The Defendants and Wilmington Trust, N.A. (the “Trustee”) have entered into an Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for Indian Tribe Beneficiaries (i.e., for federally-recognized Indian Tribes) (hereinafter, the “Indian Tribe Trust Agreement”) and establish the environmental mitigation trust described in that agreement (“Indian Tribe Mitigation Trust” or “Indian Tribe Trust”).
The Indian Tribe 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 Indian Tribe Mitigation Trust to fund the Indian Tribe 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 Indian Tribe Trust Agreement.
The purpose of the Indian Tribe 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 Indian Tribe Trust Agreement and to provide funds for the administration and operation in accordance with the terms of the Indian Tribe 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 Indian Tribe Trust are set forth in full detail in Section IV Indian Tribe Mitigation 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.
Each Indian Tribe 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, at the time it files its first funding request, including any request seeking DERA funds. At the time of filing the Certification Form with the Court, each Indian Tribe 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. Each Indian Tribe that timely files such certifications shall be a “Certifying Entity.” Please also note that each Certification Form (Appendix D-3) must include a designation of a Lead Agency, certified by the Office of the Governor (or the analogous chief executive) of the Indian Tribe on whose behalf the Certification Form is submitted, indicating which agency, department, office, or division will have the delegated authority to act on behalf of and legally bind such Indian Tribe.
In accordance with subparagraph 4.0.2 of the Indian Tribe Trust, regarding the determination of Beneficiary status for Indian Tribes pursuant to subparagraphs 5.0.5 and 220.127.116.11, not later than 120 Days after the Trust 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; 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 not qualified as a Beneficiary under this Indian Tribe Trust Agreement.
To view the Notice of Beneficiary Designation filed with the Court on January 29, 2018, please click here.
Please see the explanation on the home 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.
May 10, 2018 – To view the May 10, 2018 US DOJ letter to Tribal leaders for third discussion session re Indian Tribe Trust Agreement, please click here.
May 2, 2018 – To view the Update to March 2, 2018 Notice and Court Order Pursuant to Subparagraph 5.2.16 and 18.104.22.168.3 of the Indian Tribe Trust Regarding Approval of Funding Requests and Allocation, please click here.
March 5, 2018 – To view the Notice and Court Order Pursuant To Subparagraph 5.2.16 and 22.214.171.124.3 of the Indian Tribe Trust Regarding Approval of Funding Requests and Allocation, please click here.