Photo: Christian Junker (Flickr)
Senior Law Fellow at the Environmental Law and Policy Center Janet McCabe says Indiana still has to decide who will control the funds.
“Each state has 60 days to register their intent to use the funds with the trustee and in doing that they will identify which agency is going to be the primary implementing agency,” McCabe says.
The Environmental Protection Agency helped negotiate the Volkswagen settlement and McCabe says it stipulates the money states receive must be spent on decreasing the damage caused by diesel.
There are several ways Indiana could do so.
“They can replace older, dirty diesels with cleaner diesel,” McCabe says. “Even better, from a public health perspective is to replace diesel engines with engines that don’t emit at all. Electric engines, for example.”
McCabe says some other states hosted public meetings to get feedback on their proposals for spending settlement money.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management refused requests for an interview, but a spokesperson said in an email that “IDEM has been gathering informal comments from a variety of individuals, stakeholders, and organizations over the past several months” and that IDEM will seek public comments on its plan for spending the money in the near future.