Categorized | Business, Energy

Public input sought on spending possible $8M Volkswagen settlement


HONOLULU — The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) is seeking public input as it develops a non-binding plan to spend up to $8.125 million from a settlement with German automaker Volkswagen to promote the reduction of vehicle emissions in Hawaii.

The funds represent Hawaii’s share of a $2.925 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust established as part of two Partial Consent Decrees between the federal government and Volkswagen (VW) to settle allegations that the automaker cheated emissions tests and deceived customers. DBEDT is the lead agency for purposes of the state’s participation in the Trust.

The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO), a division of DBEDT, has developed a questionnaire to solicit and consider public input as it develops the state’s mitigation plan. The eligible actions as outlined in Appendix D-2 of the settlement focus on activities that support nitrogen oxide emission reductions. Public input, which eligible action items should be pursued will be considered and incorporated into the plan as practicable. The public comment period runs through March 20. The questionnaire, along with information about the VW settlement may be found at:

The Environmental Mitigation Trust fund is being distributed among states, territories and federally recognized Indian Tribes based on the proportion of affected VW diesel vehicles in each jurisdiction. The settlement requires Trust funds to be used for projects that replace or retrofit medium- and heavy-duty vehicles or equipment with cleaner options. Additionally, up to 15 percent of the funds allocated to Hawaii can be used to install electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state.

The Environmental Mitigation Trust is part of a larger Volkswagen settlement intended to mitigate the environmental damage caused by emissions from the non-compliant Volkswagen vehicles. In addition to the Trust, Volkswagen will pay billions of dollars in civil penalties and customer buyback and modification programs. Volkswagen also must invest $2 billion over the next 10 years in zero emission vehicle infrastructure and education projects across the United State through its Electrify America subsidiary, possibly including Hawaii.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: