Friday, May 5, 2017

Proposed Senate Bill Would Distribute Volkswagen Diesel Testing Settlement Funds

Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) circulated a co-sponsor memo this week asking colleagues to sign on to legislation that would ensure what she called an equitable distributions of funds Pennsylvania receives from the federal Volkswagen diesel testing settlement.
The Senate proposal would ensure any plan developed by Pennsylvania for spending the funds would provide for this distribution—
-- The majority of funds be used to deploy vehicles that are certified to one of California Air Resources Board's optional low-NOx standards- the strongest environmental vehicle emission standards in the country;
-- Any vehicle grant funding for a non-government fleet vehicle shall provide for 25 percent of the total vehicle cost, up to $50,000 per vehicle;
-- No more than 20 percent of the funds may be dedicated to government fleets;
--  To the extent funds are made available to government fleets, mass transit, para transit, and waste disposal fleets will be considered priority use; and
--  The funding must be prioritized in a manner which leverages private matching funds or investment.
Pennsylvania is due to receive an estimated $118 million from the Volkswagen settlement and the Department of Environmental Protection has been designed as the lead agency for determining how, within the rules of the federal settlement with EPA, those funds will be spent.  The funds will be available to the state over a three year period.
In addition, Attorney General Shapiro announced in April Pennsylvania would receive an additional $53.5 million as a result of a multi-state lawsuit over Volkswagen’s consumer and environmental violations.
Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell told the House Appropriations Committee in March his agency will be working with the public and stakeholders to develop a draft plan for spending the funds.
Related Stories:
AG Shapiro: $30.4 Million Damage Settlement With Volkswagen Over Vehicle Emissions

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