ShareThis Page

Pennsylvania funds clean air with VW settlement

| Thursday, May 10, 2018, 5:48 p.m.
Pennsylvania will receive a $118 million settlement with Volkswagen over the company’s cheating on emissions tests to cut air pollution in the state.
Pennsylvania will receive a $118 million settlement with Volkswagen over the company’s cheating on emissions tests to cut air pollution in the state.

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania's governor said Thursday that the state will use a $118 million settlement with Volkswagen over the company's cheating on emissions tests to cut air pollution in the state.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said he is setting up Driving PA Forward, a program to distribute grants and rebates that aim to boost air quality.

The goal is to replace older diesel engines with new technologies and cut nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 27,700 tons.

“Clean air is the cornerstone of a clean, healthy environment,” Wolf said in a statement ahead of a formal announcement in Western Pennsylvania. “When Volkswagen cheated on its emissions equipment, it undermined that cornerstone.”

Volkswagen Group of America Inc. is making the payment to settle complaints it sold nearly 600,000 diesel-engine autos in the United States with computer software that rigged the results of federal emissions tests.

Wolf said eight grant and rebate programs will operate over the next five years, with up to $39 million available in the first year.

The state will target areas with the worst air quality.

“This isn't just school buses and tractor-trailers,” said Wolf's environmental protection secretary, Patrick McDonnell. “Projects to replace and upgrade tugboats, forklifts, delivery trucks and many more vehicles and equipment will be eligible for funding.”

The money will be used to help reduce diesel emissions, including exhaust controls, upgraded engines and new engines and vehicles. There will be grants for electric vehicle fast-charging equipment and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle supply equipment.

Volkswagen sold cars that turned on emissions controls during testing but reduced them during normal driving.

The company has pleaded guilty to criminal charges and doling out billions of dollars in fines and settlements.

After the vehicles with the emissions “defeat devices” had been sold for seven years, the International Council on Clean Transportation funded on-road testing that found a VW put out as much as 35 times the allowable amount of toxic nitrogen oxide, which can cause respiratory problems. The council alerted government regulators.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me