Welcome to DANR's Volkswagen Settlement - South Dakota Mitigation Trust webpage. Click on the links below for additional information
February 13, 2023 - Round 15 recipients of the DERA/VW Bus Rebate Program announced January 11, 2023.
Round Eight recipients of the VW Truck Rebate Program announced February 15, 2023.
Recipients for Round Two of the VW EVCS Rebate Program announced January 26, 2022.
May 20, 2021 - The Board of Minerals and Environment approved the Revisions to South Dakota's Volkswagen Beneficiary Mitigation Plan.
April 2019 - On March 5, 2019, the Governor signed HB1258, giving spending authority for the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust funds. The initial mitigation funding project will be used for school, shuttle and transit bus replacement. The Department will use VW funds from Category 10 (The DERA Option) for the project; and if the response for projects is extensive, Category 2 (Class 4-8 Buses) may also be used. Recipients and award amounts are available on the Clean Diesel Program webpage.
South Dakota specific reports are available here.
On January 24, 2016, the United States and the State of California filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen alleging it had manufactured diesel cars sold and operated in the U.S. beginning in 2009 with systems intended to defeat emissions tests. These systems allowed vehicles to emit nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution at levels that significantly exceeded the amounts allowed under the Clean Air Act.
Volkswagen has agreed to settle some of these allegations. The first partial settlement was in regard to the installation and use of emission testing defeat devices in 2.0 liter diesel vehicles and a second partial settlement was in regard to the installation and use of emission testing defeat devices in 3.0 liter diesel vehicles. The overall settlement consists of three major parts:
Eligible Mitigation Actions
The Trust establishes a process to administer the funds, and identifies 10 categories of mitigation actions that will be eligible for funding along with reimbursement rates for these actions. Eligible actions focus on reducing nitrogen oxide pollution from primarily diesel-powered trucks and buses. Generally, the types of approved actions include replacing older diesel-powered trucks, buses, industrial vehicles and other powered equipment with new, lower emissions equipment. Categories of eligible vehicles and equipment are as follows:
South Dakota expects to receive $8.125 million dollars from the Environmental Mitigation Trust. The funds are to be disbursed within 10 years, with no more than one-third disbursed in the first year or two-thirds disbursed in the first two years. A Beneficiary Mitigation Plan must be developed that summarizes how the State allocation of mitigation funds will be distributed among the various eligible mitigation actions to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. The Plan will be based on eligible mitigation actions that can produce the greatest air quality benefit in terms of nitrogen oxide emission reductions, reduced public exposure, and the promotion of clean vehicle technologies. The Plan will be developed through a public process, with multiple opportunities for public comment.
The court has approved a Trustee who will be responsible for administering the Trust. The State and Tribe Trust Agreements have been executed by the settling parties and filed with the court. As a result of this filing, the Trust Effective Date has been set to October 2, 2017. The Trust Effective Date kicked off the timeline for each state to take the required actions to qualify to receive funds. Within 60 days of the Trust Effective Date, South Dakota needed to submit a Certification Form in electronic format and by mail, signed by the Governor, explaining how South Dakota qualifies to be a Beneficiary under the Trust. This form was submitted November 21, 2017. On January 29, 2018, South Dakota was designated as a beneficiary to the State Trust. The Notice of Availability of Mitigation Action Funds was submitted to the federal agencies on February 8, 2018.
Beneficiary Mitigation Plan
On August 16, 2018, a public hearing was held by the Board of Minerals and Environment (BME) to hear additional testimony before finalizing and approving the beneficiary mitigation plan. There were no changes made and the approved beneficiary mitigation plan was submitted to the Trustee.
Prior to the public hearing, DENR developed this webpage in September 2017, to keep everyone informed on how the Volkswagen funds are spent and accept public input on the draft beneficiary mitigation plan. The beneficiary mitigation plan outlines how the Volkswagen mitigation trust funds will be spent. After receiving informal input, DANR drafted the beneficiary mitigation plan and public notice was given that the draft beneficiary mitigation plan was open for public comment through June 15, 2018. Public Input meetings were held in Rapid City and Sioux Falls. The presentation from the meetings can be viewed here. These are the comments received prior to the draft beneficiary mitigation plan and the comments received in response to the draft beneficiary mitigation plan. DANR prepared a Response to Comments on July 10, 2018.
On May 20, 2021, The Board of Minerals and Environment approved Revisions to South Dakota's Volkswagen Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. Click for the comments received during the 30-day public comment period and DANR's response to those comments.