Volkswagen Settlement History

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Since 2017, Oklahoma has worked to secure beneficiary designation, and begin development of various programs. Oklahoma was allocated approximately $21 million from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from the transportation sector.

Background

In 2016, the United States settled claims against Volkswagen, et al., concerning the use of a “defeat device” installed on 2.0 and 3.0 L diesel vehicles which resulted in air pollution emissions from these vehicles exceeding federal guidelines. States are allocated a portion of the settlement based on their number of affected vehicles. 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. Click here for the State Beneficiary Trust Agreement

On October 30, 2017, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed an Executive Order that designates DEQ as the lead agency for administration of Oklahoma’s Volkswagen settlement trust funds. The Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment is providing oversight and final approval of the mitigation plan.

Timeline

  • October 25, 2016 – Settlement Effective Date
  • October 2, 2017 – Trust Effective Date (TED)
  • November 14, 2017 – Oklahoma Filed for Beneficiary Status
  • December 5, 2017 – State of Oklahoma Public Meeting
  • January 29, 2018 – Trustee Issued Notice of Beneficiary Designation
  • February 15, 2018 – DEQ Notifies Federal Agencies about Designation View Notices
  • May 8, 2018 – Proposed BMP meeting
  • June 8, 2018 – Final BMP submitted to Trust

Beneficiary Mitigation Plan

In order to receive the $21 million of allocated funds, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the office of the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment (SOEE) submitted the Oklahoma Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) to Wilmington Trust on June 8, 2018. . The BMP is a high-level plan describing the State’s intentions for utilizing Oklahoma’s funding allocation, including estimated emissions reductions along with general project descriptions and locations.

Final Beneficiary Mitigation Plan

This submittal follows a public comment period on the proposed BMP which ran from April 24, 2018 to May 24, 2018. Many thoughtful and constructive comments were submitted by stakeholders, and all comments were carefully read and considered by DEQ and SOEE staff before making the decision to finalize the BMP.

All comments received from stakeholders will continue to be referenced during program planning and future stages of Oklahoma’s participation in the Volkswagen State Mitigation Trust, as many comments were in regards to specific program design items and other issues not addressed in the BMP.

The proposed BMP was finalized and submitted to Wilmington Trust without changes, with the right reserved to amend the BMP at a later date, as necessary. The submittal of the BMP officially moves DEQ into the program planning and design process for Phase 1 of the mitigation projects. Phase 1 projects will include Alternative Fuel School Buses, Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure, and DERA. Further updates will be posted on the Volkswagen Settlement home page.

Eligible Mitigation Actions:

  1. Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage
  2. Class 4-8 School, Shuttle, or Transit Bus
  3. Freight Switchers
  4. Ferries and Tugs
  5. Ocean Going Vessels Shorepower
  6. Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks
  7. Airport Ground Support Equipment
  8. Forklifts & Port Cargo Handling
  9. Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment (charging stations)
  10. Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) actions

Public Meetings

December 5, 2017 Listening Session

On December 5, 2017 DEQ conducted a public meeting to collect information from stakeholders and receive comments concerning the BMP. The Department will refer to received comments as a resource in the development of the BMP. This comment period is now closed.

May 8, 2018 Proposed BMP Meeting

DEQ released a proposed BMP and held meeting on the proposal on May 8, 2018. The meeting included an informational presentation by DEQ staff, an opportunity for oral and/or written public comments, and a presentation on the anticipated future outlook. The public comment period for the proposed BMP closed May 24, 2018.

Contact:

  • Email: VWSettlement@deq.ok.gov
  • Phone: 405-702-4100
  • Postal Mail:
    • Heather Lerch
    • Air Quality Division
    • PO Box 1677
    • Oklahoma City, OK 73101