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The Office of Planning and Budget Wants Your Opinion
Last year, you may have seen news articles about Volkswagen (VW) diesel cars. Beginning in 2009, some of these vehicles were sold with what’s known as emissions testing “defeat devices.” Such devices would allow the car to pass emissions testing, though the vehicle would ultimately violate the federal Clean Air Act by releasing a high amount of air pollutants.
The VW Settlement Agreement
On Oct. 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice and the VW Corporation finalized a partial settlement agreement addressing the issue. To reduce the harmful effects caused by the defeat devices, the VW Settlement Agreement established an Environmental Mitigation Trust, funded by VW.
All 50 States, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Indian tribes have the opportunity to collect a portion of the funds. The number of illegal VW vehicles within the beneficiary’s boundaries determines how much of the fund they can receive.
Read more on the court case from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
What’s Next for Georgia?
The VW Settlement Agreement provides limitations for how beneficiaries can use their funds. For example, we can use the money to replace or repower diesel engines for certain vehicles and equipment. A few types of eligible vehicles include large and medium freight trucks, busses, and ferries. The Georgia Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) is currently discussing what types of vehicles and equipment we should focus on with our share of the funds.
Share Your Opinion
Do you have an interest in consumer health or air quality? Send your feedback to OPB. Submit which vehicle and equipment categories, and which alternative fuels you think should be included in Georgia’s mitigation plan.
Email OPB at GAVWSettlement@opb.georgia.gov for general questions.
About the Author
Rachel Hart is the User Interface designer for GeorgiaGov. She visually organizes information and writes blogs on a variety of government-related topics.