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In September and November 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) alleged that Volkswagen had secretly installed defeat devices – software designed to cheat emissions test and deceive federal and state regulators – in certain Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche-branded turbocharged direct injection diesel vehicles. The defeat device renders the subject vehicles’ emissions controls inoperable unless the vehicles are undergoing emissions testing.  It was only by installing the defeat device that Volkswagen was able to obtain Certificates of Conformity from USEPA and Executive Orders from CARB; in reality, these vehicles emit oxides of nitrogen (“NOx”) up to 40 times the USEPA-permitted limit.

On October 25, 2016 and May 17, 2017, two Partial Consent Decrees were approved between the United States, California, and the defendants (Volkswagen Corporation and its subsidiaries). The purpose of the Decrees is to address installation and use of emissions control defeat device software. The use of the defeat devices has resulted in increased emissions of NOx in New Jersey and throughout the United States. NOx significantly contributes to the formation of ground level ozone which negatively impacts the respiratory system and cardiovascular health.  One of the goals of the Partial Consent Decrees is to offset the excess NOx emissions.
               
The Partial Consent Decrees establish an Environmental Mitigation Trust (“Trust”) which will provide funds to all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and federally recognized tribes, to implement actions to counter the air quality impacts of the excess NOx emissions resulting from the use of the defeat devices. The initial allocation amount to the State of New Jersey is approximately $72.2 million.

How Should NJ Use the VW Funds?

 

 

 

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Project Benefits and Spending Information

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Related documents and websites for the Volkswagen Settlement.

 

Questions? Contact VWComments@dep.nj.gov with all questions.