Vehicles are one of the main sources of air pollution in Washington. They cause pollution that triggers asthma and is linked to other health problems, including cancer and heart attacks. More than a third of Washington's residents are in an age group that is at risk for health problems from this pollution or have at least one medical condition that is made worse by it.
In addition, vehicles, along with other transportation, produce nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions in our state. Greenhouse gases cause climate change. Effects of climate change in Washington include reduced snow pack, low summer stream flows, more winter flooding, increased coastal erosion, reduced water supplies for people and agriculture, and further loss of salmon habitat.
The Clean Car Law aims to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases from cars and trucks. New vehicles that do not meet these clean car standards cannot be registered, licensed, rented, or sold for use in Washington.
Diesel exhaust is one of the most harmful air pollutants. Ecology is working to reduce diesel emissions by providing assistance to fleet managers.
Find out more about Washington's vehicle emission check program
Read about air quality and health effects of motor vehicle idling, and how to reduce your vehicle's emissions.
During January 2016, the Department of Justice, on behalf of EPA, filed a lawsuit against VW. The car maker agreed to pay $14.7 billion to help consumers who own affected vehicles with 2.0 and 3.0 liter diesel engines and to lessen the harm caused by the excess emissions. Washington is eligible to recieve $112.7 million from the settlement. Read about the case and how Washington is planning to use the funds.
Ecology issued a $176 million Notice of Penalty to VW for installing the software. Vehicles are emitting up to 40 times the permitted levels of nitrogen oxides as a result of the software. Volkswagen received two notices of violation from Ecology on Nov. 10, 2015 and March 10, 2016 before receiving the penalty. The case is currently in appeals. Check this page for updates.
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