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Volkswagen Settlement

DOEE submitted The District of Columbia’s Spending Plan for Volkswagen Settlement Funds (Beneficiary Mitigation Plan) (also attached below) to Wilmington Trust on July 6, 2018.

The Notice of Public Comment Period on VW Settlement Draft Spending Plan is now closed and DOEE is no longer soliciting input from interested parties. The deadline for public comment on the Draft Spending Plan was March 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm.
DOEE received a total of 16 responses for the second round of public input. Please access the Draft Spending Plan Response Summary document, also in the attachments below.

Public Information Open House: This event was held at 4058 Minnesota Ave NE (Department of Employment Services Community Room #1) on Wednesday, February 21, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. The public had the opportunity to submit comments and provide input during the Open House.

The District was designated as a Beneficiary to the Trust on January 29, 2018. Please access the Dkt 4700 Notice of Beneficial Designation document (also attached below) for more information.

Any questions should be submitted via e-mail (preferred) or mail to the address below.        

Email:  [email protected]
Phone: (202) 645-9262
Written Correspondence:

Department of Energy and Environment
Attn: Alexandra Catena, Environmental Protection Specialist

Air Quality Division
1200 First Street NE, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20002

Previous Public Engagement

  • Survey Results: DOEE held a SurveyMonkey regarding the proposed VW settlement projects and received a total of 170 responses. Please access the Survey Results Document, also in the attachments below.
  • RFI Public Response Summary: DOEE received a total of 16 responses for the first round of public engagement. This list does not include the survey results. Please access RFI Response Summary document, also in the attachments below.
  • Notice of Request for Information - Input on the District’s Use of Volkswagen Settlement Funds
    The deadline has passed for public input on the potential uses of the District’s Volkswagen settlement funds. The deadline for submitting responses was August 11, 2017. Read More>>
  • Public Information Open House: This event took place on July 13. The public had the opportunity to submit comments and provide input during the Open House.

Volkswagen Clear Air Act Partial Settlement - Background

In two related settlements, German automaker Volkswagen AG (VW) has agreed to spend nearly $25 billion to settle allegations of cheating vehicle emissions tests and deceiving customers. VW’s use of a defeat device in its diesel vehicles enabled the vehicles to emit levels of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) significantly in excess of the limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NOx is a precursor to ozone formation and is also hazardous to human health. The automaker will spend $2.925 billion to mitigate the pollution from these diesel cars; $2 billion to invest in clean vehicle technology; and $10 billion in the vehicle recall program.

To mitigate the pollution of NOx emissions, VW will spend the $2.925 billion toward a Mitigation Trust, which will be allocated among the states. This total was determined by two partial settlements. The first settlement was geared towards 2.0 liter vehicles and required VW to pay $2.7 billion. The second partial settlement dealt with 3.0 liter vehicles and required VW to pay an additional $225 million.

More details on the partial settlements can be found here:

The 2.0 Liter Partial Consent Decree

The 3.0 Liter Partial Consent Decree

To invest in clean vehicle technology, Volkswagen will fund the $2 billion towards zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technology through VW’s company, Electrify America, Inc. The company will use these funds toward ZEV infrastructure, increased accessibility, and outreach and awareness initiatives.

Electrify America
Under the vehicle recall program, VW has agreed to buy back, terminate leases early, and provide repairs for 2.0 liter and Generations 1 and 2 3.0 liter diesel vehicles. VW will also provide cash payments to diesel car owners/lessees.

Vehicle Recall Program

More details of the case can be found here:

EPA’s Volkswagen Clean Air Act Civil Settlement

EPA’s Light Duty Diesel Vehicle Violations

Mitigation Plan

The District of Columbia is expected to receive $8.125 million from the VW settlement and must develop a Mitigation Plan outlining the use of the funds for eligible projects, with the main goal of reducing NOx emissions.

Mayor Bowser has selected DOEE as the lead agency to coordinate the VW settlement funds. DOEE is prioritizing projects based on sustainability and long-term pollutant reduction goals, with a special consideration for projects benefiting all eight Wards, with highest reductions in NOx emissions, and regarding vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities of the District.

The timeline of the process depends on when the Trust will go into effect, or the Trust Effective Date (TED). The tentative timeline of the process is shown below.


Approximate Timeline

The final version of the Trust takes effect (TED). Wilmington Trust was selected as Trustee in March 2017.

October 2, 2017

Jurisdictions apply to submit Beneficiary Certification Form to become Beneficiaries of the Trust

December 1, 2017
(TED + 60 days)

The District was designated a Beneficiary to the Trust

January 29, 2018

The District submitted the Mitigation Plan to the Trust

July 6, 2018

The District can only use VW settlement funds for eligible mitigation actions. A complete list of eligible mitigation actions is provided in Appendix D-2 of the 2.0 Liter Partial Settlement.

Please send any questions to [email protected].

Beneficiary Certification Form: DOEE submitted a Beneficiary Certification Form to be deemed as a beneficiary of the Trust. Please access the completed and signed Beneficiary Certification Form, also in the attachments below.