September 13, 2018 10:01am
GLI submits public comments on use of Volkswagen Settlement funds in Kentucky
GLI submitted comments on the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s draft mitigation plan for using funds from the Volkswagen Settlement. As a beneficiary of the settlement, the Commonwealth will receive approximately $20 million over the next 10 years but must allocate the funds in accordance with a consent decree agreed upon by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Volkswagen Corporation and its subsidiaries. Governor Bevin designated the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) as the primary state agency responsible for creating a plan to use the funds. EEC produced its draft environmental mitigation plan last month.
In public comments to EEC, GLI advocated for using the funds to invest in a region like Greater Louisville where they “can have the greatest impact and go furthest in fulfilling the key purposes of the settlement.” In addition, GLI encouraged a swift implementation and allocation of the funds in order to most effectively capitalize on the unprecedented economic growth Kentucky has seen in the past few years.
Read GLI’s full comments below, and learn more about the Volkswagen settlement and EEC’s draft mitigation plan here.
Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI), the Metro Chamber of Commerce, provides the following comments on the Commonwealth’s draft Environmental Mitigation Plan for spending Volkswagen Settlement funds:
GLI is a chamber of commerce and economic development organization representing more than 1,500 businesses in the Greater Louisville region. Two major priorities for GLI include enhancing the quality of life in our region and developing a globally-competitive workforce that can drive economic growth and attract new businesses.
To that end, we applaud the draft plan’s goal of funding projects that bring economic benefit and we strongly support the plan’s stated intent to prioritize projects in historic or current ground level ozone and fine particle nonattainment and/or maintenance areas. We also support prioritizing projects in areas that had the highest number of Volkswagen vehicles registered that exceeded NOx emissions requirements.
As the draft mitigation plan reports, Greater Louisville is a non-attainment area for NOx and a maintenance area for PM2.5. Of all areas in the state, our region also had by far the most registered faulty Volkswagen vehicles.
Investing the Volkswagen Settlement funding in an area like Greater Louisville—where it can have the greatest impact and go furthest in fulfilling the key purposes of the settlement—will result in significant air quality gains, healthier communities, and a stronger statewide economy. In order to fully capitalize on the unprecedented economic growth the Commonwealth has experienced in the past few years, we encourage swift implementation and allocation of funds to projects that will help our economy to continue moving forward.
Thank you for making the draft plan available and for the opportunity to comment.