On January 4, 2016, the United States of America filed a complaint against Volkswagen alleging violations of the Clean Air Act. The complaint alleged that approximately 580,000 model year 2009 to 2016 diesel vehicles manufactured by Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Audi AG, Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America emitted levels of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that were as much as 40 times the federal standard.
On June 28, 2016, Volkswagen entered into an agreement in the form of a Partial Consent Degree to address the 2.0 liter vehicles on the road and the associated environmental consequences resulting from the past and future excess emissions from these vehicles. The agreement, finalized in October 2016, requires that Volkswagen:
- Invest $2,000,000,000 over a period of up to 10 years ($1.2 billion in areas outside of California) on actions to support increased use of technology for Zero Emission Vehicles.
- Establish and fund an environmental mitigation trust with $2,700,000,000 to fund environmental mitigation projects to reduce emissions of NOx where the subject vehicles were, are, or will be operated.
- Implement a buyback/lease-termination/vehicle modification program, estimated to cost up to $10,033,000,000 that is designed to remove from commerce and/or perform an approved emissions modification on at least 85% of the subject 2.0 liter vehicles no later than June 30, 2019.
In December 2016, a settlement was reached involving similar claim about vehicles with 3.0 liter diesel engines. This settlement will send an additional $225,000,000 to the environmental mitigation trust.
New Hampshire’s allocation of the environmental mitigation trust is approximately $30.9 million.
October 2, 2017 is the Trust Effective Date (TED) for the Environmental Mitigation Trust. Within 60 days of the TED, all beneficiaries of the trust are required to submit a Certification of Beneficiary Status to the court and trust. New Hampshire submitted this document to the court on November 9, 2017.
Beneficiary Mitigation Plan
Governor Sununu has directed the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) to be New Hampshire’s lead agency in relation to the Environmental Mitigation Trust funds. OSI is working closely with the Department of Environmental Services (DES) to develop a draft mitigation plan to lay out how New Hampshire plans to use the almost $31,000,000 allocated to us. Additional updates will be forthcoming as a draft plan is developed.
Attn: Chris Ellms
Office of Strategic Initiatives
Johnson Hall, 3rd Floor
107 Pleasant St.
Concord, NH, 03301