Gov. Malloy Announces Release of $12.2 Million in Volkswagen Settlement Funds to Support Clean Air Projects in Connecticut
Ten Projects Receive Funding Under First Round Released as Part of Connecticut’s VW Settlement Agreement
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut is making available $12.2 million dollars from the legal settlement in the Volkswagen (VW) Corporation emissions cheating scandal to fund ten clean air projects in the state. Administered through the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Connecticut is one of the first states in the nation to make these funds available for a variety of diesel mitigation projects. The ten projects announced today are part of the first funding cycle under the distribution of the state’s VW settlement funding.
“Climate change is real and cannot be ignored. It is vitally important that we set high standards for reducing emissions,” Governor Malloy said. “While it will be impossible to offset all of the pollution resulting from VW’s illegal actions, the projects we are supporting through the settlement funds will go a long way in helping to improve air quality and protect public health in Connecticut while also providing significant economic development opportunities.”
“The transportation sector is responsible for approximately 70 percent of smog forming air pollution and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut,” DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said. “The VW funding will help us realize additional nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emission reductions from mobile sources in Connecticut and move us closer towards meeting health-based air quality standards and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets.”
In 2015, Volkswagen publicly admitted that it had secretly and deliberately installed a defeat device – software designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive federal and state regulators – in nearly 590,000 VW, Audi, and Porsche model year 2009 to 2016 diesel vehicles sold to American consumers. As a result of a federal civil enforcement case against VW for violating the Clean Air Act, Connecticut is expected to receive over $55.7 million to be distributed over a ten-year period for use towards offsetting the excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution emitted in the state by these vehicles.
Earlier this year, DEEP launched the VW Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program and began accepting applications to fund projects that will further the goals of the settlement agreement. The agency received 56 applications from both non-government and government entities. Projects were ranked by a variety of criteria, including air pollution reduction, cost effectiveness, positive impact on environmental justice communities, transformative impact, and applicant cost sharing.
The ten projects that are being awarded money under the first funding cycle will mitigate 145 tons of excess NOx emissions over the lifetime of the projects at a cost of $84,234 per ton of NOx reduced. The projects will also reduce over 7,600 tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from being released into the atmosphere. In addition to NOx and greenhouse gas, a total of 10.3 tons volatile organic compounds (VOC) and 6.6 tons of fine particulate matter, which contributes to asthma and other bronchial conditions, will be cost-effectively reduced from environmental justice communities and other areas of Connecticut that bear a disproportionate share of air pollution.
NOx and VOC contribute to the formation of ground level ozone, an air pollutant known to cause a number of adverse respiratory health effects, including significant decreases in lung function and inflammation of airways. Ozone forms when NOx and VOC from combustion sources like motor vehicles react in strong sunlight. DEEP has and continues to implement emission control programs to mitigate ozone’s negative impact on public health in Connecticut.
The projects announced under the first funding cycle of DEEP’s VW Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program are:
USA Hauling & Recycling
- Replace 17 Class 8, diesel refuse trucks with 17 Class 8, CNG-powered refuse trucks.
- Award: $1,203,250
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $3,609,750
- Location: Hartford, New Haven, Middlesex and Litchfield Counties
- his is partial funding of an initial proposal that included ineligible replacement of 11 Class 4-7 diesel trucks with 11 additional Class 8, CNG-powered refuse trucks.
Connecticut Department of Transportation
Block Island Express
- Replace 33 Class 8 MY 1999 diesel trucks (tractors) with 2019 MY diesel equivalents.
- Replace two Class 8 MY 2000 diesel yard tractors with 2019 diesel equivalents.
- Award: $1,050,000
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $3,150,000
- Location: Cheshire and statewide
- This is partial funding of an initial proposal that included replacement of three additional Class 8 trucks for which no mileage and fuel use data were submitted.
Durham School Services, Stratford
- Replace 23 MY 2005 diesel school buses with MY 2019 equivalent diesel school buses.
- Award: $488,553
- Location: Stratford
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $1,349,086
University of Connecticut
- Replace two MY 2005 diesel shuttle buses with full electric shuttle buses.
- Install associated charging infrastructure.
- Award: $1,378,000
- Location: Stamford & Storrs
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $742,000
First Student, Inc.
H.I. Stone and Son
- Replace seven MY 1995-2006, Class 8 diesel trucks with MY 2019 equivalents.
- Award: $303,200
- Location: Southbury
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $909,600
Eder Brothers, Inc.
- Replace seven Class 7, MY 2005-2007, diesel-powered delivery trucks with MY 2020 diesel equivalents.
- Award: $157,500
- Location: West Haven
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $472,500
John DeGrand & Son, Inc.
- Replace two Class 7, MY 2007 & 2008 diesel delivery trucks with MY 2019 equivalents.
- Award: $61,250
- Location: West Haven
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $183,750
Additional rounds of funding under DEEP’s VW Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program will be made at a later date.