Minnesota’s plan

States must develop plans for using their settlement funds and submit them for approval to the trustee managing the funds nationally. The MPCA finalized its plan for the first phase of Volkswagen settlement funds.

The MPCA committed to developing a plan that benefits all Minnesotans and reflects the needs and desires of people across the state. The agency solicited input statewide for more than a year. The plan reflects that input along with data, technical analyses, and the experience of MPCA staff.


The MPCA will use the state’s settlement funds to support a healthy environment for all Minnesotans and achieve significant emissions reductions across the state, especially in those communities most impacted by vehicle pollution. Because 60% of the violating vehicles were registered in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and 40% were registered in Greater Minnesota, the funds will be targeted using the same 60/40 ratio. We will invest in communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution, both in the Twin Cities area and in Greater Minnesota. We will balance emissions reductions and other benefits of the grant programs with costs.

Three phases

Minnesota’s plan is structured in three phases, so the MPCA can seek additional input and make changes as needed. This plan addresses Phase 1 (2018-2019) only.

  • Phase 1 (2018-2019): $11.75 million (25% of overall funds)
  • Phase 2 (2020-2023): $23.5 million (50%)
  • Phase 3 (2024-2027): $11.75 million (25%)

Five grant programs in Phase 1 (2018-2019)

Minnesota will manage the VW settlement funds through five grant programs that will allow different vehicle and equipment types to be compared with each other through the grant process. With these investments in 2018 and 2019, the MPCA expects significant reductions in nitrogen oxides (approximately 1,152 to 1,228 tons), fine particles (41 to 60 tons), and greenhouse gases (21,188 to 34,751 tons).

Grant program
(Settlement category)

Eligible fuels Targeted amount* Approx. number purchased** Estimated emissions reductions (tons)***
School bus replacement program (School buses) All (diesel, propane, natural gas, electric) $2,350,000 (20%) 127

NOx: 23-28

PM2.5: 1-1.7

GHG: 292-585

Clean heavy-duty on-road vehicles program (Transit buses, class 4-8 trucks) All (diesel, propane, natural gas, electric) $4,112,500 (35%) 137

NOx: 494-564

PM2.5: 17-34

GHG: 12,543-23,160

Clean heavy-duty off-road equipment program [Switcher locomotives, ferries, tugs, port cargo handling equipment, ocean-going vessel shore power, Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA)] All (diesel, propane, natural gas, electric) $1,762,500 (15%) 12

NOx: 619

PM2.5: 23

GHG: 1,866

Heavy-duty electric vehicle program (School buses, transit buses, trucks, airport ground support equipment, forklifts) Electric $1,762,500 (15%) 14

NOx: 15-16

PM2.5: 0.5-1.0

GHG: 1,855-4,508

Electric vehicle charging station program (Zero-emission vehicle infrastructure) Not applicable $1,762,500 (15%)

Fast chargers: 20

Level-2 chargers: 45

NOx: 1.1

PM2.5: 0.05

GHG: 4,632

Table notes:

*Share of available settlement funds targeted at these activities for 2018-2019.

**Each category includes a mix of eligible vehicles and equipment types. (See Appendix 7 for calculation methods.)

***Emission benefits for projects funded in Phase 1 compared to emissions expected if the old vehicles were to continue to operate for their remaining useful life. Calculated for nitrogen oxides (NOX), fine particles (PM2.5), and greenhouse gases (GHG). NOX and PM2.5 emissions are calculated for tailpipe emissions only. GHG emissions benefits are calculated from well to wheel. (See Appendix 7)