NTAA: Resources

Volkswagen Settlement Work Group


July 20th, 2017, After the training at the National Tribal Forum on Air Quality, the NTAA VW Settlement Work Group developed several questions raised at the training. Click here to view the letter submitted to DOJ and click here to view the DOJ’s response.

May 1, 2017, representatives from NTAA, the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOJ offered a training on the VW Settlement to attendees of the National Tribal Forum on Air Quality in Tucson, Arizona. While the VW Settlement has not been finalized, the training offered updated information for Tribes to get a lead on accessing part of the $55 million settlement that will be offered to help Tribes reduce nitrogen oxide pollution from VW's violations of the Clean Air Act.

Click here to view the videos of presentations made during the training.

Click here to access the presentations and documents offered to trainees during the training.


On October 25th, as the Los Angeles Times reported, The largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history was just approved. Up to $10 billion in VW buybacks starts soon.

To view the court order from Judge Breyer issued, click here:

NTAA has formed a Tribal Work Group to address the historic settlement that will provide $50 million to Tribes in the near future and ensure fair and equitable access to all Tribes as the settlement moves forward. This page includes documents produced by NTAA requested by the U.S Department of Justice as well as fact sheets and other resources for Tribes.

On June 28, 2016, the United States lodged with the court a settlement with automakers Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., and Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC (collectively “Volkswagen”). The settlement partially resolves allegations that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) by the sale of approximately 500,000 model year 2009 to 2015 motor vehicles containing 2.0 liter diesel engines equipped with “defeat devices” (“CAA 2.0 liter partial settlement”). The allegations were set forth in a complaint filed by the United States on January 4, 2016, on behalf of the EPA, alleging that these vehicles are equipped with defeat devices in the form of computer software designed to cheat on federal emissions tests. The settlement is a partial settlement because it only addresses what Volkswagen must do to address the 2.0 liter cars on the road and the pollution from these vehicles, and does not address other aspects of the United States’ complaint. The major excess pollutant at issue in this case is oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and is a serious health concern.

The NTAA VW Settlement Work Group and Tribal Air Monitoring Support Center's Steering Committee submitted a letter on November 23rd, 2016 to the Department of Justice in response to a request for Tribes to submit a consolidated list of trustee candidates to manage and distribute the $50 million settlement for Tribes. Click here to view the letter.

On June 7th, 2016 NTAA and the TAMS Center wrote a letter (see below) to U.S. EPA making recommendations for the distribution of funds from this settlement to Tribal Air Programs. NTAA and TAMS also submitted a comment letter on August 5th, 2016

Written comments were accepted until close of business on Wednesday, August 27, 2016.

December, 2016: VW will pay an additional $4.795 million to Tribes to settle Clean Air Act Violations - A second Partial Consent Decree was issued by the court on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 and includes an additional $4.795 million for Tribes. Bloomberg covered the news of the second settlement here. More information on the second partial VW settlement is available here. A table showing the amount of additional funds available to states, tribes, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia is available on p.164 of the second partial consent decree.

December, 2016: NTAA and the TAMS Steering Committee submitted a letter to U.S. EPA on December 14th, 2016 to inform EPA about the concerns raised by the NTAA's VW Settlement Work Group regarding how Tribes may access funds in the VW Settlement's eligible mitigation actions under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act option. You can view the letter here.

EPA has released a helpful flow chart that shows the trustee selection process and Tribal allocation process. You can view it here.

Volkswagen Trustee Selection Process Slides
Click HERE for document.

Volkswagen Factsheet
Click HERE for document.

Justice Breyer Court Order
Click HERE for document.

Volkswagen Settlement Comment Letter
Click HERE for document.

June 2016 EPA Letter
Click HERE for document.

Volkswagen Template Letter
Click HERE for document.

U.S. Department of Justice Consultation Framing Document.
Click HERE for document.

NTAA & TAMS VW Comment Letter to DOJ
Click HERE for document.

NTAA and TAMS Letter to EPA on the VW Settlement
Click HERE for document.