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About TxVEMP

About the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program

Program Background

Governor Greg Abbott selected the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as the lead agency responsible for the administration of funds received from the Volkswagen State Environmental Mitigation Trust (Trust). A minimum of $209 million dollars will be made available for projects that reduce nitrogen oxides (NOX) in the environment.

The Trust is part of a settlement agreement in the litigation between the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of California, and Volkswagen (VW) and its related entities. The EPA and the State of California filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against VW alleging that VW violated provisions of the federal Clean Air Act. The suit alleged that approximately 590,000 light-duty 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles manufactured by VW and its subsidiaries contain emission defeat devices. These devices cause the emissions control system of those vehicles to perform differently during emissions testing compared to performance during normal vehicle operation and use. The subject vehicles emit nitrogen oxides (NOX) at a level above required standards during normal vehicle operation and use.

The EPA, California, and VW have resolved this case through three partial settlements ( Amended 2.0 Liter Partial Consent Decree , 3.0 Liter Second Partial Consent Decree , and Third Partial Consent Decree .) As part of the settlement agreements, VW must pay approximately $2.9 billion into the environmental mitigation Trust referenced above. The 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico may elect to become a beneficiary to receive an allocation from the trust. An Indian Tribe Mitigation Trust has been established separate from the state mitigation trust. The funds in the Trust are allocated based on the number of affected vehicles registered within the boundaries of each beneficiary. Beneficiaries have between three and ten years to spend their allocated funds on specific types of projects as outlined in the Trust documents. These projects are intended to fully mitigate the total lifetime excess NOX emissions from the affected vehicles.

On March 15, 2017, the Court appointed Wilmington Trust, N.A. to serve as the trustee for the Trust. The final Trust agreement was filed and became effective on October 2, 2017. Each state was required to file a certification form to become a beneficiary and receive its allocation under the Trust agreement. Texas filed its certification form on November 21, 2017.

On January 29, 2018, the Trustee filed the list of designated beneficiaries with the court, including Texas as a beneficiary.

The Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Texas (Mitigation Plan), published by TCEQ, summarizes use of the mitigation funds allocated to Texas under the Trust.

Funds provided under the Trust will be awarded through grants to governmental and non-governmental entities in accordance with the priorities established in the Mitigation Plan. Information on the availability of grants for certain types of projects and how to apply for the grants will be provided on the Grants page as the grant programs are announced.

Stay updated on the Mitigation Plan and the grant programs by contacting the TCEQ and by entering your email address into our VW notification listserve through the Email Updates link.