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Volkswagen Settlement

Public Engagement

  • 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.

DOEE is drafting a mitigation plan regarding the use of the $8.125 million Volkswagen settlement allocation and has developed a Request for Information for questions and comments.

DOEE also invites you to complete our short survey for how to spend the settlement funds.

The deadline for RFI responses was August 11, 2017. Any questions should be submitted via e-mail (preferred) or mail to the address below.        

Email:  [email protected]
Phone: (202) 741-0862
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


Volkswagen Clear Air Act Partial Settlement

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.

Event

Approximate Timeline

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

Trustee in March 2017.

Summer 2017

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

Summer/Fall 2017

(TED + 60 days)

The District is notified of Beneficiary Designation

Fall 2017

(Within 120 days of TED)

The District submits Mitigation Plan

Fall 2017/Winter 2017-2018

(90 days after being designated as a beneficiary)

The District begins to receive funds

Early 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.

Listed below are the eligible mitigation actions that DOEE considers viable in the District:

  • Replacement and repower of large (class 8 vehicles) trucks and medium (class 4-7) trucks (e.g., trash trucks, street sweepers)
  • Replacement of school buses and transit buses
  • Repower of ferries and tugs
  • Replacement or repower of forklifts and other maintenance equipment (e.g., snow removal equipment)
  • Light duty zero emission vehicle (ZEV) charging infrastructure (e.g., electric charging stations). The District can choose to spend between zero and 15 percent of the District’s allocation of VW settlement funds for this mitigation action. Light duty ZEVs are any passenger vehicles that emit zero concentrations of any regulated pollutant. Examples include electric or alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) option projects
    • On-road/off-road diesel engines (e.g., generators, snowplows, lawn & garden and other maintenance equipment)
    • Marine engines
    • Locomotives/switchers

For more information: Appendix D-2

DOEE will be partnering with numerous groups to ensure the best possible projects for NOx reductions. DOEE has already begun collaborating with sister agencies, such as District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Department of Public Works (DPW), Department of General Services (DGS), and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Project ideas will also be taken under consideration from industry stakeholders, environmental groups, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, etc.

The Request for Information includes a preliminary list of mitigation action ideas for the Mitigation Plan. The final Mitigation Plan will incorporate public input.

Please send any questions to [email protected] . The deadline for public input was August 11, 2017.