The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) released its plans last week for spending more than $25 million — its share of a $2.3 billion national settlement with Volkswagen — and is now seeking public input on the plan.
The settlement stemmed from VW’s scheme to cheat emissions testings, which resulted in years of VW’s cars emitting levels of nitrogen oxides that far exceeded government limits.
According to the terms of the settlement, states have up to 15 years to spend their allocated funds and up to 10 years to spend 80 percent. Alabama’s plan would use all of the funds inside of 10 years, making it eligible to receive more funds should they be available in 15 years.
The general public can view ADECA’s plan on their website. A public hearing on the plan will be held Jan. 15 in the 7th-floor auditorium at the Alabama Center for Commerce at 401 Adams Ave. in Montgomery.
“ADECA has put a lot of work into this plan,” said Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition Executive Director Mark Bentley, “and we encourage all stakeholders to read the draft and, if they desire to provide constructive input, attend the public hearing meeting on the 15th.”
After the hearing, ADECA will make in necessary alterations to the plan and then forward it to Gov. Kay Ivey for approval. The agency plans to submit initial requests for applications within the first quarter.