In 2016, the United States settled complaints against Volkswagen AG, et al. The settlement resolved claims that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by selling approximately 590,000 vehicles with 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel engines having emissions defeat devices.
The vehicles were from model years 2009 to 2016.

As part of their engine control modules, the vehicles contained computer algorithms and calibrations that caused emission control systems to perform differently during emissions testing to guarantee passing scores. During normal operation, the vehicles emitted levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that significantly exceeded EPA standards.

The settlement consisted of multiple agreements and required Volkswagen to take certain actions, such as paying $2.9 billion to a national environmental mitigation trust fund. Beneficiaries — in this case, states — must use their shares to fund specific projects that reduce emissions of NOx from mobile sources.

Materials about the VW Trust include:

What are the public health concerns?

The Clean Air Act and the Missouri Air Conservation Law protect human health and the environment. Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by failing to control emissions from its light-duty diesel vehicles, thus emitting harmful pollutants. The major excess pollutant of concern is NOx.

When NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) mix with sunlight, they can produce ground-level ozone. Although naturally occurring ozone in the upper atmosphere protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays, ground-level ozone can contribute to health and environmental problems. Ground-level ozone is an irritant that damages lung tissue and aggravates respiratory disease. The most susceptible groups include elderly people and individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or emphysema. Children also are at increased risk from exposure to ground-level ozone because their lungs still are developing. In addition, healthy adults can experience problems breathing, especially if they exercise or work outdoors.

How much is Missouri’s share of the VW Trust?

Missouri will receive more than $41 million from the trust. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is our state’s lead agency; the department will administer funds to eligible businesses and government entities to reduce air pollution from mobile sources.

How did the department determine who is eligible to receive funding?

The department wanted Missouri citizens to play a major role in developing the state's plan. The department's Air Pollution Control Program hosted public meetings, formed the VW Trust Advisory Committee and sought comments and suggestions through online comment forms and surveys. The air program used stakeholder input to develop a 10-year draft plan for using the funds.

The VW Trust requires that eligible projects must reduce NOx pollution and fall under one of the following categories.

  • Class 8: Local freight trucks and port drayage trucks
  • Class 4-8: school buses, shuttle buses and transit buses
  • Freight (locomotive) switchers
  • Ferries/tugs
  • Shorepower for ocean-going vessels
  • Class 4-7: Local freight trucks
  • Airport ground support
  • Forklifts and equipment for handling port cargo
  • Charging stations for light-duty, zero-emission vehicles
  • Option involving the U.S. Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)

Missouri's draft plan as well as its proposed guidelines for implementing the plan are available at The department accepted comments on the plan and guidelines through May 4, 2018.

What is the timeline of the Volkswagen Trust?

Note that time frames are subject to change.

Timing Milestone
Oct. 2, 2017 Trust effective date
November 2017–January 2018 Department held public meetings to solicit input.
Dec. 1, 2017 Missouri submitted beneficiary certification form to court.
January 2018 Trustee approved certification forms for beneficiaries.
April 2018 Missouri released draft plan for using settlement proceeds. Public may comment on plan.
June 2018 Missouri finalizes beneficiary mitigation plan.
Summer 2018 Missouri begins accepting applicants.

What happened during VW Trust meetings in Missouri?

Before writing the draft beneficiary mitigation plan, the department's Air Pollution Control Program held four informational meetings and three other meetings to gather additional input and discuss issues with stakeholders. Information from the meetings appears in chronological order, beginning with the most recent meetings.

Aug. 30, 2018, Jefferson City
Department's presentation
Attendance record
Video Part 1

After releasing the draft beneficiary mitigation plan, the department held a public meeting on April 20, 2018.
Presentation from department
Attendance list
Video: Part 1 | Part 2

Jan. 22, 2018, Jefferson City
Department's presentation
Attendance record
Video Part 1 | Part 2

Dec. 7, 2017, Jefferson City
Department's presentation
Attendance record
Presentation by group supporting charging stations
Letter distributed at meeting by association representing convenience stores, petroleum marketers and other businesses

The following four meetings were introductory meetings. They followed the same format, and the department showed the same presentation.

Nov. 30, 2017, Springfield, Mo.
Attendance record

Nov. 21, 2017, St. Louis
Attendance record
Nov. 14, 2017, Kansas City
Attendance record
Oct. 30, 2017, Jefferson City
Attendance record

What comments did the department receive about the VW Trust?

The department received input regarding the VW Trust in multiple ways:

1) Comments given during the three department meetings in Missouri
Oct. 30, 2017, Jefferson City
Dec. 7, 2017, Jefferson City
Jan. 22, 2018, Jefferson City
Video Part 1 | Part 2

2) Comments submitted via the department's online comment form, through email and via letters
Comment form was online from Oct. 4, 2017, through April 2, 2018.
Compilation of comments

3) Answers to two surveys the department created and distributed

4) Collected comments on the draft plan and guidelines
Compilation of comments

The department posted its first survey in mid-November 2017 and collected responses through Dec. 1, 2017.
Staff members discussed results during a public presentation on Dec. 7, 2017.

The department released its second survey in January 2018.
Staff members discussed results during a public presentation on Jan. 22, 2018.

Who serves on the VW Trust Advisory Committee?

The department opened membership in the VW Trust Advisory Committee to everyone. Interested citizens joined by submitting an online form.
Members and their affiliations

The responsibilities of committee members include:
Attending meetings of the VW Trust Advisory Committee.
Helping the department's Air Pollution Control Program review comments and suggestions.
Advising the air program as it developed its draft of the 10-year beneficiary mitigation plan.
Providing input and advice regarding Missouri's use of trust funds.