Maryland Volkswagen Mitigation Plan

Update: Listening Sessions Scheduled

A listening session has been scheduled for the Volkswagen Mitigation Workplan. The session will be on August 20 from 10:00 a.m to noon. The listening session will take place in the lobby conference rooms of the Maryland Department of the Environment, located at 1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

A second listening session has been scheduled for the Volkswagen Mitigation Workplan. The session will be on August 29 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The listening session will take place at the City of Frederick Municipal Offices, Room C, located at 140 West Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701.

Background

On September 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a Notice of Violation of the Clean Air Act to Volkswagen AG (VW), Audi AG and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. alleging that model year 2009-2015 Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars equipped with 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter engines included software that circumvents EPA and CARB emissions standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx). This software is considered a "defeat device" as defined by the Clean Air Act. Approximately 550,000 vehicles in the United States had "defeat devices" installed; approximately 16,000 were delivered to Maryland.
 
On October 25, 2016, the U.S. District Court Northern District of California approved a Partial Consent Decree between the U.S, Justice Department and VW regarding excess emissions of NOx due to the installation of "defeat devices" on 2.0 liter diesel engines. The use of "defeat devices" has increased vehicle emissions of NOx, resulting in adverse affects on air quality. NOx emissions contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. More information on the consent decrees for VW may be found here
 
The Consent Decree established an Environmental Mitigation Trust of $2.925 billion to fully remediate the excess NOx emissions from the affected 2.0 and 3.0 liter vehicles. The State of Maryland is eligible to receive over $71 million from the VW Trust for the 2.0 liter vehicles. A settlement for the affected 3.0 liter vehicles was reached December 20, 2016 as well and Maryland is eligible to receive an additional $4.6 million from the VW Trust for these vehicles. The State of Maryland is eligible to receive a total of over $75.7 million from the VW Trust  to use for specifically defined eligible mitigation projects. To guide the use of funds over the Trust's 10-year lifetime, Maryland has developed a Mitigation Plan that outlines the eligible projects Maryland will use to reduce excess NOx emissions.  

For more information on eligible mitigation projects, please click here.
 
 

Maryland Mitigation Plan

Maryland's Mitigation Plan is available here: Maryland Volkswagen Mitigation Plan.pdf.
 
MDE will be accepting comments on the proposed Mitigaion Plan until close of business on August 31, 2018. Please send comments to mde.vw@maryland.gov.
 
Maryland will hold two public listening sessions to provide an overview of Maryland's Mitigation Plan as well as to field questions from citizens. More information on the listening sessions will be forthcoming as dates, times, and locations are finalized.
 
Along with comments, MDE will be accepting proposals for eligible mitigation projects that can potentially be incorporated into future versions of Maryland's Mitigation Plan. MDE is seeking project ideas from governmental and non-governmental organizations that align with the proposed Mitigation Plan. If you wish to propose a project for inclusion in Maryland's Mitigation Plan, please complete and submit this form by close of buisness on December 31, 2018: Maryland Volkswagen Project Proposal.pdf.
 
Electronic submissions can be emailed to mde.vw@maryland.gov or paper comments can be sent to:
 
Mobile Sources Control Program
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Blvd. Ste. 705
Baltimore, MD 21230
 
MDE will evaluate project proposals as outlined in the Mitigation Plan and Project Proposal Form and select projects for funding that best align with the goals of Maryland's Mitigation Plan.