There was a certain irony involved when the state of Wyoming joined in the class action lawsuit against Volkswagen for the illegal rigging of its diesel vehicles to pass emissions tests in the lab, and emit higher levels of pollutants on the road.

The irony is, Wyoming doesn’t test any vehicles for emissions, much less the 1200 VW’s sold in the state in 2015.

The case revolved around the company trying to fudge the figures. In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it installed emissions control defeat devices on approximately 500,000 VW/Porsche/Audi 2.0 liter Diesel engines and an additional 90,000 3.0 Liter Diesel Engines.  These devices were allowed up to 40 times the legal limit of NOx emissions to be emitted from these vehicles.

In October of 2016, a settlement was reached between multiple stakeholders in a lawsuit against Volkswagen.  Now, the First Partial Consent Decree for 2.0-liter vehicles has been released.  As part of that Decree, a Trustee was required to be appointed to oversee the mitigation process.  The Decree also required Wyoming to develop a mitigation plan in order to qualify for potential funding from this mitigation trust fund.

In this round, the state will get some $8-million from the pool set up as part of the settlement. The money will be managed by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

The money must be used to pay some or all of the cost to repower or replace eligible diesel-powered vehicles with new cleaner diesel, alternative fueled, or all-electric engines.

Wyoming will focus on the following project types:

•             Class 8 local freight trucks.

•             Class 4 – 8 School buses, shuttle buses, or transit buses.

•             Pre-tier 4 diesel switcher locomotives.

•             Class 4 – 7 local freight trucks.

•             Airport Ground Support Equipment.

The State Of Wyoming has developed the following program goals and objectives to put together the mitigation plan.

•             Reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

•             Achieving higher cost-effectiveness (more emissions reduced per amount spent).

•             Impact on non-attainment areas.

•             Affecting areas of greater population density.

•             Affecting sensitive populations (such as children and the elderly).

The DEQ is looking for comments from the public on the plan. You can submit them until May 24. Click HERE to offer a comment.

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