Florida's VW Settlement Plan Draws Criticism From Environmentalists

Jul 23, 2019

Florida environmental officials released a proposal last week, outlining what to do with settlement funds from the Volkswagen emission scandal. Activists are not satisfied with the state's plan.

Florida is receiving $166 million from VW.

The state Department of Environmental Protection wants to use part of it for electric vehicle charging stations.

It also wants to use a good chunk of the money to switch to a cleaner diesel for transit and school buses. That's disappointing some environmentalists who are pushing for electric vehicles.

"They really skewed the numbers to make it look like clean diesel would be of the best way to reduce nitrogen emissions, which is kind of ironic when you consider that this is from the dieselgate scandal from Volkswagen," said Phil Compton with the Sierra Club.

Click here to view the full proposal. 

The report showed that between 2013 and 2017, Hillsborough County had the most polluted air in Florida with 16 days when it exceeded smog concentrations. No other county came close to that.

"If you have asthma, if you have COPD, or know someone who does, this is the worst place. We have the highest number of days a year," said Compton. "We've already had several this year when you shouldn't be outside late in the afternoon -- playing tennis, walking, whatever because it will do more harm than it does good."

He said the state proposal is still being drafted, so the Sierra Club plans to make recommendations.