Gov. Abbott selects TCEQ to distribute $209 million in VW Settlement Funds

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Settlement funds for air emission reduction projects in Texas

Governor Greg Abbott has selected the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to be the lead agency for purposes of Texas’ participation in the Environmental Mitigation Trust. This trust was established by the settlement of certain claims against Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche related to the car companies’ use of defeat devices to pass emission standard tests. Once Texas is certified as a beneficiary of the trust, the state’s allocation under the trust agreement is approximately $209 million, to be spent over a period of three to 10 years. These settlement funds are required to be used to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, a pollutant that was released in greater quantities as a result of the defeat devices. The settlement identifies 10 categories of eligible mitigation actions for which settlement funds can be spent.

Under the settlement agreement, participating states are required to develop a draft mitigation plan outlining how the state intends to spend its share of the settlement funds. The settlement requires that draft plans be released for public input prior to being finalized.

TCEQ Commissioner Jon Niermann, who has been selected by Governor Abbott to be the TCEQ’s primary administrator of the program, said “Our agency looks forward to developing a plan to efficiently administer these funds to help address issues associated with the emission of nitrogen oxides, which leads to ozone formation. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to develop a plan that effectively mitigates the emissions from vehicles that did not meet the emission standards.”

Any comments on the use of the settlement funds may be submitted by email or to the following addresses:

Regular Mail

TCEQ Air Quality Division Implementation Grants Section, MC-204 PO Box 13087 Austin, TX 78711-3087 ATTN: VW Settlement

Express Mail

TCEQ Air Quality Division Implementation Grants Section, MC-204 12100 Park 35 Circle Austin, TX 78753 ATTN: VW Settlement

See Environmental Mitigation Trust webpage for more information.