AP NEWS

Massachusetts using Volkswagen funds on clean air projects

December 22, 2019 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is using money it received from a nationwide settlement with Volkswagen to help electrify the state’s transportation sector and reduce air pollution.

The state has designated a total of $7.5 million toward 98 projects, including the purchase of electric cars, diesel-hybrid electric waste collection trucks, liquid-propane-gas school buses, cleaner-diesel trucks and ferry engines, and a marine shore-power installation.

The money for the grant program comes from a settlement with Volkswagen over the company’s illegal tampering of vehicle emission control equipment.

“Through this grant program, many of the underserved populations in our state will now be able to enjoy the clean air benefits of electric vehicles,” Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said in a written statement.

Baker said the money will be used on projects to put 32 heavy-duty vehicles, eight medium-duty vehicles, 17 buses, two marine engines, 35 pieces of airport ground-support equipment and three pieces of cargo-handling equipment into operation and install one new marine shore-power site.

The new equipment will replace pre-2010 diesel counterparts.

Baker said three-quarters of the funding will go towards areas where there are high populations of minority, low-income, or low English proficiency residents.