Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Settlement


Colorado's Beneficiary Certification document (Appendix D-3)

Public Involvement 

Volkswagen and Audi Clean Air Act Partial Settlement

Volkswagen has agreed to settle some of the allegations that it violated the federal Clean Air Act by selling vehicles that emit more air pollution than the Clean Air Act allows, and by cheating on federal emission tests to hide the excess pollution. The affected vehicles exceed emission limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx), a pollutant that harms public health and forms ozone or smog. 

Colorado expects to receive $68.7 million from the environmental mitigation trust. The trust fund will be used to offset the excess air pollution from the diesel cars. Colorado will use the funds to replace diesel trucks, buses, freight switcher locomotives, and airport ground equipment.  

Separate parts of the settlement would require Volkswagen to earmark about $10 billion to buy back affected vehicles, terminate leases early, or repair the vehicles. Additionally, Volkswagen is required to invest $2 billion over 10 years in zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, access, and awareness initiatives. Volkswagen, the U.S. EPA and California – not Colorado – will administer these parts of the settlement.  

The $68 million allocated to Colorado will fund certain eligible projects to reduce NOx emissions from the transportation sector. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is the state’s lead agency to oversee how this money is distributed and spent. The funds will be used to achieve the maximum air quality benefits for the people of Colorado. In addition to cutting NOx emissions, the projects that receive funding are likely to reduce ozone concentrations and emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. CDPHE coordinated with the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Energy Office, Regional Air Quality Council, and other agencies to develop Colorado's Mitigation Plan (BMP).   

Consent decrees  
Mitigation activities eligible for funding:
  • Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks (Eligible Large Trucks)
  • Class 4-8 School Bus, Shuttle Bus, or Transit Bus (Eligible Buses)
  • Railroad Freight Switchers 
  • Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks (Eligible Medium Trucks)
  • Airport Ground Support Equipment
  • Forklifts
  • Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment 
  • Matching funds for projects eligible under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA)
Impacts in Colorado (from the Oct. 6, 2015 dataset, model years 2008-2015)
  • 9,350 VW or Audi 2.0 Liter diesels statewide (0.27% of the vehicle fleet) 
  • 6,065 VW or Audi 2.0 Liter diesels in the NAA* (0.25% of the state vehicle fleet)
  • Excess statewide NOx emissions = 0.22 to 0.65 tons per day 
*The non-attainment area has ozone levels above federal standards. Currently, parts of 9 counties around Denver and the North Front Range are considered non-attainment for ozone. Ozone nonattainment map
Volkswagen Settlement timeline of events
Event Approximate time frame
Colorado proposes Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for public comment

 August 28, 2017  

 *public comments accepted until October 13, 2017

Trust Effective Date (TED) 

*Wilmington Trust selected as Trustee - March 2017 

 October 2, 2017

Colorado files beneficiary certifications 

  November 17, 2017 

Colorado Designated a Beneficiary  

 January 29, 2018

Colorado files a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan 

 March 21, 2018             

Colorado requests/receives funds 

 Ongoing  (2018-2021) 

Please send any questions about Colorado's implementation of the settlement funds to .