The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has a plan for the first phase of investing $47 million from the national Volkswagen settlement for a better, cleaner Minnesota environment. This begins the process for distributing money to clean up air pollution caused when Volkswagen programmed diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests, spewing hundreds of tons of excess pollution into Minnesota’s air.
“The funds Minnesota is receiving through this settlement provide our state a unique opportunity to improve the quality of our air and our environment,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “I commend the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and its many stakeholders, for developing this comprehensive proposal.”
The MPCA released a draft state plan for public comment in February of 2018. The MPCA held 16 public meetings around the state to gather input on the draft plan, and the final version balances and reflects the large amount of wide-ranging input heard.
The Minnesota Volkswagen settlement funds will be distributed in three phases over 10 years, with 40 percent of the funds targeting Greater Minnesota. The final plan released today details the first phase of spending settlement funds to replace large, older, dirtier diesel equipment or vehicles. Later phases will take account of changing technologies and lessons learned in the first phase.
Minnesota’s plan focuses funding to the following community investments:
- School bus replacement — 20%
- Heavy-duty on-road vehicles — 35%
- Heavy-duty off-road equipment — 15%
- Heavy-duty electric vehicles — 15%
- Electric vehicle charging stations — 15%
Visit the MPCA's Volkswagen settlement webpage to learn more about the settlement and view the plan.
The MPCA plans to seek initial requests for proposals to replace school buses and install electric vehicle charging stations in May or June of 2018. Requests for proposals for the other grant programs will be released over the coming year.
To learn about opportunities for funding, sign up to receive emails on the MPCA’s GovDelivery subscription page.