WA Department of Ecology fines Volkswagen for illegally falsifyi - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA Department of Ecology fines Volkswagen for illegally falsifying emissions tests

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON - The Washington Department of Ecology has fined automaker Volkswagen $176 million for installing illegal software on many of its diesel vehicles to cheat and falsify emissions tests. These diesel vehicles emitted up to 40 times the permitted levels of nitrogen oxides – a harmful air pollutant.

“Volkswagen’s actions violated our state’s air quality laws and put people’s health at risk,” said Ecology Director Maia Bellon. “This has caused irreparable damage to the publics’ trust.”

Volkswagen installed sophisticated software designed to turn on a vehicle’s full suite of emissions controls only when it detected that the car’s emissions were being tested, and turn them off during normal driving. This deceitful action released harmful amounts of nitrogen oxides into the air.

Exposure to these pollutants is linked with a range of serious health effects, including increased asthma attacks, and contributes to premature death from respiratory-related or cardiovascular disease. Children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing respiratory diseases are particularly vulnerable to these pollutants.

Today’s penalty holds the automaker accountable for the environmental damage caused by the more than 21,000 vehicles registered in Washington with the fraudulent software.

The $176 million penalty is based on per-vehicle violations, and once collected will be held in an air pollution control account that is used to reduce air pollution in Washington.

Volkswagen now has 30 days to appeal the penalty to the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board.


In a separate consumer settlement, Washington and 42 other states, plus the District of Columbia, are part of a multistate investigation into Volkswagen’s actions. The investigation began after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued Volkswagen notice that it had violated the federal Clean Air Act in September 2015. Since then, Volkswagen has admitted to the allegations and reached a $14.7 billion settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency. The company agreed to buy back vehicles and fund nationwide projects to reduce air pollution from vehicles, including developing infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations.

To find out which vehicles are affected and learn more about this issue, visit EPA’s website for consumer information or Ecology’s website to learn about Washington’s actions.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • Body of missing hunter found, appears to have died of natural causes

    Body of missing hunter found, appears to have died of natural causes

    Saturday, October 20 2018 8:20 PM EDT2018-10-21 00:20:17 GMT
    WALLA WALLA, WA- The body of a missing hunter was found in heavy brush near the South Fork of the Coppei Saturday morning. At 5:12 a.m., Walla Walla County Sheriff's Deputies were made aware that a hunter hadn't returned. They learned that 60-year-old Patrick L. Beuttner of Walla Walla had recently complained of heart problems and had not been seen or heard from since Friday.  By 6:19 a.m. Beuttner's truck was located and the Search and Rescue team was activated. While SAR was...More >>
    WALLA WALLA, WA- The body of a missing hunter was found in heavy brush near the South Fork of the Coppei Saturday morning. At 5:12 a.m., Walla Walla County Sheriff's Deputies were made aware that a hunter hadn't returned. They learned that 60-year-old Patrick L. Beuttner of Walla Walla had recently complained of heart problems and had not been seen or heard from since Friday.  By 6:19 a.m. Beuttner's truck was located and the Search and Rescue team was activated. While SAR was...More >>
  • Walla Walla man killed while stopped on shoulder

    Walla Walla man killed while stopped on shoulder

    Saturday, October 20 2018 7:09 PM EDT2018-10-20 23:09:45 GMT
    NEAR BAKER CITY, OR-  A Walla Walla man is dead after being hit by a car while stopped on the shoulder checking the pressure in his tires.  On Friday, October 19, 2018, at about 5:12 p.m., a fatal crash occurred on Oregon Route 86, milepost 2.5, near Baker City.  The location was just east of Interstate 84, milepost 302 interchange.  Preliminary information revealed that 59-year-old Dennis Tim Cheney of Walla Walla had parked his 1998 Dodge Pickup and large ...More >>
    NEAR BAKER CITY, OR-  A Walla Walla man is dead after being hit by a car while stopped on the shoulder checking the pressure in his tires.  On Friday, October 19, 2018, at about 5:12 p.m., a fatal crash occurred on Oregon Route 86, milepost 2.5, near Baker City.  The location was just east of Interstate 84, milepost 302 interchange.  Preliminary information revealed that 59-year-old Dennis Tim Cheney of Walla Walla had parked his 1998 Dodge Pickup and large ...More >>
  • SWX High School Football - Game of the Week Scores 10-19-18

    Saturday, October 20 2018 1:32 AM EDT2018-10-20 05:32:10 GMT

    SWX Game of the Week Scores 10-19-18

    More >>

    SWX Game of the Week Scores 10-19-18

    More >>