Through a series of grant programs, Minnesota is using funds from the Volkswagen settlement to clean up our air, replace older vehicles and equipment with cleaner alternatives, invest in electric vehicle infrastructure, and help people and places disproportionately affected by air pollution.
Between 2018-2027, Minnesota will receive $47 million in total from the Volkswagen settlement fund. Minnesota’s plan provides more details on the types of projects to be funded, expected emissions reductions, and how the projects will advance environmental justice. It also outlines how settlement funds will be distributed across three phases:
- Phase 1 (2018-2019): $11.75 million (25% of overall funds)
- Phase 2 (2020-2023): $23.5 million (50%)
- Phase 3 (2024-2027): $11.75 million (25%)
We recognize that vehicle and equipment technology are continually evolving, and Minnesota’s needs and desires may change over time. This structure provides opportunities for MPCA to get feedback after the initial phases, incorporate lessons learned, consider new technologies, and make changes as needed.
Phase 2 (2020-2023)
In Phase 2, MPCA will invest more than $23 million in projects that will reduce emissions and improve air quality across the state. Our draft plan for Phase 2 (2020-2023) is now available for review. The public comment period for the Phase 2 draft plan ended on December 20, 2019, and we are currently reviewing all of the comments we received.
- Minnesota's Volkswagen settlement draft plan - phase 2 (2020-2023) (aq-mvp2-35a)
- Minnesota's Volkswagen settlement draft plan - phase 2 (2020-2023) - Appendices (aq-mvp2-35b)
In the spring and summer of 2019, MPCA began sharing results from our first two years of grant programs and asking for public input on how we should spend settlement funds in Phase 2 (2020-2023). While our long-term goals remain in place, MPCA has flexibility in terms of the mix of grant programs and how funds are distributed between them.
Reviewing progress toward our goals made in Phase 1 provided empirical data to help inform our decisions. Public input also helped us learn more about Minnesotans’ priorities and what they would like to see in Phase 2. Our public engagement included an online survey, six listening sessions across the state, two technical meetings held in Saint Paul (also available via webinar), and an opportunity to submit written comments via email. We received hundreds of written comments and responses to the online survey, summarized in Appendix 5 of the Phase 2 draft plan (above).