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Volkswagen Settlement Updates: Deadline Extended for SAFER and Clean Fuels Programs

December 10, 2019

By: Stuart L. Spencer

Category: Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law

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On December 3, 2019, the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment, Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Office of Air Quality announced that the application deadlines for two Volkswagen settlement mitigation programs had been extended based on a public request.

Applications for the State Agency Fleet Emission Reduction (SAFER) program and the Arkansas Clean Fuels Funding Assistance Program (Clean Fuels Program) will now be accepted through February 28, 2020.

The Clean Fuels Program is a competitive funding opportunity for public, private, and non-profit entities seeking to repower or replace eligible medium trucks, heavy trucks, or buses with new lower-emitting alternative-fueled technologies, including compressed natural gas, propane, all-electric, or diesel-electric hybrid. The DEQ will award funding under the Clean Fuels Program in four program cycles. DEQ has allocated $697,794 to fund projects under the current cycle.

In 2015, when confronted with a United States Environmental Protection Agency Notice of Violation of the Clean Air Act, Volkswagen admitted to installing defeat devices in the diesel engine software of approximately 500,000 U.S. vehicles in order to bypass emissions tests. As a result of settlements entered in a federal lawsuit that followed, the State of Arkansas was allocated nearly $14.6 million to be used towards air pollution mitigation and prevention projects. The Arkansas DEQ is the lead agency in charge of developing the pollution mitigation and prevention plans.

For specific information on the Clean Fuels Program, visit DEQ’s webpage here.

For more information on the Volkswagen settlement, visit DEQ’s webpage here

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