The Maryland Department of the Environment released a plan to invest the state’s allocation of $75.7 million from the Volkswagen settlement in transportation strategies and projects to improve air quality, according to a Feb. 13 press release. The plan intends to use the full 15 percent of the amount that is allowed for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The proposal also puts a priority on replacing higher emitting engines with new, cleaner technologies.
- The plan allots 37.7 percent of the funds for private businesses and the federal government, requiring a competitive process to select projects from entities that want to replace their vehicles and equipment.
- About 20.7 percent would go to local governments and communities, particularly those that bear a disproportionate share of air pollution impacts; funds would be awarded on a competitive basis, including a portion for transit and school bus replacements.
- The proposal provides 24.5 percent of the funds to vehicle-specific projects of state agencies, including the agency’s Emergency Response Division vehicles.
- In 2017, Volkswagen agreed to criminal penalty and pleaded guilty for selling vehicles that turned on full emissions controls during testing, but lowered them during normal driving.
- In separate actions, the agency announced a $33.5 million in settlement of its complaint against Volkswagen for violations of state laws and more than $6 million with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Bosch to resolve allegations of engaging in cheating diesel emissions tests.