November 15, 2018

CT grants $12.2M from VW settlement fund for clean air projects

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
A Volkswagens dealership in Hartford.

Connecticut is using $12.2 million from its Volkswagen emissions-cheating settlement to fund 10 clean air projects, including three in Greater Hartford, officials said.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday named the first projects, aimed at reducing diesel emissions, receiving a portion of the $55.7 million Connecticut is collecting under a multi-billion dollar settlement with Volkswagen, which was accused of installing emissions-cheating software in hundreds of thousands of vehicles.

Connecticut is one of the first states to deliver the funds, administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Malloy said.

There was stiff competition for the first round of funding. In July, DEEP received 56 applications from non-government and government entities under its new VW Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program. Projects were prioritized based on air pollution reduction, cost, impact and applicant cost sharing.

Malloy said the first funding cycle will mitigate 145 tons of excess nitrogen oxide emissions and reduce more than 7,600 tons of carbon dioxide. Another 10.3 tons of organic compounds and 6.6 tons of particulate matter will be curbed in areas with a disproportionate amount of air pollution.

"The transportation sector is responsible for approximately 70 percent of smog forming air pollution and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut," DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said. "The VW funding will help us realize additional nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emission reductions from mobile sources in Connecticut and move us closer towards meeting health-based air quality standards and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets."

The first round of projects include three in Greater Hartford:

USA Hauling & Recycling: $1.2 million to replace 17 diesel trucks with natural gas-powered trucks. The company is contributing $3.6 million.

Bozzuto's Inc.: $1 million to replace 33, 1999 diesel trucks and two, 2,000 yard tractors. The company is contributing over $3.1 million.

First Student Inc.: $1.6 million to replace 29 diesel school buses. The company is contributing $901,397.

DEEP will announce additional funding at a later date.

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