The Defendants and Wilmington Trust, N.A. (the “Trustee”) have entered into an Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries (i.e., for the 50 States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia) (hereinafter, the “State Trust Agreement”) and establish the environmental mitigation trust described therein (the “State Mitigation Trust” or “State Trust”)
The State Mitigation Trust was approved by Court Order on September 19, 2017 (the “Approval Order”) and a final fully executed version was filed with the Court on October 2, 2017 establishing October 2, 2017 as the Effective Date for the Trust pursuant to the terms of the Approval Order (the “Effective Date”).
The Consent Decrees require the Defendants to establish the State Mitigation Trust to fund the State Trust with funds to be used for environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (“NOx”) where the Subject Vehicles were, are, or will be operated (“Eligible Mitigation Actions”), and to pay for Trust Administration Costs as set forth in the State Trust Agreement.
The purpose of the State Trust is to expeditiously and efficiently fund Eligible Mitigation Actions to be proposed and administered by the Beneficiaries subject to the requirements of the Consent Decrees and the terms of the State Trust Agreement and to provide funds for the administration and operation in accordance with the terms of the State Trust, as set forth therein, the goal of each Eligible Mitigation Action shall be to achieve reductions of NOx emissions in the United States.
All of the requirements, deadline and filings related to the Determination of Beneficiary Status for Beneficiaries under the State Trust are set forth in full detail in Section IV State Trust Beneficiaries paragraphs 4.0 through and including 4.2 and all the subparagraphs thereof. For your convenience, a summary of some of the key provisions are set forth below.
The States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia may elect to become a Beneficiary hereunder by filing with the Court a Certification for Beneficiary Status under Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement (Appendix D-3), containing each of the certifications required by subparagraphs 4.2.1 through 4.2.9, not later than 60 Days after the Trust Effective Date. At the time of filing the Certification Form with the Court, the States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia shall also provide a copy of the Certification Form to the Trustee in electronic format and by mail pursuant to Paragraph 6.0 and subparagraph 6.0.1. Please also note, each Certification Form (Appendix D-3) must include a designation of a Lead Agency, certified by the Office of the Governor (or if not a state, the analogous chief executive) of the State, Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia on whose behalf the Certification Form is submitted.
Pursuant to subparagraph 4.0.2 of the State Trust, not later than 120 Days after the Effective Date, the Trustee shall file with the Court, publish on its public-facing website, and serve on each Consent Decree Party and Certifying Entity lists indicating:
- Which Certifying Entities filed certifications as to which no notice of objection has been filed. Upon the filing of this Notice of Beneficiary Designation, each such Certifying Entity shall be deemed a “Beneficiary” hereunder;
- Which governmental entity did not timely file the certifications pursuant to Paragraph 4.0. Each such governmental entity shall be deemed an “Excluded Entity” hereunder; and
- Which Certifying Entities timely filed certifications as to which a notice of objection has been filed pursuant to subparagraph 4.0.1, together with an explanation of the status of any such objection. Each such Certifying Entity shall be a “Pending Beneficiary.” Upon final resolution of each objection, the Pending Beneficiary shall either be deemed a Beneficiary or an Excluded Entity hereunder.
To view the Notice of Beneficiary Designation filed with the Court on January 29, 2018, please click here.
Please see the explanation on the main landing page at www.vwenvironmentalmitigationtrust.com.
Questions regarding Eligible Mitigation Actions: If you have questions or would like more information regarding Eligible Mitigation Actions, please contact the Lead Agency contact(s) designated for each Beneficiary, which information will be posted, in time, on this website.