The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking comments by April 2 on its draft Volkswagen settlement beneficiary mitigation plan as required to apply for funds. Idaho’s approach under the national settlement may be of interest to other states.
The plan was developed based on the settlement related to a January 2016 lawsuit filed against Volkswagen alleging manufacture of diesel cars sold and operated in the U.S. intended to defeat emission tests. On January 29, the State of Idaho was approved as a beneficiary to the trust, with DEQ designated as the lead agency by Governor Butch Otter.
Idaho has the opportunity to receive $17.3 million from the $2.925 billion mitigation trust portion of the settlement to fund eligible projects to reduce diesel emissions. Proposed funding percentage highlights by eligible mitigation) include:
- 15% – Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). Idaho will use trust funds as its nonfederal voluntary match for DERA grants. Estimated total lifetime emission reductions are approximately 71 tons of NOx;
- 15% – Light-duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment. DEQ determined that trust funds will be used to advance electric vehicle adoption throughout Idaho by establishing a comprehensive charging network for electric vehicles. Estimated reduction of about 360 tons of NOx;
- 35% – Trucks and buses. Estimated total lifetime emission reductions are approximately 88 tons of NOx;
- 20% – Locomotives, airport equipment, and forklifts; estimated total lifetime emission reductions are approximately 54 tons of NOx; and
- 15% – Allowable administrative costs.
More information can be found on the State of Idaho Volkswagen Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan or by contacting Paula Wilson of DEQ.