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VW Settlement Information


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Message from the Commissioner || View the Plan || Plan Goals || How the Money Will be Used
Emission Reductions || Project Locations || Plan Development || What's Next


This plan will reduce diesel exhaust emissions by replacing or repowering older, dirtier diesel vehicles and engines with new all-electric, alternative fueled, or diesel vehicles and engines.

As directed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, DEC has prepared a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, which includes actions to offset the excess emissions resulting from Volkswagen's violation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission standards and to stimulate the transformation to a lower-carbon transportation system. DEC worked with other state agencies to design the Plan, which will yield substantial NOx emission reductions, resulting in healthier ozone levels, particularly in the New York City metropolitan area. The Plan will provide substantial public health benefits by reducing emissions from hundreds of trucks, buses and other equipment that operate in proximity to low- and moderate income communities that bear much of the burden of air pollution.

An electric vehicle charging station sign

In addition, the Plan will support the increased electrification of the State's transportation system, reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change that threatens New York's people and environment. Governor Cuomo has established nation-leading GHG emission reduction goals of 40% from 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050. Meeting these aggressive goals requires a sustained transformation of New York's economy from fossil fuels to an economy powered by carbon emission-free renewable energy sources. Under Governor Cuomo's direction, New York has begun the transformation of our existing transportation system by supporting electric transportation infrastructure with the Charge NY program, as well as supporting consumer adoption of all-electric vehicles with the Drive Clean Rebate and municipal rebate programs.

Projects will be located across the state while prioritizing areas of air quality concern and Environmental Justice (EJ) communities.


How to View the Full Plan

You can download the September 2018 NYS Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (PDF, 10 MB) and a Message from the Commissioner regarding the settlement (PDF) .

Traffic on a busy city street


Plan Goals

  • Reduce diesel exhaust emissions by replacing or repowering older, dirtier diesel vehicles and engines with new all-electric, alternative fueled, or diesel vehicles and engines.
  • Consider statewide air quality improvement goals. Prioritize those areas most impacted by diesel emissions, including EJ communities.
  • Accelerate the transition to a zero emission transportation system by promoting greater use of all-electric vehicles and prioritizing diesel-to-electric replacement projects.
  • Achieve desired environmental benefits as cost-effectively as possible by leveraging private and other financing.

Buses at the station


How the Money Will be Used

Replacement and repowering projects will be located statewide with a priority on EJ communities. All repowering and replacement projects require scrapping of the older, dirtier diesel powered equipment.

A city bus pulled up along the sidewalk
Buses - At least $52.4 million in funding, with at least 700 tons of NOx reduced. Statewide replacement projects include 100 or more all-electric transit buses. The plan will make funding available for up to 400 new alternative fuel, all-electric or diesel powered school and paratransit buses with a priority for all-electric school buses.

Large semi trucks at a terminal.
Large trucks - Up to $11.5 million in funding, with up to 885 tons of NOx reduced. Replacement projects include approximately 145 trucks, with preferential funding given to all-electric trucks and replacement of trucks operated in or near EJ communities.

A medium sized delivery truck
Medium trucks - $8.5 million in funding, with up to 378 tons of NOx reduced. Replacement projects include approximately 265 trucks, with a priority for all-electric trucks.

A car being charged at an electric vehicle charging station
Electric vehicle charging stations - $19.2 million in funding for light-duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment and hydrogen fueling stations. DEC will use the 15% maximum funding allowed for these statewide projects.

A railroad freight switcher train
Railroad freight switchers - Up to $8 million in funding, with up to 634 tons of NOx reduced. Up to 10 freight switchers will be replaced or repowered with new diesel or electric freight switchers or engines. Projects that provide benefits to EJ communities will be prioritized.

A tug boat sailing on the water
Ferries/tugs - Up to $3.5 million in funding, with up to 394 tons of NOx reduced. Up to 12 ferries/tugs will be repowered with new diesel or electric engines. Funding will be available statewide with a priority to areas with air quality concerns.

A piece of ground support equipment at an airport
Airport equipment - $3.2 million in funding, with up to 151 tons of NOx reduced. The plan will make funding available for 77 airport equipment charging stations supporting 154 new all-electric airport ground support equipment.

An electric cargo handling vehicle
Port cargo handling equipment - Up to $1 million in funding, with up to 54 tons of NOx reduced, for the replacement of older forklifts or port handling equipment with 4 new all-electric equipment. Commenters recommended replacing cargo handling equipment near EJ communities.

A large cargo container truck
Support federal diesel emission reduction grants - Up to $10 million in funding, with up to 1,310 tons of NOx reduced. Older trucks servicing port facilities near EJ communities will be replaced with an estimated 300 newer diesel trucks.


Emission Reductions

As of 2014, two-thirds of the NOx emissions in New York State came from mobile sources, such as trucks, buses, cars, trains and boats. DEC estimates that the projects identified in this plan will offset the estimated 3,000 tons of excess NOx emitted from the defeat device equipped Volkswagen vehicles in the state. These projects will reduce at least 4,500 tons of NOx emissions. This is equivalent of removing emissions from about 65,000 typical passenger cars over a 10-year lifetime.

Graphic showing how the mitigation projects will reduce NOx and remove polluting cars from the road

Because New York State has a clean and relatively low-carbon electric power supply, the new all-electric replacement and repowering projects envisioned by this plan will also yield at least 130,000 tons in lifetime CO2 emissions.


Project Locations

This plan will benefit the public by funding diesel emission reduction projects across the state with a goal of improving air quality for all New Yorkers. Many of these projects will be located in areas with existing air quality concerns, particularly areas disproportionately impacted by diesel exhaust emissions. DEC will prioritize projects within EJ communities, and neighborhoods near rail yards, transit hubs and port facilities.


How the Plan was Developed

DEC developed this plan through an open and transparent process involving the public and stakeholder groups. DEC conducted an extensive outreach effort, including 6 public events attended by over 150 people, and more than 60 additional meetings, across the State.

DEC held these additional meetings with:

  • Environmental groups
  • Transportation groups
  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Industry groups
  • Environmental Justice groups
  • State and local government

This outreach effort resulted in over 190 comments, including several detailed project proposals, submitted through our website.

DEC also worked closely with the following in developing the Plan:

  • New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA)
  • New York Power Authority (NYPA)
  • Transit Authorities (Statewide)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)
  • New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT)
  • New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT)

Electric vehicle being charged at a station


What's Next

DEC will continue to accept input as we move forward on this plan. Comments and suggestions can be submitted to VWsettlement@dec.ny.gov Please include your name and contact information.

You can get additional information about the VW Settlement from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition, Volkswagen provides consumers with information on the settlement and buyback/modification program along with access to all court documents.

This page will be updated when the Plan is approved by the trustee and grant funding becomes available.

Keep up with mitigation plan progress and other news about air programs in New York by subscribing to Air Mail!, our monthly email newsletter.

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