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Judge dismisses Volkswagen diesel suits filed by U.S. communities

WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge late Monday dismissed environmental lawsuits filed against Volkswagen AG over excess diesel emissions by Salt Lake County, Utah and Hillsborough County, Florida.

The automaker praised the decision and said it will seek the dismissal of other pending lawsuits by local communities. U.S. Judge Charles Breyer said emissions rules were properly enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In total, VW has now agreed to spend more than $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, U.S. states and dealers and to make buyback offers. (Reporting by David Shepardson)