The state of Kansas along with Dodge City, will be developing a mitigation plan for use of eligible funds from a settlement involving Volkswagen.
According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, on October 25, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Northern California approved a settlement with Volkswagen addressing 2.0 liter diesel engines.
This action was taken to partially settle allegations by EPA and California that VW used illegal defeat devices on Model Year 2009-2015 diesel vehicles to evade emission tests, resulting in an exceedance of tailpipe emissions for nitrogen oxides or NOx.
The settlement requires VW to establish an environmental mitigation trust for states (including tribes, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico) to implement projects that reduce NOx emissions.
In addition, a second partial consent decree was approved in December 2016, dealing with 3.0 liter diesel engines.
"What we needed to do was submit proposals to KDHE for what we would use those settlement funds for," special projects coordinator Melissa McCoy said. "Then by the end of January 2018, those funds will be modified for the state.
"We had to submit a plan as a municipality to qualify for the funds.
"We could use them for our trash trucks, transportation busses or for the school district but in order to receive the funding we had to submit a plan for their use."
Other proposals the city is submitting is for the "greening up" of some of the vehicle fleets to be more environmentally conscious, McCoy said.
KDHE have indicated the state of Kansas will be receiving nearly $15.6 million that will come over the next 10 years and will go towards projects that reduce NOx emissions.
On behalf of the state of Kansas, KDHE will be the lead agency to act on behalf of the trust for the state of Kansas.
This funding plan must be put in place before access to the funds will be granted.
The goal of the funds is for vehicles to have less NOx emissions.
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