NACAA Recommendations on Distribution of Funds from VW Case

May 17, 2016 – At the NACAA 2016 Spring Membership Meeting in Santa Fe, NM, the association voted to adopt a set of recommendations on the distribution of funds for environmental mitigation and supplemental environmental projects that may result from resolution of enforcement actions in the alleged Volkswagen (VW) defeat devices violations.  In the VW case, the company allegedly equipped certain light-duty diesel vehicles with software intended to impede, or “defeat,” emission control devices during normal driving situations, resulting in excess emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx).  Since state and local air pollution control agencies are charged with addressing emissions of NOx, and the other pollution that results from NOx (e.g., ozone, particulate matter), NACAA recommends that state and local air agencies receive significant resources from any mitigation or SEP funds resulting from the VW case to be used to advance clean air efforts.  Such funding should not result in decreases in other funds provided to state and local air agencies.  NACAA recommends that each state or local air agency receive funding in proportion to the extent of the problem VW caused in their jurisdictions and identifies several criteria to consider in disseminating funds (e.g., the number of affected VW vehicles in the jurisdiction, the number of excess NOx tons, the size of the affected population or some combination of those things).  NACAA also recommends that every state and local agency that wants to participate should receive a minimum level of funding to recognize the interstate transport of excess emissions and the fact that the affected vehicles may operate in jurisdictions other than where they are sold or registered.  NACAA further recommends that state and local air agencies be allowed substantial flexibility in how they structure their programs (e.g., using the funds on their own projects or establishing a competitive grant program similar to the Diesel Emission Reductions Act effort), while ensuring accountability in the use of the funds.  The recommendations also include a list of criteria that may be considered when approving projects, such as “a project should generate emission reductions” or “emission reductions should be quantifiable and verifiable.”  Finally, the document includes a list – not intended to be exhaustive – of some sample projects that could be funded.