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VW Settlement Information

Volkswagen has agreed to settle allegations that it violated the federal Clean Air Act by selling vehicles with "defeat devices" that allow vehicles to exceed air pollution limits. Approximately 500,000 model year 2009-2015 vehicles containing 2.0 liter and approximately 80,000 model year 2009-2016 containing 3.0 liter diesel engines were equipped with emissions control defeat devices. The affected vehicles exceed emission limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx), a pollutant that harms public health and forms ozone or smog.

On October 25, 2016, the first partial settlement was approved by a federal court in California regarding the installation and use of emission testing defeat devices in 2.0 liter vehicles sold and operated in the U.S. Additionally, on December 20, 2016 an agreement was reached in a second partial settlement regarding the installation and use of emission testing defeat devices in 3.0 liter vehicles sold and operated in the U.S.

The first partial settlement requires Volkswagen to pay $2.7 billion into an environmental trust fund, and the second partial settlement requires an additional $225 million. In total, New York State expects to receive $127 million to be used for mitigation projects to offset the excess air pollution emitted by some of the Volkswagen vehicles that violated the Clean Air Act. NOx mitigation projects will include replacing or repowering older diesel vehicles and the advancement of zero emission vehicles.

2018 State of the State Proposal: Invest Nearly $130 Million in Volkswagen Settlement Proceeds in Clean Transportation Projects

At Governor Cuomo's direction, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is working with other state agencies, authorities and stakeholders to develop a plan to achieve the greatest possible benefit for New York from the $127.7 million available to New York from the settlement of Volkswagen's violation of the Clean Air Act. DEC, working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the transportation agencies and authorities, will produce a plan early this year to support the transition of the transit system to electric or other advanced technologies, including the replacement of diesel transit buses across the state.

The plan will also include the replacement of old, high-emitting school buses that pollute the air in the vicinity of schools and freight trucks that operate in crowded urban areas, with particular benefits to environmental justice communities. All categories of investment will prioritize replacement of diesel vehicles with emission-free electric vehicles, stimulating the transformation to a low-carbon transportation system. Additionally, DEC will support electrification of airport equipment, repowering of tugs and ferries, and replacement of freight switcher locomotives that operate in the state's urban switchyards. With this strategic comprehensive plan, New York will seek to invest all of the Volkswagen settlement funds over the next three years.

NOx Mitigation Projects

DEC is working with other state agencies to develop a mitigation plan for NOx reduction projects. The mitigation plan will address criteria such as:

  • Cost effectiveness in reducing NOx emissions.
  • Location in areas that receive a disproportionate amount of diesel emissions.
  • Ability to be deployed in a timely manner.
  • Use of innovative and sustainable technologies.

Eligible Mitigation Actions

Funding for eligible NOx mitigation projects is available in the following categories.

  1. Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks (Eligible Large Trucks)
  2. Class 4-8 School Bus, Shuttle Bus, or Transit Bus (Eligible Buses)
  3. Railroad Freight Switchers
  4. Ferries/Tugs
  5. Ocean Going Vessels (OGV) Shorepower
  6. Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks (Eligible Medium Trucks)
  7. Airport Ground Support Equipment
  8. Forklifts and Port Cargo Handling Equipment
  9. Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment
  10. Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Option

How to Submit Comments and Suggestions

New York State is seeking comments and suggestions for NOx mitigation projects that would utilize funds efficiently and reduce NOx emissions considering the criteria identified above. Send comments to:

Outreach Events

Long Island City

July 10, 2017 (4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.)

Region 2 Long Island City Office
1 Hunter's Point Plaza
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101-5401


July 20, 2017 (4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.)

NYSDEC Central Office
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233


July 24, 2017 (4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.)

Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County
114 South Ave
Rochester, NY 14604

More about VW Settlement Information:

  • VW Settlement FAQ - Answers to general, ZEV investment commitment, and environmental mitigation trust fund questions.