Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust: Funds to Support Projects Will be Available in the Fall of 2018

On October 25, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California approved a $14.7 billion settlement agreement between the owners/and or leasers of Volkswagen (VW) vehicles covered by the suit, the United States (U.S.) Government, the State of California, and VW. The settlement seeks to address concerns regarding emissions control equipment in VW and Audi vehicles featuring 2.0 liter, diesel powered engines, model year 2009 to 2015. The State of Michigan (State) is a party to the U.S. Government’s suit, which includes all states, tribal lands, and certain territories. The court ordered VW to pay $14.7 billion in restitution to impacted parties. The State’s share of the settlement is contingent on the number of the registered VW vehicles referenced in the settlement.

Of the $14.7 billion:

  • $10 billion is set aside for consumer costs associated with vehicle repairs, buy back, early lease termination, and replacement.
  • $2 billion is set aside for activities that will support zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) technology in the U.S., with $800 million to be used in California. The ZEV funds will be distributed in $300 million dollar allotments every 30 months. This portion of the settlement is competitive among states, municipalities, and other entities. The Michigan Agency for Energy, on behalf of the State, will lead a collaborative process to develop a coalition to jointly apply for funds to support ZEV technology in Michigan.
  • $2.7 billion will be placed in an Environmental Mitigation Trust and allocated to beneficiaries (states, tribes, and certain territories) based on the number of impacted VW vehicles in their jurisdictions.
  • From this $2.7 billion, the State will receive $60.3 million over ten years from the Environmental Mitigation Trust. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), on behalf of the State, will administer and focus these funds on projects that reduce oxides of nitrogen and fine particulate matter air emissions.

The MDEQ issued a VW Environmental Mitigation Trust Request for Information to solicit comments and ideas from the public on the State's draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan.

A total of 44 unique comments were received from businesses, organizations, and individuals. The MDEQ completed a Response to Comments document and is currently working on the final Beneficiary Mitigation Plan.

Please direct questions on the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust and the Response to Comments document to Debbie Swartz, MDEQ,, or 517-284-6903.

Other Resources:

Volkswagen Clean Air Act Civil Settlement

Environmental Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries

Michigan's Certification for Beneficiary Status (Appendix D-3)

U.S. EPA FAQs for Beneficiaries to the VW Mitigation Trust