MDEQ Releases Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Public Comment

Public Comments Accepted from February 15 to March 26

 

(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) released the Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for review and comment on Friday (Feb. 15).

 

Gov. Phil Bryant has designated MDEQ as the agency to administer the state’s portion of the funds ($9,874,414 out of the $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust) to implement air emissions reduction projects. Mississippi’s allocation was based on the number of offending vehicles registered in the state.  The Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust was established to settle claims under the Clean Air Act that Volkswagen sold vehicles with “defeat devices” designed to cheat emissions tests for its diesel vehicles.  The funds from the trust will be used to fund mitigation projects to replace older diesel emission sources with cleaner technology to reduce excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and improve air quality in the state.

 

The Beneficiary Mitigation Plan describes Mississippi’s goals and strategies in spending its portion of funds from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. Mississippi intends to distribute funds through a project application and selection process, open to all eligible mitigation action categories. A copy of the proposed plan is available at https://www.mdeq.ms.gov/air/vw-mitigation-trust/ and can also be obtained by contacting Lorenzo Boddie, Public Records Administrator at 601-961-5171. Persons wishing to comment on the plan are invited to submit comments in writing to Elliott Bickerstaff at MDEQ, P.O. Box 2261, Jackson, MS 39225.

 

In addition, three public hearings have been scheduled in March to provide opportunity for the public to comment on the state’s Mitigation Plan describing Mississippi’s goals and strategies in spending its portion of funds from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.

 

The public hearings are scheduled for:

 

•March 18 — 1:30 p.m. in MDEQ’s Commission Hearing Room located at 515 East Amite Street, Jackson, 39201.

•March 21 — 1:30 p.m. in the Public Meeting Room of the Bolton State Office Building, 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, 39530.

•March 26 — 1:30 p.m. at the Batesville Public Library, 206 Highway 51 North, Batesville, 38606.

 

Each hearing will include an opportunity for the public to submit comments on the plan.  The comment period begins February 15 and ends March 26, 2019.

 

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