Friday, July 7, 2017

Notice of Request for Information – Input on the District’s Use of Volkswagen Settlement Funds

The District of Columbia (District) is requesting public input on the potential uses of the District’s Volkswagen (VW) settlement funds, resulting from the civil enforcement case, Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales, Practices, and Products Liability Litigation. The litigation stems from VW’s use of a defeat device in its vehicles. A defeat device is a motor vehicle hardware, software, or design that interferes with or disables emissions controls under real world driving conditions, even if the vehicle passes formal emissions testing. Use of this defeat device led to excess oxides of nitrogen (NOx) being emitted into the atmosphere. The litigation was settled by a Partial Consent Decree, which put in place a Mitigation Trust Fund that will allocate $2.925 billion to the states, Puerto Rico, and the District. The purpose of the Mitigation Trust is to fund eligible mitigation actions that replace diesel emission sources with cleaner technology to reduce excess emissions of NOX caused by the violating cars. The District is expected to receive a total of $8.125 million of settlement funds from this litigation. The funding is to be utilized on eligible mitigation actions, as defined in the Partial Consent Decree and its Appendices, specifically Appendix D-2.

In order to use the VW settlement funds, the District must develop a Mitigation Plan that outlines the use of the funds for eligible projects over a 10-year period, with the ultimate goal of offsetting the air quality impacts, primarily NOx pollution, that occurred due to the defeat devices on VW vehicles. Mayor Bowser selected the District’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) to serve as the lead agency to coordinate the use of the District’s allocation of the VW settlement funds. The Request for Information (RFI) is the first step DOEE is taking to formulate the Mitigation Plan for the District. The District’s Mitigation Plan will take the feedback received from this RFI into consideration.

DOEE is soliciting input on the RFI from all interested parties. Stakeholders responding to the RFI are asked to provide feedback regarding how the District’s allocation of the VW settlement funds should be distributed and spent; how to maximize the air quality benefits resulting from the use of the settlement funds; whether the District should give preference to certain fuels, such as diesel, compressed natural gas, propane, hydrogen fuel cell or battery electric; and how to determine if a proposed mitigation action will benefit vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities.

DOEE is also soliciting feedback through a short survey.

A person may obtain a copy of the RFI by any of the following means:

Download from the attachment delow.

Email a request to alexandra.catena@dc.gov with “RE: Volkswagen Settlement RFI” in the subject line.

Pick up a copy in person from DOEE’s reception desk, located at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002.
To make an appointment, call Alexandra Catena at (202) 741-0862 and mention this RFI by name.