IOWA – In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a complaint against car manufacturer Volkswagen for violating the United States’ Clean Air Act. This was done in approximately 580,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. from 2009-2016 that contained diesel engines equipped with “defeat devices” to make cars perform differently when being tested for emissions. During normal use, the engines would emit levels of carbon oxide much higher than what the EPA allows.
In part of a $2.9 billion settlement, VW agreed to set up a fund called the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust. This trust then disperses money to individual states to help upgrade or re-power older vehicles in hopes of having better emissions.
Iowa has awarded the $4.6 million it received for cycle one to 54 different environmental projects around the state to lower emissions on school buses, transit buses, freight trucks and non-road transport and equipment vehicles.
Of the 54 awarded applications just in the first cycle, the total lifetime reduction of carbon oxide emissions would be 113.81 tons.
The Iowa DOT solicited applications from eligible applicants for participation in the first funding cycle of Iowa’s Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust in January 2019. A full list of the awarded applicants can be found here.
Local school districts and public transport will be feeling the impact by receiving new buses in hopes to reduce carbon oxide emissions.
The next cycle of funding is intended to target zero-emission vehicles. Applications for these projects is planned for later in 2019.