HONOLULU — The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism is seeking public input as it develops a non-binding plan to spend up to $8.1 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 $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust established as part of two Partial Consent Decrees between the federal government and Volkswagen 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, 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 may be found at: http://energy.hawaii.gov/vw
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.