Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust

The Volkswagen (VW) Diesel Settlement required VW to establish a $2.7 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund to be distributed among states to fund eligible mitigation projects designed to reduce excess nitrogen oxide (“NOx”) emissions from the transportation sector. VW established the Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund in part to settle claims that it sold vehicles with “defeat devices” designed to cheat emissions tests. The Trust became effective on October 2, 2017. Mississippi has been initially allocated $9,874,414 to fund projects designed to reduce NOx emissions and improve air quality in the state.

Mississippi Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program

Then Governor Phil Bryant identified MDEQ as the lead agency for purposes of administering the state’s trust allocation. He submitted the Beneficiary Certification Form to formally request beneficiary status for the state and designate MDEQ as the lead agency. The Trustee certified Mississippi as a Beneficiary on January 29, 2018.  The Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) required by the Trust Agreement to be in place prior to administering funds was developed and submitted to the Trustee by MDEQ on September 11, 2019. In order to begin implementing Mississippi’s allocation of the trust and funding projects, MDEQ is releasing the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program Project Application. The application is available beginning June 11, 2021 and will be open for submissions until October 29, 2021.

Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program Project Application

Mitigation Plan and Types of Projects Eligible for Funding

As the lead agency, MDEQ must submit a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan summarizing how it plans to use the Environmental Mitigation Trust funds allocated to Mississippi at least 30 days prior to submitting any request for funds. The plan is intended to provide the public with insight into the high-level vision for use of the funds and information about the specific uses for which funding is expected to be requested.

The Environmental Mitigation Trust specifies the types of mitigation actions which may be funded. Examples of eligible mitigation projects are scraping and replacing or repowering the following types of vehicles and equipment:

  • Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks (Eligible Large Trucks)
  • Class 4-8 School Buses, Shuttle Buses, or Transit Buses
  • Freight Switchers
  • Ferries and tugs
  • Ocean going vessels shorepower
  • Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks (Medium Trucks)
  • Airport ground support equipment
  • Forklifts and post cargo handling equipment
  • Diesel Emission Reduction Act non-federal match or overmatch payments (DERA Option).

The Environmental Mitigation Trust may fund government and non-government owned mitigation projects. The state may also use up to fifteen percent of its allocation to buy, operate, and maintain zero emission supply equipment (e.g., charging stations, hydrogen dispensing equipment) for certain projects.

Documents

Final Volkswagen Beneficiary Mitigation Plan

Volkswagen Beneficiary Mitigation Plan Public Comments

Public Notice – Volkswagen Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (comment period has closed)

Press Release – MDEQ Releases Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Public Comment