Maryland Volkswagen Mitigation Plan

​​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 is currently developing a Draft Mitigation Plan that will outline what eligible projects Maryland will use to reduce excess NOx emissions. For more information on eligible mitigation projects, please click here.