Volkswagen deal to invest $19 million in cleaner transit engines

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois officials have allocated the first grants to buy cleaner-burning engines from an emissions lawsuit settlement Volkswagen reached with federal officials.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that $19 million will finance cleaner-burning public-transit trains and buses.

Illinois is receiving $108 million from Volkswagen’s multibillion-dollar settlement after allegations that the automaker sold 60,000 vehicles with software designed to cheat air-quality tests.

EPA Director Alec Messina says the state’s program is meant primarily to take old diesel engines out of service . The Chicago-area public transit agency Metra will get $14 million to purchase eight cleaner diesel engines.

Chicago and suburban bus lines will get a combined $4.2 million to buy six natural gas-burning and three all-electric buses. And there’s $754,000 for three all-electric school buses for Chicago Public Schools children.