Oklahoma DEQ Accepting Comment on Volkswagen Beneficiary Mitigation Plan

For Immediate Release:  April 24, 2018
Contact:  Skylar McElhaney, (405) 702-7167

In 2016, the United States settled claims against Volkswagen, et al., concerning the use of a “defeat device” installed on 2.0 Liter and 3.0 Liter vehicles, which resulted in emissions from these vehicles exceeding federal guidelines. Each of these vehicles can emit up to 40 times more than the legal limit for nitrogen oxides, air pollutants which negatively impact Oklahoma’s air quality and the health of citizens. As part of this settlement, the State of Oklahoma has been allocated approximately $21 million to be used over the life of the program toward reducing nitrogen oxide emissions in the transportation sector.

In order to receive these funds, DEQ must submit a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP). The BMP is a high-level plan describing the state’s intentions for utilizing Oklahoma’s funding allocation.  The proposed BMP is available on the DEQ website (https://www.deq.ok.gov/air-quality-division/volkswagen-settlement/) and written comments are currently being accepted. It is requested that comment topics be limited to the BMP itself.

A public meeting will be held during the comment period from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., May 8, 2018, in the Multipurpose Room at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, 707 N. Robinson Ave, Oklahoma City, OK, 73101.  At this meeting, DEQ staff will provide an overview of the BMP. Following the presentation, oral comments can be given.  DEQ recommends that a written summary be submitted when making an oral comment.  Additionally, written comments may be submitted before, during, or after the meeting. All comments received will become public record. Persons with disabilities who have special communication or other accommodation needs, who plan to attend the meeting, can contact the Air Quality Division at (405) 702-4100.  The meeting will conclude with a brief presentation on the anticipated future outlook.

DEQ will review all comments in order to determine whether to finalize the BMP, but will not be responding to comments. Interested persons can be updated on the status of the BMP and any further developments regarding Oklahoma’s part in the Volkswagen Trust through the DEQ Volkswagen website and email list.

The comment period is currently open. Comments may be submitted to Mrs. Heather Lerch, (405) 702-4100, Air Quality Division, PO Box 1677, Oklahoma City, OK, 73101 or vwsettlement@deq.ok.gov. Comments must be received by May 24, 2018.