Washington’s Department of Ecology today announced a $176 million fine against automaker Volkswagen for installing illegal software on many diesel vehicles to cheat and falsify emissions test.

This penalty holds VW accountable for the environmental damage caused by more than 21,000 vehicles registered in the state with the fraudulent software. The automaker’s software detected when the car’s emissions were being tested and turn them off during normal driving.

“Volkswagen’s actions violated our state’s air quality laws and put people’s health at risk,” said Maia Bellon, Ecology’s director. 

The automaker has 30 days to appeal the penalty to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board. Once collected, the $176 million penalty will be held in an air pollution control account that is used to reduce air pollution in the state.