Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Air Quality Program receives second settlement payment from Volkswagen

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Tribal Air Quality Program Receives Second VW Settlement Payment (photo: Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe)

AKWESASNE (WWTI) — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has received a settlement payment from Volkswagen.

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environmental Division Air Quality Program has received a payment from the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust. The settlement totaled $240,687 and stemmed from the 2016 Volkswagen Class Settlement, which supports vehicle emission reduction throughout Akwesasne.

This is the second payment VW has made to the tribe and will help to purchase low-emission trucks for the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and an additional vehicle for the Tribe’s transfer station.

Considered a “catalyst” for securing settlement funds for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Air Quality Program Manager Angela Benedict commented on the recent payment.

“This is tremendous news for our tribal program, but more importantly for the community of Akwesasne to help us ‘plug into the future’ like most major cities,” stated Benedict. “In the past, these funds would normally get sent to only states, but the National Tribal Air Association fought to have tribal communities included in the settlement.”

According to the SRMT, Benedict helped to secure almost $250 thousand in settlement payments in 2019, which purchased two ew trucks and installed four charging stations.

Additionally, Benedict plans to submit a third proposal during the final year of the settlements disbursement. The funding will help to support a new bus for the Tribe’s Environmental Response Team.

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