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MPCA Releases Final Plan for Volkswagen Settlement Funds
Minnesota Ag Connection - 04/12/2018

Minnesota released its final plan for investing the first phase of funds the state is set to receive as part of the national Volkswagen (VW) settlement.

Minnesota's final plan outlines five grant programs the MPCA will implement over the first phase of VW settlement funding (2018-2019). The state plans to invest 25% of the overall funds ($11.75 million) during this period. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will allocate Phase 1 funding through five grant programs as follows:

- School bus replacements: 20%

- Heavy-duty on-road vehicles: 35%

- Heavy-duty off-road vehicles: 15%

- Heavy-duty electric vehicles: 15%

- Electric vehicle charging stations: 15%

Minnesota will invest the settlement funds in three phases, so the MPCA can seek additional input and make changes as needed along the way.

The MPCA has submitted Minnesota's plan to the national trustee for approval. It hopes to release its first requests for proposals in summer.

In 2016, VW was caught violating air pollution standards for nitrogen oxides (NOX) in its diesel cars and SUVs. As part of the national court settlement, states and tribes are eligible for funds to reduce diesel pollution in their jurisdictions. Minnesota is eligible to receive $47 million over 10 years. The settlement includes a specific list of activities states can fund with the settlement money. Within those parameters, states can develop programs and fund projects that make the most sense for them.

States are required to submit a plan to the national trustee before they are eligible to invest the state's allocation. The plan must describe the state's overall goals for the funds, the types of projects the state plans to fund, expected emissions reductions from those projects, and how the projects will benefit communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution.

Visit www.pca.state.mn.us/vw to read the final plan.

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