Photo: Austin Steele / Special To The Chronicle
The California Air Resources Board voted Friday to allocate $423 million in funding from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal settlement to a variety of clean transportation projects.
The funding is a slice of the $1.2 billion that California is getting from the settlement. It is intended to mitigate emissions of harmful air pollutants called nitrogen oxides from the polluting diesel vehicles, many of which have been taken off the road after Volkswagen bought them back.
The funding is mostly aimed at cleaning up heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses and trucks. It includes:
• $130 million for zero-emission shuttle buses, school buses and transit
• $90 million for zero-emission, heavy-duty freight and drayage trucks
• $70 million for port equipment and other marine projects
• $60 million for combustion port equipment and other marine projects
• $10 million for infrastructure for light-duty vehicles
• $63 million in reserve
Plans for specific projects will be reviewed later, but some of the funds will go toward helping people get rid of old, polluting vehicles and replace them with clean ones. A portion will be focused specifically on helping disadvantaged communities. Past settlement proposals were criticized for overlooking the poor.
The settlement followed Volkswagen’s admission in 2015 to installing cheating devices on diesel cars, so that they would seem to meet emissions standards while not in fact doing so.