State offers $16.3M to swap trash trucks, street sweepers for cleaner models

By: - July 26, 2023 3:33 pm

(Getty Images)

Washington will use about $16.3 million from a legal settlement with Volkswagen to help government agencies transition diesel medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, like garbage trucks and street sweepers, to zero-emissions models.

The state opened applications for the money on Wednesday. About $9.6 million is for garbage trucks and street sweepers and roughly $6.6 million is for locomotives used around rail yards and port cargo-handling equipment, like cranes and forklifts.

Grants are available to public entities, including local governments, state agencies, tribes, ports and school districts. The money can be used for new vehicles and related electric charging and hydrogen refueling equipment.

The state received $141 million from the Volkswagen settlement, which includes $112 million from a federal agreement negotiated by the Environmental Protection Agency and $28 million from a separate settlement with the state.

Volkswagen paid the money to resolve allegations that vehicles it made between 2009 and 2016 were equipped with “defeat devices” to cheat on federal emissions tests.

For trash haulers, individual grants are capped at 80% of the eligible costs per vehicle or $400,000, whichever is lower. For sweepers, the dollar limit is $750,000. Applications for the grants will remain open until October.

The funding comes amid a broader push by the state to cut emissions and transition to electric vehicles.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Bill Lucia
Bill Lucia

Bill Lucia is the Standard’s editor-in-chief. He’s covered state and local policy and politics for a decade, nationwide for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and in Seattle for Crosscut.