Washington State Fines VW $176M for Emissions Cheat

     (CN) — After settling a nationwide class action and claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Volkswagen took another punch from Washington state for violating air quality standards with software designed to cheat vehicle emissions tests.
     The Washington State Department of Ecology fined Volkswagen $176 million for environmental damage caused by the more than 21,000 vehicles registered in Washington with software designed to cheat emissions tests. Washington state will also be awarded $103.9 million as their part of the $14.7 billion dollar settlement between Volkswagen and the EPA.
     The department said the Volkswagen diesel vehicles emitted up to 40 times the permitted levels of harmful nitrogen oxides.
     “Volkswagen’s actions violated our state’s air quality laws and put people’s health at risk,” Ecology director Maia Bellon said. “This has caused irreparable damage to the publics’ trust.”
     Department spokeswoman Camille St. Onge said exposure to nitrogen oxides is linked to a range of serious health effects including increased asthma attacks, and contributes to premature death from respiratory-related and cardiovascular disease. Children, the elderly, and people with preexisting respiratory diseases are particularly vulnerable to these pollutants.
     Volkswagen has 30 days to appeal the penalty to the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board.

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