to utilize the mitigation funds.
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was selected as the lead agency on behalf of the state to oversee the mitigation plan and allocation of funds under the settlement.
The consent decree outlines specific details of how trust funds may be used. Money from the settlement may be used to pay some or all of the cost to repower or replace eligible diesel-powered vehicles with new cleaner diesel, alternative fueled, or all-electric engines.
Wyoming will focus on the following project types:
- Class 8 local freight trucks.
- Class 4 – 8 school buses, shuttle buses or transit buses.
- Pre-tier 4 diesel switcher locomotives.
- Class 4 – 7 local freight trucks.
- Airport Ground Support Equipment.
The State Of Wyoming has developed the following program goals and objectives to form the basis and selection criteria for the mitigation plan.
- Reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
- Achieving higher cost-effectiveness (more emissions reduced per amount spent).
- Impact on non-attainment areas.
- Affecting areas of greater population density.
- Affecting sensitive populations (such as children and the elderly).
The Department is reaching out to the public as it plans how best to utilize the approximately $8 million dollars gained from the settlement.
For more information related to this settlement, CLICK HERE to visit the EPA's website dedicated to this topic.
Public comments were accepted for 30 days ending May 24, 2017.