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Environmental Mitigation Trust

Appendix D to the First Partial Consent Decree and Section 1 of the Second Partial Consent Decree; established by the State Beneficiary Trust Agreement and Tribal Beneficiary Trust Agreement *

*These Agreements supersede the proposed Trust Agreement referenced in Appendix D to the First Partial Consent Decree.

The Volkswagen (VW) Diesel Settlement requires VW to pay $2.9 billion to fund projects across the country that will reduce NOx emissions. These funds will be placed in the Environmental Mitigation Trust (Trust). The funds will be allocated among Beneficiaries (States, Tribes, and certain territories) based on the number of impacted VW vehicles in their jurisdictions. Beneficiaries will develop a high-level Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, summarizing how the Beneficiary intends to use the Trust funds. TN’s initial allocation based on the 2.0 and 3.0 liter partial settlements is $45,759,914. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has been identified by Governor Haslam as the Lead Agency for purposes of administering Tennessee's Environmental Mitigation Trust allocation.

On February 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion to request the appointment of Wilmington Trust as the Trustee of the Environmental Mitigation Trust under the Volkswagen Settlement. On March 15, 2017, the U.S. District Court approved the appointment of Wilmington Trust as the Trustee. The Trustee will be responsible for distributing Trust Assets to Beneficiaries for approved Eligible Mitigation Actions. For additional duties of the Trustee, please refer to the State Beneficiary Trust Agreement and the Tribal Beneficiary Trust Agreement.

On September 19, 2017, the U.S District Court of Northern California approved the proposed revised Environmental Mitigation Trust (EMT) agreement under the Volkswagen Partial Settlements for 2.0 and 3.0 liter vehicles. On October 2, 2017, the final, executed Trust Agreements were filed with the Court, establishing the Trust Effective Date (TED) for the Trust. By December 1, 2017, States needed to submit their Certification for Beneficiary Status form, which TDEC completed.

On January 29, 2018, Wilmington Trust, serving as Trustee of the Volkswagen (VW) Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust for State Beneficiaries, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, filed with the Court a Notice of Beneficiary Designation for Tennessee and all other Certifying Entities that submitted their Certification for Beneficiary Status forms to the Trustee as outlined in the Trust Agreement. 

Beneficiary Mitigation Plan

Beneficiaries of the Environmental Mitigation Trust must submit a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) at least 30 days prior to submitting the first funding request. The BMP summarizes how a Beneficiary intends to use allotted funds. Please reference TDEC’s FAQs page for a description of specific elements that must be included in the BMP.

TDEC developed a web-based form to allow interested stakeholders to submit comments regarding the State’s utilization of its Environmental Mitigation Trust allocation. All comments were received by TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs (OEP) for review. Please note that all public comments were to have been received via the Public Comment Form or directly through email or phone by 11:59 pm Central on January 16, 2018 to be considered for the draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. TDEC will review and consider all comments received by this date.

Below is a projected timeline of TDEC's BMP development process. These timeframes are subject to change, and TDEC will update its stakeholders with any alterations as it progresses through the Plan development.

  • TDEC expects to submit a draft BMP to the Governor’s Office for review within the first calendar quarter of 2018. 
  • TDEC expects to release a proposed BMP to the public in the second calendar quarter of 2018, at which time TDEC will begin accepting public comment regarding the proposed Plan.
  • Following the close of this additional public comment period, TDEC will review and consider all comments received. The BMP will then be finalized, submitted to the Trustee, and released to the public. This is expected to occur in the second or third calendar quarter of 2018, with project solicitation expected to occur in the third calendar quarter of 2018.

Please note: Proposals for mitigation projects are not currently being solicited by TDEC, as TN’s BMP has not been finalized. In order to be apprised of any announcements related to public outreach, you may sign up for the TDEC VW Environmental Mitigation Trust email list here: https://signup.e2ma.net/signup/1843437/1737620/.

*these Agreements supersede the proposed Trust Agreement referenced in Appendix D to the First Partial Consent Decree

  • The Final, Executed State Beneficiary Trust Agreement outlines the procedures, timelines, and project definitions TDEC must follow in its administration of the Environmental Mitigation Trust. 
  • The following Quick Reference documents are easily navigable resources on various elements of the Environmental Mitigation Trust. 
    • Quick Reference - Appendix D-2 (Revised Trust Agreement) - The Trustee may only disburse funds for Eligible Mitigation Actions, and for the Eligible Mitigation Action Administrative Expenditures specified in Appendix D-2 to the State Beneficiary Trust Agreement. To view the comprehensive list of Eligible Mitigation Actions and Eligible Mitigation Action Administrative Expenditures, please refer to this Quick Reference.
    • Quick Reference - Elements of a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan - Beneficiaries of the Environmental Mitigation Trust must submit a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) at least 30 days prior to submitting the first funding request. To view the elements that are required within the BMP, please refer to this Quick Reference.
    • Quick Reference - Elements of a Funding Request - In addition to preparing the BMP, Beneficiaries are responsible for submitting requests for Eligible Mitigation Action funding by filing with the Trustee a Beneficiary Eligible Mitigation Action Certification form (funding request). To view the elements that are required within a funding request, please refer to this Quick Reference.
  • Click here for a  list of all Q&A from the TDEC Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Public Information Sessions.

We will continue to update his page with relevant information as it becomes available. If you have questions, please contact OEP Program Manager Alexa Voytek at Alexa.Voytek@tn.gov or 615-532-0238.