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S.C. to receive $31M in federal Volkswagen settlement

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South Carolina will receive $31 million from a $2.7 billion settlement between the federal government and Volkswagen.

On Wednesday, Gov. Henry McMaster appointed the S.C. Department of Insurance to oversee handling of those funds, which have to be used by the state to reduce emissions, under the terms of the settlement.

“The governor looks forward to working with director (Ray) Farmer to develop a plan that addresses critical needs of the state and meets the settlement requirements regarding reduction of emissions,” a news release from the governor’s office said.

The Department of Insurance will develop a “Beneficiary Mitigation Plan” to explain how the funds will be used. The department will also request public input on using the funds. The state has established a website where individuals can sign up to receive notifications about submitting proposals for usage of the funds and other settlement-related information.

In January 2016, the federal government filed a civil claim against the German automaker for violating the Clean Air Act. The government found that nearly 590,000 vehicles sold between 2009 and 2016 had been equipped with a “defeat device” to indicate emissions from the vehicles were within federal guidelines. Subsequently, the government filed three separate lawsuits against Volkswagen.

Additionally, Volkswagen and the government reached a settlement through which the company will offer a buy-back, trade-in credit or lease termination for vehicles impacted by the violations.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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