DEQ seeks comment on draft Volkswagen settlement beneficiary mitigation plan
Thursday, March 01, 2018
BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comment on a draft beneficiary mitigation plan, a requirement to apply for funds under the Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement.
In January 2016, a lawsuit was filed against Volkswagen alleging it manufactured diesel cars sold and operated in the U.S. beginning in 2009 with systems intended to defeat emission tests. These systems allowed vehicles to emit nitrogen oxide pollution at levels 40 times the amounts allowed under the Clean Air Act. After investigation and negotiation, Volkswagen agreed to settle these allegations.
Idaho has the opportunity to receive $17.3 million from the $2.925 billion mitigation trust portion of the settlement to fund eligible projects to reduce diesel emissions. The fund will be distributed among states, territories, and federally recognized tribes based on the proportion of affected Volkswagen diesel vehicles registered in each jurisdiction. On January 29, 2018, the State of Idaho was approved as a beneficiary to the trust, with DEQ designated as the lead agency by Gov. Butch Otter.
The state must submit a beneficiary mitigation plan prior to requesting funds from the trustee. The plan is nonbinding and provides the public with insight into the state’s high-level vision for using the mitigation funds. Wilmington Trust Company is responsible for administering the trust and approving Idaho’s funding request for proposed projects that fall within the specifically enumerated eligible mitigation actions and expenditures.
The State of Idaho Volkswagen Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan addresses Idaho's air quality concerns, Volkswagen settlement goals and priorities, eligible mitigation action categories, implementation plans, and anticipated emission reductions.
For more information about the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement, including eligible mitigation actions and expenditures, visit www.deq.idaho.gov/vw-settlement.
The document is available for review on DEQ’s website (download at right).
Submit written comments by April 2, 2018, at 5 p.m. MDT, on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:
DEQ State Office
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706