Minnesota will spend $11.75 million on cleaner trucks, buses and electric charging stations if the state’s proposal for the first funds from a legal settlement with Volkswagen is accepted by the public and the trustee overseeing the massive federal litigation.
If adopted, the plan is expected to result in reductions of about 1,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, up to 55 tons of fine particles, and up to 34,000 tons of greenhouse gases.
In October, the German carmaker agreed to pay the U.S. government $15 billion for allowing its diesel vehicles to produce 30 to 40 times the amount of nitrogen oxide allowed by U.S. air regulations.
Between now and 2027, Minnesota will receive $47 million as its share of the $2.9 billion allocated to states and tribes.
The amounts provided to states and tribes were based on the number of violating vehicles in each jurisdiction.
The agreement requires governments to use the settlement money to reduce air pollution by diesel vehicles. That primarily means replacing older diesel vehicles or equipment with new ones that produce less pollution, but which can use any fuel, including diesel, propane, natural gas, and electricity.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency held 13 public meetings last year to solicit guidance on how to use the money. On Thursday, it issued its draft plan, which calls for spending:
• $4.1 million for 137 cleaner-fuel heavy-duty trucks and transit buses.
• $2.35 million for 182 cleaner-fuel school buses.
• $1.76 million for 13 cleaner-fuel locomotives, ferries, tugs, forklifts, port cargo handling equipment and oceangoing vessels.
• $1.76 million for 26 electric heavy duty vehicles such as buses and trucks.
• $1.76 million for 63 electric vehicle-charging stations.
The plan calls for spending 60 percent of the money in the Twin Cities metro area and 40 percent in other parts of the state because that’s where the breakdown of offending vehicles was located.