VW Environmental Mitigation Funds

Vermont's Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Funds

Welcome to Vermont's VW Mitigation Trust page. This page provides basic information about the VW Mitigation Trust and how Vermont can use its Trust allocation once it's available. We have provided our Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP), which includes proposed project priorities and can be found below.  Now that the public comment period for the BMP is closed, we are compiling all received public comments (verbal and written), which will be made available to the public once the BMP is finalized. Please check this page often for updates on the status of the Mitigation Trust, additional information, and specific areas where Vermont is seeking input. Use the email contact, anr.decvwmitigation@vermont.gov, to submit any comments or your contact information so that we can add your name to a distribution list for updates and information. Thank you for your interest and participation.


    Beneficiary Mitigation Plan      More Information        


Background

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice filed with the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, a proposed settlement that partially resolves claims that Volkswagen (VW) violated the Clean Air Act by the sale of approximately 500,000 vehicles containing 2.0 liter diesel engines equipped with devices designed to defeat emission controls. On October 25, 2016, the Court approved the partial settlement and entered a partial Consent Decree requiring VW to:

  1. buy back or modify emission controls on at least 85 percent of the subject vehicles,
  2. invest $2 billion to promote the use of zero emission vehicles and infrastructure, and
  3. establish and fund a $2.7 billion environmental mitigation trust (EMT).

In late December of 2016, a settlement involving similar claims for 83,000 3.0 liter diesel engines equipped with defeat devices was reached, which includes an additional $225 million towards the environmental mitigation trust. Vermont’s allocation of the Environmental Mitigation Trust is $18.7 million.

On October 2, 2017, the Trust Effective Date for the Environmental Mitigation Trust occurred, triggering the requirement for all beneficiaries of the Environmental Mitigation Trust, including Vermont, to submit a Beneficiary Certification Form. Vermont completed this requirement on November 1, 2017.

Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan

Availability of funds from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust depends on the requirement that Vermont submit a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan to the Trustee. Per the terms of the terms of the Mitigation Trust Agreement, ANR has sought public input on a draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan that proposes how to best utilize the funds to meet the purpose of the Trust. 

View Vermont's draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan

Vermont's proposed overall goal for use of the Environmental Mitigation Trust allocation is as follows:

  1. REDUCE NOx emissions from mobile sources, eligible for replacement or repower, in the most cost-effective way possible;
  2. DEMONSTRATE market viability of all-electric or other NOx mitigating alternatively fueled heavy-duty and transit vehicles; and
  3. MAXIMIZE public and private investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Request for Public Input

The Partial Consent Decree requires that Vermont involve the public in its development of the BMP prior to its submittal to the Trustee. Therefore, Vermont held a public comment period to seek comments related to the required elements of the proposed BMP, including how to utilize Vermont’s funding allocation to meet the purpose of the EMT as stated in Appendix D, which is to be used to fund “environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of NOx” where affected VW vehicle were, are, or will be operated. Vermont also sought comments on the Proposed Funding Priorities listed in Section 1 of the proposed BMP, with the intent that these priorities may be used to inform the project prioritization and selection criteria for proposed projects to be funded from Vermont’s allocation of the EMT.

Public Informational Meetings

Vermont held a public meeting to provide information on the eligible mitigation projects and the process associated with Vermont’s allocation of the EMT, and to accept public comments on the Proposed BMP. The public meeting was held on December 13, 2017 at 10:30am in the Montpelier Room at the Agency of Natural Resources, Davis Building, 1 National Life Drive, Montpelier, Vermont 05620. For more information, please view the presentation provided during the public meeting and video of the public meeting provided by ORCA Media.

Public Comment - Closed

Vermont accepted verbal public comments at the public meeting scheduled as described above, and written public comments from November 29, 2017 until January 13, 2018. The public comment period is now closed. All public comments (verbal and written) will be made available to the public once the BMP is finalized.

Although the formal public comment period is closed, you can always use the email contact, anr.decvwmitigation@vermont.gov, to submit any comments or your contact information so that we can add your name to a distribution list for updates and information.

Finalization of Mitigation Plan

Vermont will finalize the BMP following the close of the public comment period on January 13, 2018. Once the Plan is finalized it will be published online and submitted to the EMT Trustee in accordance with the timeline prescribed in the Partial Content Decree (30 days before Vermont submits its first request for funding). Note that the BMP is subject to change, as described above, in the event that Vermont’s goals or priorities need to change to adapt to eligible mitigation project interest, funding and feasibility. In the event that any major components of the finalized BMP are amended, those amendments will be submitted to the EMT Trustee and will be made available to the public.

Next Steps

Following finalization and submittal to the Trustee of the Vermont BMP, Vermont will develop project qualification, prioritization, and selection criteria to implement the goals and objectives of the final BMP and the EMT. Project qualification criteria will be based on the list of eligible mitigation actions in Appendix D of the partial settlement, while final project prioritization and selection criteria will be made available in conjunction with requests for proposals for the EMT funding opportunities.

More Information

What is the purpose of the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust?

What is Vermont doing to prepare for its Mitigation Trust allocation?

What actions are eligible for funding under the environmental mitigation trust?

How will eligible projects be implemented?

What is the timing?

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