Two meetings have been scheduled in mid-October to invite public discussion of the development of a plan to use funds allocated to the state from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. Meetings will be held Oct. 16 in Lincoln and Oct. 18 in North Platte.
Nebraska is expected to receive approximately $12.25 million in a settlement approved by the U.S. District Court against Volkswagen and Audi. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) has been designated by Governor Pete Ricketts as the lead agency to administer the funds allocated to Nebraska. NDEQ is seeking public involvement as it develops a draft mitigation plan, which is to be submitted to the court-appointed Trustee of the settlement for approval. The settlement with VW establishes a list of the types of projects available for the states’ settlement funds, and the states’ plans will describe the options they intend to pursue.
“We intend to develop a plan that will effectively direct our share of the settlement funds to improve Nebraska’s air quality and support local projects,” NDEQ Director Jim Macy said. “These meetings are an important part of our effort to discuss how the funds can best be used in our state.”
The specific times and locations of the meetings are:
Oct. 16 – 1:00 p.m. at the Lancaster Event Center, 4100 N. 84th St., Lincoln.
The meetings will begin with a presentation giving an overview of the settlement and the diesel emission mitigation actions that are available for funding under the Trust. Attendees will then have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments on Nebraska’s development of a Mitigation Plan under the Trust.
Written public comments can also be submitted to NDEQ. Comments received by Nov. 3, 2017 will be reviewed and considered by NDEQ as it develops the draft plan. The preferred method of submitting comments is through NDEQ’s online Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Plan comment portal: https://ecmp.nebraska.gov/DEQ-VW. Comments can also be sent by e-mail to: NDEQ.VWSettlement@nebraska.gov, or by mail to: NDEQ Air Quality Division, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922.
More information about the VW settlement, eligible project options, and public involvement opportunities is located at NDEQ’s VW webpage:http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirVW.