>> Questions or Comments: VWsettle@tceq.texas.gov
You are here:

Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust

Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program

 Email Updates      Common Questions      Helpful Resources


Welcome to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program. This website provides easy access to information about the program, including access to the plan for use of the funds and to individual grant programs as those programs are implemented. If you have trouble finding what you need or if you have questions, please go to the "Contact Us" page for instructions on how to contact the TCEQ.


texas landmark

Background

Background information on the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Consent Decree

hands-raised

Meetings & Notices

Meetings, workshops, and program announcements

diagram

Mitigation Plan

Texas' plan for use of the VW funds

handshake

Grants

Grant program information and forms, including eligibility and how to apply

files-folders

Reports

TCEQ's status reports to the trustee and grant program summaries for download

phone-computer

Contact Us

Questions or Comments?

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 Decreepdf, 3.0 Liter Second Partial Consent Decreepdf, Third Partial Consent Decreepdf.) 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 agreementpdf was filed and became effective on October 2, 2017. Each state was required to file a certification formpdf 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 pdfwith the court, including Texas as a beneficiary.

The TCEQ is required to create a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan that summarizes how the funds allocated to Texas will be used. Go to the Mitigation Plan link for information on the plan, including the opportunity to comment on development of the plan.

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 status of 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.

Meetings & Notices

Important notices and meeting schedules will be listed on this web page.


Date
Event
December 4, 2017
Invitation to submit recommendations on a development of a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Texas


The TCEQ invites comments and recommendations on use of the Trust funds as we develop a draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Texas. Comments pertaining to the use of the Trust funds and development of the mitigation plan may be submitted by email to VWsettle@tceq.texas.gov. You may also submit comments by mail to the address provided on the Contact Us web page.

If you have questions, you may also contact us toll free at (833) 215-TXVW (8989).

Mitigation Plan

The TCEQ is currently developing a draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Texas. The draft plan will be made available to view and download from this web page. The public will then have the opportunity to comment on the plan before it is finalized.

Submit Comments on Development of the Plan

The TCEQ is currently accepting comments and recommendations on use of the Trust funds as we develop the draft mitigation plan. Any comments pertaining to the development of the plan may be submitted by email to VWsettle@tceq.texas.gov. You may also submit comments by mail at the address listed on the Contact Us page.

Please continue to check this web page for updates as this program moves forward.

View Comments

View Comments received to date on development of the plan.

Questions

If you have questions, you may also contact us toll free at (833) 215-TXVW (8989).


Grants

Welcome to the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program (TxVEMP) Grants page. As grant programs are developed and implemented, information will be provided through the links on this page. The main links include information on how to determine if a grant program is right for you, meeting and application assistance notices and schedules, and information and forms needed to request reimbursement and report on vehicle or equipment disposition once you receive a grant. As individual grant programs are implemented, the application forms and procedures will be provided through the links for each type of grant.

  The TCEQ will implement grant programs once the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for Texas is finalized. The links on this page will be activated once the TxVEMP grant programs are developed and ready for implementation. Be sure to enter your email address into our VW listserv to receive email updates on the status of the Plan and the available grant programs.

man-splitpath

Which Grant is Right for You?

Find out about available TxVEMP grant programs and the general eligibility requirements for each program to determine if a grant program is right for you.

man-calendar

Meetings & Application Workshops

Find out about upcoming meetings and workshops to discuss the program in general and to go over application materials and procedures for the individual grant programs.

man-woman-handshake

Once You Receive a Grant

Find the instructions and forms for requesting reimbursement, reporting on disposition of vehicles and equipment replaced under a grant, and for admistering your grant project.

Reports

An important element of this program is to ensure transparency in how the VW mitigation funds are being used. This page will include access to copies of all reports sent to the trustee and information about the grants awarded under the program. Look for links to copies of the reports and information below as the grant programs are implemented. Instructions on how to request copies of grant documents are also provided below.

Reports to the Trustee

Under the Trust Agreement, the TCEQ is to provide semi-annual reports to the Trustee on the status of projects funded under the VW program. Once the grant programs are implemented, copies of the TCEQ's reports to the Trustee will be made available here.

Grant Summaries

As the grant programs are implemented, summaries of the grant awards and payments will be made available here.

How to obtain Copies of Grant Documents

The TCEQ will provide the public access to grant applications, contracts, and payment documents, subject to state confidentiality regulations and requirements. Once the grant programs are implemented, the public may request copies of specific grant documents through the TCEQ's Open Records Request system.

Instructions for submitting a request are provided at the TCEQ's Open Records Request web page.

If you have trouble accessing the system, please contact the TCEQ's VW staff toll free at (833) 215-TXVW (8989).

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding the TCEQ's Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program, you may contact us toll free at (833) 215-TXVW (8989).

You may also contact us by email at VWsettle@tceq.texas.gov or send correspondence to the following addresses:

 Regular Mail:
 Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
 Air Quality Division
 Implementation Grants Section, MC-204
 P.O. Box 13087
 Austin, TX 78711-3087
 ATTN: VW Settlement
 Express Mail:
 Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
 Air Quality Division
 Implementation Grants Section, MC-204
 12100 Park 35 Circle
 Austin, TX 78753
 ATTN: VW Settlement

Sign Up for Email Updates

You can receive emails whenever we issue notices and update information about the TxVEMP.

How to sign up to receive email updates from the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program TxVEMP:

  1. Enter and confirm your email address.
  2. From the list of choices, look under "Air Quality" and select "Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program (TxVEMP)."
  3. Select other subscriptions if you wish, then click "Save."
  4. The system will then send you a confirmation email to accept.

You can unsubscribe, change your email address, or choose additional options at any time from the link on this page or from the update emails you receive.


Are you a new subscriber?



Already a subscriber with us?




For additional assistance, please contact us toll free at (833) 215-TXVW (8989).

FAQs: Answers to Common Questions

The TCEQ will periodically update this web page with answers to questions regarding the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program. A printable and downloadable version of the Frequently Asked Questionspdf is also available.

Overview:

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, Third Partial Consent Decree). As part of the settlement agreements, VW must pay approximately $2.9 billion into the 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 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, Third Partial Consent Decree). As part of the settlement agreements, VW must pay approximately $2.9 billion into the 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.

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. The Trustee filed the designation of beneficiaries with the court on January 29, 2018. Texas is among the designated beneficiaries.

The EPA has identified ozone as criteria pollutant under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ, agency, or commission) monitors areas of the state for compliance with the NAAQS. For areas not meeting those standards, the TCEQ is responsible for developing a state implementation plan (SIP) to outline strategies that will be implemented to bring those areas into attainment of the NAAQS.

In terms of compliance with the NAAQS, the pollutant that has been most challenging to show attainment in Texas is ground-level ozone.

Ozone is a gas formed in the atmosphere when three atoms of oxygen combine. Stratospheric ozone is found naturally in the Earth's upper atmosphere and forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun's ultraviolet rays. However, ground- level ozone is a respiratory toxic agent that can cause acute respiratory health effects when people breathe high concentrations of it over several hours. These effects include decreased lung function and pain with deep breaths, and aggravated asthma symptoms.

Ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but created by chemical reactions between NOX and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight. Ozone forms in the highest concentrations on warm, sunny days with light wind speeds, which allows more of the pollutant to form and accumulate. In Texas, much of the NOX emissions are from motor vehicle and off-road equipment exhaust. Reducing those emissions by replacing or upgrading older vehicles and equipment to newer models with less emissions is an important tool in addressing the state’s air quality goals related to ground-level ozone.

Governor Greg Abbott selected the TCEQ as the lead agency responsible for the administration of funds received from the Trust. The governor submitted the necessary certification documents for Texas to be designated a beneficiary state under the Trust, and the Trustee filed the beneficiary notifications with the court on January 29, 2018. At that time, Texas became a designated beneficiary of the allocated funds.

The funds in the Trust are allocated based on the number of affected vehicles registered within the boundaries of each beneficiary. A minimum of $209,319,163 is available to Texas for projects that reduce NOX in the environment.

Beneficiary Mitigation Plan:

At least 30 days before submitting the first request for funds, the TCEQ must submit a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (Plan) to the Trustee that summarizes how the agency intends to use the funds allocated to Texas. The Plan must address the following four elements:

  1. The state's overall goals for use of the funds.
  2. The categories of eligible mitigation actions the state anticipates will be appropriate to achieve the goals and a preliminary assessment of the percentages of funds anticipated to be used for each type of action.
  3. A description of how the state will consider the potential beneficial impact of the selected eligible mitigation actions on air quality in areas that bear a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden within its jurisdiction.
  4. A general description of the expected ranges of emissions benefits the state anticipates will be realized by implementation of the eligible mitigation actions identified in the Plan.

The Plan must also explain the process by which the TCEQ has sought and considered public input on the Plan.

A draft Plan is being prepared by the TCEQ and will be made available for public comment on the TCEQ’s VW website at www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/trust. The TCEQ anticipates completing the draft document and making it available to the public in May or June of this year (2018).

The TCEQ will accept public comment on the draft Plan over a specified comment period, after which the Plan is expected to be finalized by early Fall of 2018.

Yes, the public may submit comments and recommendations until the Plan is finalized. Comments may be submitted via email to VWsettle@tceq.texas.gov. Go to the TCEQ's VW website at www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/trust to view comments received to date.

Eligible Mitigation Actions:

The Trust Agreement uses the term “mitigation action” to refer to each activity to replace or repower an eligible vehicle or piece of equipment.

The Trust Agreement is available from the TCEQ’s VW website at www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/trust, and includes the 10 eligible mitigation actions listed below. The eligible mitigation actions are focused on reducing NOX.

Categories of Eligible Mitigation Actions under the Trust Agreement

  1. Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks (repower or replacement)
  2. Class 4-8 School Bus, Shuttle Bus, or Transit Bus (repower or replacement)
  3. Freight Switchers (repower or replacement)
  4. Ferries/Tugs (repower only)
  5. Ocean-Going Vessels Shore Power
  6. Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks (repower or replacement)
  7. Airport Ground Support Equipment (repower or replacement with all-electric)
  8. Forklifts and Port Cargo Handling Equipment (repower or replacement with all- electric)
  9. Light-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment (electric charging for electric vehicles and hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles)
  10. Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Option. If a state receives DERA funds from the EPA, the VW funds may be used for the non-federal voluntary match. The combined funds may be used for eligible DERA projects, which include additional project categories and requirements.

Click hereExit the TCEQ to view a summary of the eligible actions prepared by the EPA.


The Beneficiary Mitigation Plan developed by the TCEQ will list mitigation actions that will be eligible for funding in Texas and the priorities for funding. The TCEQ may choose to fund all or only some of the actions eligible under the Trust Agreement, based on the priorities for funding established for Texas. Interested persons should be sure to review the draft Plan when it is made available to see what is proposed for Texas.

Timing and Availability of Funds:

The TCEQ is preparing a draft plan to provide for public comment in the next several months. It is anticipated that the final Plan will be completed and submitted to the Trustee by early Fall 2018.

Based on the priorities established in the final Plan, the TCEQ may begin accepting applications for grants under some of the project categories outlined in the Plan by Fall 2018.

No more than 1/3 of the total funds available to Texas may be requested from the Trustee the first year after the effective date of the Trust Agreement (October 2, 2017), or 2/3 the second year.

Applicants selected for funding will be sent a contract to sign and return to the TCEQ. The TCEQ will execute the contract and return a copy to the grantee. Executed contracts will then be contingent upon the TCEQ sending the grantee a Notice to Proceed (NTP). The TCEQ will submit a funding request to the Trustee for the selected projects and will issue the NTPs upon receipt of the funds. The grantee may then complete the eligible purchase and submit reimbursement requests to the TCEQ for payment.

Applicants selected for funding should expect the contracting process and the TCEQ obtaining the funds from the Trustee to take several months before the grantee would receive a NTP and be able to request reimbursement. For example, the Trustee has up to 75 days to review and approve a funding request.

Beneficiaries have between three and 10 years to spend their allocated funds on specific types of projects as outlined in the Trust Agreement. After that, unused trust funds will be redistributed as supplemental funding among beneficiaries that have used at least 80% of their allocated trust funds. Those beneficiaries will be given five additional years to use the supplemental funds.

The TCEQ intends to award the funds allocated to Texas much sooner than the authorized 10-year period over which the funds are available.

Administrative Costs:

Actual administrative costs may be reimbursed from the funds allocated to Texas, not to exceed 15% of the total cost of the Eligible Mitigation Actions funded under the program. The TCEQ expects to request far less than the authorized amount for administrative expenses, in order to make as much of the funds as possible available to award to projects.



Helpful Resources and Information

Additional resources and information regarding the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust and implementation of the Trust Agreement are provided below.


Resource Description
Amended 2.0 Liter Partial Consent Decree
3.0 Liter Second Partial Consent Decree
Third Partial Consent Decree
VW Mitigation Trust Agreement For State Beneficiaries
VW Violations & Actions Taken
VW Buyback Program
Electric & Alternative Fuel Vehicle Data
National Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Plan

Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust—Comments

The tables on this page provide links to comments and recommendations received by the TCEQ. Check this page for periodic updates.

To submit a comment, visit the Mitigation Plan page.

The TCEQ will consider these comments as we develop an Environmental Mitigation Plan for Texas. The draft plan will then be provided for public comment before the final plan is approved.

To view or download a comment, click on the Tracking Number below. Comments are provided in .pdf format.

Comments Received After TCEQ Was Designated Lead Agency

Comments Received as of May 21, 2018

Tracking Submitted By
VW-02-001 Michael Bayer
VW-02-002 RB Cox
VW-02-003 Anthony Han
VW-02-004 North Central Texas Council of Governments & Regional Transportation Council
VW-02-005 Jef Page
VW-02-006 Paul Palmier
VW-02-007 Joseph Russo
VW-02-008 Nick Wielbacher
VW-02-009 Capital Area Council of Governments
VW-02-010 Enervee
VW-02-011 CNG 4 America
VW-02-012 Michael Henning
VW-02-013 Ritchard Shadian
VW-02-014 Orange EV
VW-02-015 NGV America
VW-02-016 General Motors
VW-02-017 Airlines for America
VW-02-018 Wayne O'Quin
VW-02-019 KEW Grant Services LLC
VW-02-020 Electric Vehicle Charging Association
VW-02-021 Edwin Price
VW-02-022 Permian Basin Petroleum Association
VW-02-023 Greater Houston Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance
VW-02-024 Robin Cox
VW-02-025 Union Pacific Railroad
VW-02-026 FreedomCNG
VW-02-027 Alternative Fuel Stakeholder Coalition
VW-02-028 Uvalde CISD
VW-02-029 New Braunfels ISD
VW-02-030 Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter
VW-02-031 CNG America
VW-02-032 McKinney Avenue Transit Authority
VW-02-033 Port Freeport
VW-02-034 City of Dallas
VW-02-035 Novus Wood Group
VW-02-036 Golden Spread Electric Cooperative
VW-02-037 Tesla
VW-02-038 Environmental Defense Fund
VW-02-039 Off Grid Logistics-Hydrogen Fuel Cells
VW-02-040 Port of Houston Authority
VW-02-041 NAVISTAR
VW-02-042 Ford Motor Company
VW-02-043 Blue Gas Marine, Inc. 
VW-02-044 City of Houston
VW-02-045 University of Texas at Austin
VW-02-046 Stealth Power
VW-02-047 Revitalize Charging Solutions, Inc. 
VW-02-048 Public Citizen
VW-02-049 Brandon Wade
VW-02-050 SAE International 
VW-02-051 DM Home Entertainment
VW-02-052 Tracy Love
VW-02-053 Mata-Turf, Inc. 
VW-02-054 Tommy Ford
VW-02-055 Randy Harris
VW-02-056 Whitney Courville
VW-02-057 Ben Campbell
VW-02-058 Dean Dahlquist
VW-02-059 Richard Barrett
VW-02-060 Jose A. Fernandez
VW-02-061 John DeVries
VW-02-062 Heather Buen
VW-02-063 John Melvin
VW-02-064 Ray Champion
VW-02-065 John LaCoke
VW-02-066 Melissa W. Lawson
VW-02-067 Wesley Ellis
VW-02-068 John Cusack
VW-02-069 Allison Shelton
VW-02-070 MedicAire, LLC
VW-02-071a John Weber
VW-02-071b John Weber
VW-02-072 Donna Head
VW-02-073 Randal House
VW-02-074 Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
VW-02-075 Frances Clark
VW-02-076 Houston-Galveston Area Council
VW-02-077 Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
VW-02-078 Schneider Electric
VW-02-079 Robert Sanchez
VW-02-080 Mark Carpenter
VW-02-081 Scott Hogue
VW-02-082 Chris Herbert
VW-02-083 Clear Creek ISD
VW-02-084 Northwest ISD
VW-02-085 Sanger ISD
VW-02-086 General Motors Corporation, Government Relations
VW-02-087 Regional Transportation Council
VW-02-088 Stuart Mayper
VW-02-089 Art Smith
VW-02-090 Brownsville Public Utilities Board
VW-02-091 Mike Peters
VW-02-092 Tom Hendricks
VW-02-093 Friendswood ISD
VW-02-094 Clear Creek ISD
VW-02-095 Alto ISD
VW-02-096 Alamo Area Council of Governments
VW-02-097 Alamo Area Council of Governments
VW-02-098 Hood County
VW-02-099 Mosvick
VW-02-100 Center ISD
VW-02-101 Roberts
VW-02-102 Tomball ISD
VW-02-103 Slocum ISD
VW-02-104 Houston ISD
VW-02-105 Diesel Technology Forum
VW-02-106 Protera
VW-02-107 BYD Heavy Industries
VW-02-108 NCTOG
VW-02-109 Enochs
VW-02-110 ChargePoint
VW-02-111 Texas Department of Transportation Fleet Operations
VW-02-112 Cummins Sales and Service, Gulf Region
VW-02-113 Voltabox of Texas, Inc.
VW-02-114 Tom Ortman
VW-02-115 KEW Grant Services
VW-02-116 Mark Moseley
VW-02-117 Rush Enterprise, Inc.
VW-02-118 City of San Antonio
VW-02-119 Air Alliance Houston

Back to the top of the page Back to top

Comments Received Before TCEQ Was Designated Lead Agency

Tracking Submitted By
VW-01-001 Alamo Area Council of Governments
VW-01-002 BYD America
VW-01-003 (number not used)
VW-01-004 Blue Bird Corporation
VW-01-005 ROUSH CleanTech
VW-01-006 Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance
VW-01-007 Texas Clean Air Working Group
VW-01-008 Convoy Solutions, LLC
VW-01-009 NGV America
                               Back to the top of the page Back to top