Diesel Retrofit News - 2006
- December 22, 2006
Massachusetts Announces Retrofit Agreement to Clean-Up School and Transit Buses - On December 18, 2006, Massachusetts announced an agreement to pay $22.5 million to reduce air pollution from every public school bus and regional transit bus in the state within four years. It also includes a promise to connect the two separate MBTA Silver Line bus service routes by building a tunnel under downtown Boston by 2016. Approximately 7,800 diesel-powered school buses and 600 regional transit buses will be retrofitted with diesel particulate filters. The state has already retrofitted its MBTA buses with filters or switched them to natural gas to reduce emissions. The Boston Public Schools system has also reduced diesel pollution from its bus fleet.
The agreement is to compensate the public for long construction delays in the Silver Line, which was designed to offset any increased vehicle or construction pollution from the $14.6 billion Big Dig tunnel and highway project by connecting Boston's Dudley Square to Logan Airport. The line is only partially complete, with two unconnected bus routes. The final piece -- connecting them under the city -- has been delayed in large part because the state has not secured federal funds to do so. Originally, the state anticipated securing funding by 2005.
As part of the deal, the state's transportation agency will pay $7.5 million annually in 2007, 2008, and 2009 to retrofit the buses.
Nassau County in NYC Metropolitan Area Signs Diesel Law into Effect - Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi signed legislation into effect last week that requires all County-owned heavy-duty on-road and off-road vehicles to use ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel by 2013. It also requires the vehicles to be retrofitted with devices to reduce tailpipe emissions. The same requirements will be in effect for vehicles used by businesses contracted with the County. The legislation establishes the following schedule for installing the retrofit technologies: 25 percent of all vehicles by January 1, 2009; 50 percent by January 1, 2011; and 100 percent by January 1, 2013.
The legislation was sponsored by Legislator David Denenberg (D-Merrick). When he proposed it, he also proposed legislation that passed in October and went into effect immediately that made it illegal for a driver to idle any diesel-powered vehicle longer than three minutes while parked anywhere in Nassau County (see the October 20, 2006 MECA Executive Bulletin). Exemptions are emergency vehicles, buses operating in temperatures of less than 40 degrees F, and instances where an engine is necessary to carry out a work function such as loading or unloading. First-offense violators of the idling law can be fined up to $500.
Settlement with Waste Management Company Includes Diesel Retrofit Projects - On December 15, 2006, the Ohio EPA reached a settlement with Waste Management's Evergreen Recycling and Disposal Facility in Northwood, OH. This agreement settles multiple violations for depositing hazardous waste at the facility that should only accept non-hazardous materials and allows the facility's annual operating license to be renewed. As part of the settlement, Waste Management will pay $9,884 to the state agency's Clean Diesel School Bus program to retrofit school buses. According to the Ohio EPA, a $65,808 fine was imposed on Waste Management, as well as a number of performance stipulations.
- December 15, 2006
ARB Issues Revised Regulatory Language Covering Diesel Retrofit Verification Requirements - ARB staff has issued revised regulatory language covering proposed amendments to the ARB diesel retrofit verification program. This latest proposal includes: requirements for filing a preliminary verification application; the addition of some response requirements for ARB to reply to applicants on their preliminary verification application (30 days) and for approving in-use compliance test proposals (45 days); some additional details concerning record keeping requirements; a more detailed section on required test cycles and the use of chassis dynamometers; and a variety of "other" requirements that cover engine backpressure monitoring, fuel, and lubricant requirements associated with a given retrofit technology, maintenance requirements, and system labeling requirements. These revised proposed amendments will be discussed in a public workshop scheduled for the afternoon of December 19, 2006 at the ARB offices in El Monte, CA. The revised proposed regulatory language and information about the December 19 workshop are available at: www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/verdev/wn/wn.htm.
Boston Issues RFP for Environmental Projects - The city of Boston's Air Pollution Control Commission (APCC) has issued a Request for Proposals for projects to reduce local air pollution and advance the city's commitment to sustainable transportation. The $200,000 program is being launched in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and will offer up to $50,000 of funding for individual Boston-based projects lasting between three and 12 months. Some examples of types of projects that might be suitable for this RFP are:
- Develop innovative measures for a transportation demand management (TDM) program to reduce single occupant vehicle (SOV) trips;
- Educate specific groups of residents, commuters, and businesses in Boston about motor vehicle air pollution, its effects, and ways to reduce it;
- Research the local health effects of vehicle-related air pollution; and
- Design and implement a diesel engine retrofit project.
Proposals are due by January 26, 2007. For a copy of the RFP, go to: www.cityofboston.gov/environment/pdfs/grants_rfp.pdf.
This RFP is part of Mayor Thomas M. Menino's overall effort to implement sustainable transportation initiatives. Under Menino, the city of Boston has launched an anti-idling campaign, amended its vehicle procurement policy to encourage hybrid-electric and alternative fuel vehicles, converted its diesel fuel use for city vehicles to a blend of biodiesel and ULSD which reduced tailpipe emissions by 15 percent, launched the Boston CleanAir Cabs hybrid-electric and alternative fuel taxi program, and joined the national Plug-In Partners Campaign to advance the manufacture of next generation Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles.
- December 8, 2006
UCS Releases New Report on Health Risks of Construction Pollution in California - On December 5, 2006, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a new report that quantifies the consequences of construction pollution on California's health and economy. The report, Digging up Trouble: The Health Risks of Construction Pollution in California, estimates that in California pollution from construction equipment in 2005 was responsible for about 1,132 premature deaths, nearly 183,000 lost work days, 1,086 hospitalizations, and $9.1 billion in annual costs. The study includes regional analyses of Construction Risk Zones in the five areas most affected by construction pollution. According to the report, lagging engine standards and long equipment life make construction equipment one of the largest sources of diesel pollution in the state. Phasing out the oldest, most polluting equipment, installing new engines, and retrofitting other engines with clean technologies could significantly reduce diesel emissions. A copy of this new report is available at: www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/californians-put-at-high-risk.html.
Grant Money Still Available for North Texas NOx Reduction Projects - The North Central Texas Council of Governments has approximately $5 million left in grant money to fund air quality projects aimed at reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) from high-emitting internal combustion engines in the North Texas Region. (Call For Projects first opened on August 14, 2006 when $5.7 million was available.) The North Texas Emissions Reduction Grant Program will fund the incremental cost of eligible engine retrofit, engine repower, vehicle/equipment replacement, and new vehicle/equipment lease or purchase projects for on-road vehicles, non-road equipment, stationary engines, and other TERP-eligible projects. All projects must exhibit a 25% reduction in NOx emissions and must be at or below $5,500 per ton of NOx reduced. Proposals are being accepted and will be awarded on a modified first-come, first-serve basis. Implementation of projects selected under this program must be completed by May 31, 2007. For more information, go to: www.nctcog.org/NTERG.
- December 1, 2006
California Ports Approve Emission Reduction Plan - On November 20, 2006, the governing boards of the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles approved a five-year plan to reduce emissions from port activities. The plan aims to reduce diesel-related particulate matter emissions by more than 47 percent, NOx by more than 45 percent, and SO2 by 52 percent through a range of mandates and incentives to cut the emissions from all vehicles that serve the port, including ships, trucks, trains, and cargo-handling equipment. The final plan includes measures such as requiring port tenants to replace or retrofit old diesel engines, exploring the use of pollution-based impact fees (such as gate fees assessed on "dirty" trucks), and incentives for speed reductions from cargo ships. The ports will also expand their plan to provide shore-side electricity to ships at berth. A copy of the plan is available at: www.polb.com or www.portofla.org.
Kansas Settlement Includes Funding for Diesel Retrofit Program - On November 20, 2006, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and PQ Corporation entered into a settlement that provides air pollution reduction, funding for retrofit of school buses, and other environmental projects and environmental education in the Kansas City Metro area. PQ Corporation has agreed to fund supplemental environmental projects totaling about $123,500 through the settlement. Two projects will be funded at the PQ Corporation facility and four projects will be funded for the Kansas City area.
- Facility in Kansas City:
- Provide funding of $30,000 for a project to reduce air pollutant particulate emissions at PQ Corporation's Zeolyst Plant by improving the collection system.
- Provide funding of $30,000 to implement and certify an International Standards Organization 14001 Environmental Management System at the Kansas City facility to reduce pollutant emissions and enhance the facility's compliance with state and federal environmental regulations.
- For the Kansas City area, projects will be administered by the Air Quality Programs of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC):
- Provide funding of $50,000 to MARC for their School Bus Diesel Engine Retrofit Program for retrofitting Wyandotte County and Johnson County school buses with DOCs.
- Provide funding of $1,000 to MARC for the purchase of a gas cap testing device for use by local air quality programs.
- Provide funding of $10,000 to MARC for the development of a Lawn and Garden Program logo and radio spots for their Lawn and Garden Emission Reduction Program.
- For the remaining supplemental environmental project, PQ Corporation will provide funding of $2,500 to the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education.
- November 22, 2006
EPA Conducting Pilot Program to Reduce Diesel Emissions at Waste Cleanup Sites - The U.S. EPA's West and Pacific Northwest regional officials have initiated a pilot program to test new methods for improving air quality at waste cleanup sites by reducing diesel emissions and using renewable energy technologies. According to agency officials, this program could result in the mandated use of technologies at industry-led cleanups. This pilot program, "Cleanup-Clean Air," could be a model for remedial action sites across the U.S., including Superfund, Resource Conservation & Recovery Act corrective active sites, brownfields, and other contaminated sites. The aim of this voluntary program is to encourage and support the use of cleaner, heavy-duty diesel construction equipment and renewable energy technology. One pilot program is currently underway at a former Navy site in California, with others expected to start in the next two years. EPA officials are working with the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in an early pilot program to retrofit engines used during cleanup with emission control devices; use alternative fuels, such as biodiesel and ultra-low sulfur diesel; implement operations changes by reducing operating and idle time and keeping engines well-maintained; and replace existing engines with cleaner diesel engines or hybrid or alternative equipment.
According to an EPA regional source, members of the regional general counsel's office are looking into contract language that would require contractors and other representatives of potentially responsible parties to use best available control technologies for engines and use alternative fuels to reduce air pollution during soil and groundwater remediation. Another regional source stated that EPA officials are also investigating developing language that would encourage grant applicants and recipients to use cleaner engines and fuels and renewable energies at brownfield sites and reconstruction and redevelopment sites.
$2.7 Million Grant from EPA Includes Money for Diesel Retrofit Projects - On November 15, 2006, the U.S. EPA announced the award of $2.7 million in grants to 16 U.S. communities as part of the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program. The CARE grants will address a wide variety of environmental health issues in both rural and urban areas. The CARE program is a community-based, community-driven program that builds partnerships to assist the public in understanding and reducing toxic risks from many sources. There are two types of CARE cooperative agreements: Level I awards are approximately $90,000 each and will help establish community-based partnerships to reduce toxics in local environments; Level II awards are approximately $275,000 and are designed to help already established broad-based partnerships that have identified the priority toxic risks in the community. Among the recipients that were awarded grants are programs to retrofit diesel vehicles, including:
- The Philadelphia Clean Air Council: The Philadelphia Clean Air Council, on behalf of Philadelphia Diesel Difference (www.cleanair.org/dieseldifference), was awarded a Level 1 CARE cooperative agreement. The Philadelphia Clean Air Council will use the grant to address pollution emitted from the Philadelphia Port System by researching port emissions and implement an action plan for air pollution, water pollution, and land-use issues. One of the proposed measures to reduce air pollution includes replacing old equipment with cleaner equipment; operating equipment on cleaner fuel; establishing incentive programs to encourage fleet modernization; and implementing anti-idling strategies.
- Clean Air Communities, NESCAUM: Clean Air Communities (CAC) (www.cleanaircommunities.org) has been awarded with a Level II cooperative agreement. CAC, along with its partners, will implement recommendations by the New Jersey State's Environmental Justice Task Force and the Air Toxics Pilot Projects to reduce environmental risks to citizens of the Waterfront South neighborhood of Camden, NJ, which is home to several industrial facilities as well as a major terminal of the South Jersey Port Corp. (SJPC). CAC will work with local industry and residents to raise awareness about the sources of air pollution, including port operations. CAC and its partners will compile and analyze port vehicles and equipment, determine the best available technologies to retrofit diesel vehicles and equipment owned and operated by SJPC, and implement the retrofit of these vehicles and equipment.
- The New Haven City Government: The City of New Haven (CT) was awarded with a citywide Level II CARE cooperative agreement to expand the existing air toxics initiative. The New Haven City Government will address air, water, and land issues separately. To improve air quality, New Haven will focus on the criteria pollutants of ozone and particulate matter as well as air toxics. It will mainly focus on diesel-powered on- and off-road vehicles for emissions reductions, promote renewable power sources, and encourage residential densities and land use patterns to reduce local vehicle miles traveled.
More information on the CARE grant recipients is available at: www.epa.gov/oar/care/community.htm.
San Francisco Considering Clean Construction Equipment Ordinance - The city of San Francisco will consider the adoption of an ordinance in 2007 that will require the use of either Tier 2-compliant construction equipment or equipment retrofit with best available control technology for large city projects. California already requires that on-road and off-road diesel engines operate on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. Environmental groups in the Bay area will be strong supporters for the adoption of this ordinance.
- November 14, 2006
California Voters Approve Funding for Improving Air Quality at Ports, Retrofitting School Buses - During the November 7th election, California voters approved a bond measure to fund state and local transportation improvement projects, which earmarks $1.2 billion in funding for projects to improve air quality by reducing emissions related to goods movement and replacing or retrofitting old school buses. Proposition 1B, a $20-billion transportation infrastructure bond, was passed by about a 61-39 percent margin. The State Legislature will determine how the money will be spent to mitigate emissions generated by freight. Some of the projects that are expected to seek funding from Proposition 1B are proposed in the "San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP)", an emission reduction plan developed by the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles, which includes projects such as cold-ironing technologies and replacing frequent caller port trucks with cleaner emission trucks. However, port operators are expected to clash with environmentalists and other industries. The trucking industry, in particular, is expected to challenge the port initiative when port officials seek the Proposition 1B funding. They will try to convince lawmakers that the CAAP is not the best strategy to reduce emissions. Meanwhile, the environmentalists are concerned that there will not be enough funding for the plan.
In addition, California voters rejected a proposal to tax oil companies to fund development of alternative energy resources and technologies by about 54-46 percent margin. Proposition 87 would have created a $4 billion program to reduce oil and gasoline use by 25 percent by funding research and development of alternative energy sources and technologies through a tax of 1.5 to 6 percent.
More information on all of the California Propositions is available at: www.smartvoter.org/2006/11/07/ca/state/prop/.
- November 3, 2006
DOT Releases New Interim Guidance for CMAQ - The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a new interim guidance document for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). The document discusses the changes to the CMAQ program as a result of SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users) and clarifications of DOT's policy based on seven years of feedback since the last guidance document. SAFETEA-LU -- the Act which authorizes the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the five-year period 2005-2009 -- placed a renewed focus on advancing cost-effective transportation projects that improve air quality. Specifically, the bill highlighted diesel engine retrofits as a priority for CMAQ expenditures due to the cost-effective emissions reduction benefits that can be achieved through many retrofit technologies. The Federal Highway Administration has encouraged States to consider this legislative priority when selecting projects for CMAQ funding. The guidance document provides updated information on diesel retrofits as well as relative cost-effectiveness data on various eligible project types to help inform decision-makers with the CMAQ project selection process.
The interim guidance document also includes comprehensive discussions on several new or highlighted areas under SAFETEA-LU. Since this is interim guidance, DOT will publish the full document for comment in the Federal Register and issue final guidance thereafter. For a copy of the interim guidance document, go to: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/cmaqpgs/index.htm.
Settlement with Bunge North America Includes Funding for Diesel Retrofit Projects - On October 26, 2006, the U.S. EPA reached a multi-state Clean Air Act (CAA) settlement with oilseed processor Bunge North America, Inc. and three of its subsidiaries. The settlement agreement will eliminate more than 2,200 tons of harmful pollution emissions per year when fully implemented. The $13.9 million settlement covers 12 plants in eight states. Bunge will also pay a $625,000 civil penalty and spend more than $1.25 million to implement supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) that include projects for diesel retrofit.
- Bunge will contribute $166,670 to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Special Fund to be used for projects retrofitting diesel vehicles.
- Bunge will contribute $166,670 to the State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's fund for the Clean Diesel School Bus Program.
- Bunge will contribute $22,640.36 to the Emporia Unified School District in Kansas for the purchase and installation of diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) to retrofit school buses.
- Bunge will perform a SEP at a total cost of $16,065 for a project retrofitting diesel vehicles owned and operated by the Southern Lyon County Unified School District in Kansas that may include payment for the purchase and installation of DOCs on school buses. Priority for retrofitting will be given to vehicles that are anticipated to provide at least an additional three to five years of service and no SEP funds will be used for testing or demonstration.
- Bunge shall perform a SEP at a total cost of $83,333 for a project retrofitting diesel vehicles owned and operated by the Decatur City Schools and/or the City of Huntsville in Alabama. This diesel retrofit project may include payment for the purchase and installation of DOCs on vehicles, including, but not limited to, mass transit vehicles, school buses, and fire department vehicles. Priority for retrofitting will be given to vehicles that are anticipated to provide at least an additional three to five years of service and no SEP funds will be used for testing or demonstration.
More information on this settlement and SEP are available at: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/bunge-0608.html.
- October 27, 2006
EPA Releases Tool to Calculate Emissions from Clean Diesel Projects - The U.S. EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) has developed an interactive web-based tool for estimating emission reductions from (and calculating the cost-effectiveness of) clean diesel projects. The Diesel Emission Quantifier (Quantifier) can be used by state/local governments, fleet owner/operators, school districts, port authorities, non-profit organizations, and others interested in reducing emissions from their diesel fleet.
The Quantifier can calculate emissions estimates of NOx, PM, HC, CO, and CO2 for on-road and nonroad vehicles that utilize various emission control technologies. Estimates are made using specific information about a fleet, such as the types of vehicles in the fleet, the number, model year, and retrofit year of each vehicle group; fuel and usage information; the type(s) of emission control technology applied; and cost information.
Examples of analyses the Quantifier is capable of include: calculating emissions from a single emissions reduction project; comparing fleet emissions using different retrofit control technologies; and assisting SmartWay carrier partners in developing proper data reports for submission to the EPA. The Quantifier is not intended be used for the calculation of any emission reductions to be incorporated in a State Implementation Plan (SIP) or conformity determination.
The Quantifier is modeled after the National Mobile Inventory Model (NMIM), an application developed by EPA to determine estimates of current and future emission inventories for on-road motor vehicles and nonroad equipment.
The Quantifier is located on EPA's website at: cfpub.epa.gov/quantifier/index.cfm?fuseaction=quantifier.home.
Hospitals, Garbage Trucks in Portland, OR Move to Cut Diesel Pollution - On October 16, 2006, hospitals in Portland, Oregon announced they will establish "clean diesel hospital zones" to reduce air pollution from diesel engines. Officials at Oregon Health & Science University, Providence Health System, Legacy Health System, and Kaiser Permanente said starting immediately they will direct their suppliers to retrofit trucks with diesel particulate filters and other emission control devices. In addition, beginning in March 2007, the City of Portland will require all residential garbage and recycling haulers to use B20 biodiesel fuel exclusively. The goal of the biodiesel mandate is to reduce carbon dioxide and particulate matter emissions in communities served by the City's 29 contracted haulers. The shift to biodiesel is expected to reduce diesel PM by 12 percent and carbon dioxide by 17 percent. Both moves will cut down on diesel pollution, which is responsible for about a quarter of the cancer risk posed by breathing local air, says state air quality officials.
- October 20, 2006
NYC Metropolitan Area Announces Innovative Agreement to Reduce Diesel Pollution - On October 12, 2006, the counties of Nassau, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester, together with New York City, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration, signed a comprehensive agreement detailing the specific projects and strategies they will employ to reduce diesel emissions. The New York Metropolitan Air Quality Initiative calls for several key actions, such as retrofitting, retiring, and replacing diesel engines, creating cleaner fleets of municipal vehicles, adopting cleaner fuels, designing and enforcing measures to reduce engine idling, and investing in pollution reduction technologies. New York City has already employed many of its own measures and has offered to assist the counties in implementing these actions. As part of the announcement, Westchester County also announced its own specific initiatives, including:
- The County will implement the provisions of Act No. 19-2006 effective September 1, 2006. This act requires the use of ULSD and best available retrofit technology for all diesel-powered on-road and off-road vehicles owned, leased, and/or operated on behalf of the County.
- The County will continue the diesel engine retrofit program to include an additional 78 buses, bringing the total to 162 buses by the end of 2007.
- The County will undertake an evaluation of the four demonstration hybrid buses recently introduced into service. Based on performance, the County will consider procuring hybrid vehicles for its 2008 bus procurement.
- The Westchester County Airport will undertake a baseline emissions audit during 2006.
The New York Metropolitan Air Quality Initiative is part of the broader work being done by the Northeast Diesel Collaborative. For a copy of the agreement, go to: www.epa.gov/region02/air/nymaqi.pdf.
- October 6, 2006
Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative Issues RFP for Diesel Retrofit Projects - The U.S. EPA is accepting proposals to fund projects within the District of Columbia and the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia that will demonstrate effective emission control technologies and strategies, methods, or approaches to reducing diesel emissions in support of the Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative. Projects should: include a diverse group of partners; leverage significant resources and/or funds from a variety of sources; include an evaluative component; and demonstrate measurable reductions and results. Projects may address, but are not limited to, a variety of emissions reductions solutions such as: add-on technology, engine replacement or rebuilds, and idle reduction technologies or strategies. Proposals to fund projects under this announcement must fall under at least one or more of the following categories to be considered for funding: freight/trucking, marine vessels and ports, construction and urban diesel.
EPA Region 3 anticipates awarding $300,000 under this announcement. It is anticipated that approximately one to three awards will be made. EPA is soliciting proposals from states, local governments, territories, Indian Tribes, and possessions of the U.S., including the District of Columbia, international organizations, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and other public or private nonprofit institutions. The grant period is anticipated to begin on February 2, 2007. The closing date for receipt of proposals is October 31, 2006. For a copy of the RFP, go to: www.epa.gov/region03/grants/RFP_Diesel_Collaborative_R3APD.pdf.
- September 29, 2006
EPA Awards NJ $2.1 Million Grant to Reduce Diesel Pollution - On September 21, 2006, EPA awarded a grant of $2.1 million for New Jersey's efforts to reduce emissions from diesel engines. This grant to reduce diesel emissions will complement New Jersey's existing programs, which includes a three-minute idling law and the mandatory retrofit of 40,000 vehicles in the state. The EPA grant will be used to fund four initiatives:
- On-board Idle Reduction Devices ($750,000): This initiative will fund the purchase of alternative energy sources and equipment to reduce idling and assist truckers to save on fuel costs. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, in coordination with the EPA and a New Jersey-based trucking association, will fund the purchase of auxiliary power units or bunk heaters.
- NJ Turnpike Truck Stop Electrification Project ($100,000): This project will expand the infrastructure for truck stop electrification in New Jersey by electrifying parking spaces at a truck stop along the NJ turnpike.
- Analysis of In-Cabin School Bus Emissions ($215,000): This initiative will study how effective diesel retrofits are in reducing fine particulate matter inside of school buses. The results of this study will provide scientific direction for an upcoming legislated statewide mandatory retrofit program for certain diesel vehicles, including school buses.
- Idling Minimization Outreach Project ($135,000): This outreach campaign will educate the public to discourage unnecessary idling of engines throughout New Jersey, targeting the trucking industry. For the first time, the campaign will focus on idling transit buses and personal cars at the state's tourist attractions. It will also train police in New Jersey on how to enforce the state's three-minute idling limit.
This grant is funded through the EPA's Northeast Diesel Collaborative, which is a partnership among EPA and private, non-profit, and government groups in New York, New Jersey, and six New England states that are working together to reduce diesel air pollution. More information on this grant is available here.
EPA and NY Mall Developer Sign MOU that Includes Retrofit of Construction Vehicles - On September 25, 2006, the U.S. EPA and Destiny USA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that commits the company to use environmentally-sound practices when constructing and running its projects in Syracuse, NY. Destiny USA is a plan by Pyramid Companies (a mall developer) to turn Syracuse into a leading entertainment and technology city. Current plans call for construction on the two-site complex to be completed in 2008. The MOU commits Destiny USA to:
- Use green building design, construction, and operation principles to achieve the highest certification levels from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program
- Retrofit more than 100 construction vehicles with diesel particulate filters and use clean diesel fuel, reducing emissions by about 85 percent
- Promote EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership to its carriers, shippers, and tenants to reduce diesel emissions and conserve energy
- Implement techniques to reduce vehicle idling during construction
- Increase the number of hybrid and biodiesel vehicles in its fleet
- Become partners in EPA's EnergyStar and WaterSense programs, requiring the use of energy- and water-efficient appliances
- Use over 3,000 tons of coal ash instead of using newly-manufactured Portland Cement, reducing greenhouse gases by over 3,000 tons
- Develop an environmental management system
- Implement a commuter benefits programs
- Take part in EPA's Resource Conservation Challenge, which is a voluntary program that encourages the reduction, reuse, and recycling of solid waste
More information on this MOU is available here.
- September 15, 2006
Construction Equipment at WTC Site to Use ULSD, Retrofit Technologies - The leaseholder for the World Trade Center site, Larry Silverstein, has agreed to use ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel for all on-road and on-site vehicles and will retrofit all vehicles with diesel particulate filters. Mr. Silverstein has already built 7 World Trade Center (WTC) at the north end of the site and preliminary work has begun on the Freedom Tower. In addition, he will build towers two, three, four, and five. According to a federal study released in March, New York State has the dirtiest air in the country and the projected construction in the state over the next twenty years will further contribute to the air pollution problem. The U.S. EPA's regulation mandating the use of ULSD for all construction vehicles will become effective in 2010. However, the majority of the rebuilding will occur before this mandate comes into effect. Therefore, Silverstein's commitment sets a precedent and the Community Board 1 (CB 1) hopes that other developers downtown will follow. CB 1 has also asked the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the Trade Center Site, to make a similar commitment.
- September 8, 2006
EPA Announces Diesel Retrofit Funding Opportunities in Rocky Mountain States - The U.S. EPA and the Rocky Mountain Clean Diesel Collaborative recently announced new funding opportunities for diesel retrofit projects in the Rocky Mountain region (Wyoming, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Colorado). The grant funds are targeted for projects that reduce pollution from school buses, over-the-road trucking, construction equipment and vehicles, and other heavy-duty diesel engines and vehicles. Available funds include $415,000 for school bus projects and $100,000 for diesel sectors other than school buses. For application information and the full grant solicitations, go to: www.epa.gov/region8/air/rmcdc.html. The closing date for applications is Nov. 30, 2006.
Local Health Department in Pennsylvania Approves Funds for DPF Retrofits on School Buses - The Allegheny County (PA) Health Department this week unanimously voted to allocate $500,000 from its Clean Air Fund to help school districts retrofit buses with diesel particulate filters (DPFs). There are currently 1,800 school buses in the county without DPFs. The $500,000 from the Clean Air Fund comes from fines the Health Department assesses against air polluters countywide. Once the department establishes a protocol, school districts can apply for a matching grant that will provide $3 per dollar from the district. The money will also serve as seed money to encourage private foundations and public agencies to provide additional funding to retrofit school buses. The Penn Hills, Plum, and North Allegheny school districts have already retrofitted buses with DPFs.
- September 1, 2006
Pataki Signs New York Diesel Retrofit Bill - On August 16, 2006, New York Governor George Pataki (R) signed the New York State Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2006. The bill was passed by the state Legislature on June 26, 2006. The legislation amends the current environmental conservation law to add a new section called the Diesel Emission Reduction Act of 2006. The bill specifically requires that all state-owned heavy-duty vehicles (used in on-road and off-road applications) and those under contract with the state use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) within six months of the effective date of the bill. It also requires these vehicles to be fitted with best available retrofit technologies (e.g., diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel particulate filters) to reduce tailpipe emissions. The bill also requires the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to enact rules to govern which technologies shall be considered best available retrofit technologies. The legislation establishes the following schedule for installing the retrofit technologies: not less than 33% of all vehicles by December 31, 2008; not less than 66% of all vehicles by December 31, 2009; and not less than 100% of all vehicles by December 31, 2010. The bill also requires the DEC to submit a report to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2008 and every year thereafter on the use of ULSD and the use of retrofit technologies. Funding for this bill is not clear at this point in time.
- August 25, 2006
TERC Releases Request for Grant Application for Development of Diesel NOx Reduction Technologies - On August 18, 2006, the Texas Environmental Research Consortium (TERC), under its New Technology Research and Development Program (NTRD), released a Request for Grant Application for the development and verification of technologies that can significantly reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines with duty cycles resulting in exhaust gas temperatures below 225 degrees C for a majority of the time the engine is operating. The primary objective of this grant solicitation is the reduction of NOx emissions (minimum of 25%), although special consideration will be given to technologies reducing particulate matter emissions. Some examples of technologies that may be eligible for this grant funding include (but not limited to): hybrids, exhaust gas recirculation, low temperature retrofit devices, and devices used to elevate exhaust gas temperatures to increase the effectiveness of more conventional retrofit devices. In addition to on-road applications, there are significant opportunities for off-road applications, such as construction, marine, and locomotive diesel engines. Total funding of this solicitation is expected to be $4.7 million, with total number of anticipated awards ranging between 10 and 20. Application for this grant request will be accepted through October 2, 2006. More information on this is available at: www.tercairquality.org/NTRD/RFGAs/RFGA-06.
- TERC Awards $17.5 Million for Projects to Reduce NOx from Diesel Engines - The Texas Environmental Research Consortium (TERC) approved grants in August 2006 of more than $17.5 million to fund 14 projects as part of their New Technology Research and Development (NTRD) program to reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines in non-attainment areas of the state. Some of the funded projects include retrofitting on- and off-road engines and locomotives with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems. When completed, the projects will produce verified NOx reduction technologies with the potential to significantly reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines. A list of approved projects is available at: www.tercairquality.org/NTRD/Projects/Approved.
- July 21, 2006
Power Plant Settlement Includes Funds for School Bus Retrofits - On July 6, 2006, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Mirant Canal, LLC reached a settlement for past problems with visible emissions from their smoke stacks in 2003 and 2004. Mirant Canal, LLC is one of the state's largest power plants. Mirant agreed to pay a penalty fine of $30,000 and implement a supplemental environmental project costing $45,000 to reduce air pollution from school buses in the towns of Sandwich and Bourne through the purchase of diesel retrofit technologies. More information on this settlement is available at: www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/mira706.htm.
- July 7, 2006
EPA Releases Progress Report for the National Clean Diesel Campaign - On July 3, 2006, EPA released a progress report for the National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) for 2005. NCDC was established to promote the reduction in diesel air pollution and includes regulatory and voluntary programs to reduce emissions from in-use diesel engines. Some of the accomplishments of the NCDC highlighted in the progress report include:
- Through the 2007 Heavy-Duty Highway Engine Rule, EPA estimates that emission reductions will prevent 8,300 premature deaths.
- Clean diesel retrofit programs currently underway will provide approximately $4-5 billion in health benefits from PM reductions over the life of the programs.
- NCDC voluntary programs are creating demand for emission reduction technologies. To date, EPA has verified 17 emission control technologies, and 20 states and Washington, D.C. are using ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel ahead of EPA's mandates.
- EPA has funded many successful projects across the country through the NCDC, including 80 grants from the Clean School Bus USA program that have led to approximately 10,000 school bus retrofits. The NCDC will also fund 28 projects that will reduce emissions from more than 1,000 diesel vehicles and equipment used in construction, ports, agriculture, transit, and municipal fleets.
A copy of this progress report is available at: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/publications.htm#progressreport.
- June 30, 2006
New York Legislature Passes Diesel Retrofit Bill - New York will soon be the first state in the nation to require that state-owned-and-operated diesel vehicles be equipped with diesel retrofit technology. Both legislative houses on June 26, 2006 passed a bill, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2006, requiring state-owned diesel vehicles and those working on state contracts to use ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel and the "best" diesel retrofit emission control technology to reduce diesel particulate matter emissions. Over the next three years, approximately 20,000 vehicles in the state will be eligible for diesel retrofit systems. The state of New York uses more than 48 million gallons of diesel fuel each year for the vehicles it owns and operates. Senator George H. Winner Jr. (R-Elmira), who co-sponsored the bill, said adopting the legislation will give New York access to federal funds that could pay for up to 80 percent of the cost of installing the diesel retrofit systems. The legislation now goes to Governor George Pataki for his signature.
- June 16, 2006
EPA Releases Diesel Retrofit SIP and Conformity Guidance - On June 13, 2006, EPA released a guidance document to assist state and local air quality and transportation planners to incorporate emission reductions from diesel retrofits into state implementation plans (SIPs) and transportation and general conformity projects. The goal of the document, EPA's Diesel Retrofit SIP and Conformity Guidance, is to help quantify the emission reductions from retrofitting diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment; properly include diesel retrofit emission reductions in a SIP and help demonstrate progress toward, attainment of, or maintenance of national ambient air quality standards; and properly include diesel retrofit emission reductions in transportation conformity or general conformity. A copy of this guidance document is available at: www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/policy/420b06005.pdf.
- June 9, 2006
U.S. EPA Offers $100,000 in Grants for Diesel Emissions Reduction Projects in the Southeast - On May 31, 2006, U.S. EPA-Region 4, as part of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative, announced the availability of a $100,000 grant to fund projects within the Southeast to demonstrate effective emission control technologies and strategies to reducing diesel emissions. Up to three grants, between $25,000 and $75,000, will be awarded.
EPA will consider proposals from states, the District of Columbia, territories, federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia, international organizations, public and private universities, and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and other public or private nonprofit institutions. Proposals are due by July 7, 2006. For more information about the application process for this grant, go to: www.epa.gov/region4/air/mobile/sedc-rfpfinal52306.pdf. For more information about the Southeast Diesel Collaborative, go to: www.southeastdiesel.org.
Ohio EPA Awards Funding to School Districts for Bus Retrofits - The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $120,000 in grant funds to four school districts to reduce children's xposure to diesel exhaust and improve overall air quality. More than 60 buses will be retrofitted with emission control devices. The local school districts receiving funding are: Edgewood City Schools in Butler County, $73,134 (13 buses); Yellow Springs School District in Greene County, $7,181 (4 buses); Beavercreek City Schools in Greene County, $9,750 (13 buses); and Northmont City Schools in Montgomery County, $30,180 (33 buses).
In total, the Ohio EPA is awarding $424,000 to nine Ohio school districts this year to retrofit 238 school buses. The Ohio EPA expects to award approximately $1 million in grants during 2006 and 2007.
- June 2, 2006
Final Report Issued from DEEP Program on Mining Vehicles Retrofitted with Particulate Filters - A final report is available from the Canadian DEEP (Diesel Emissions Evaluation Program) diesel particulate filter test program conducted at the INCO Stobie, Ontario Mine from April 2000 to December 2004. Under evaluation were nine particulate filter systems tested on heavy- and light-duty underground mining vehicles. Two passive and three active filter systems were fitted on to heavy-duty vehicles, such as load/haul/dump scooptrams, and four Kubota-powered tractors, representative of light-duty vehicles used in mining operations. Although most of the systems performed well for up to 1000 hours of operation, some degradation of a few filters was observed as cracking of the SiC filter element or separation of the filter from the canister resulted in soot blowthrough. General observations on all of the systems centered around the need for operator attention, training, and maintenance in order to ensure filter effectiveness and minimize damage to the engine. It was recommended that adequate dashboard alarms/monitors be included as part of any retrofit to alert operators to filter operation. An emission based maintenance and training program was also recommended. The complete report can be found at: www.deep.org/reports/stobiedpf.pdf.
- May 26, 2006
UCS Releases New School Bus Pollution Report Card - On May 24, 2006, the Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS) released its nationwide study that grades all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their school bus fleets' pollution and cleanup programs. The School Bus Pollution Report Card 2006 concludes that some progress has been made to reduce pollution from school buses, but more investments are needed to replace old buses and retrofit more recent models. The Report Card assigns a grade (A-D) by evaluating every state's school bus PM emissions as reported by state officials. The Report Card also evaluates the states on the percentage of school bus soot reduced through emission control retrofit devices and the use of cleaner fuels, such as natural gas and biodiesel. Each state received a rank of Good, Above Average, Average or Poor. For those states that had no cleanup activities, they received a rank of Incomplete.
According to the report, the nation's 505,000 school buses are some of the oldest vehicles on the road, and programs at federal, state, and local levels have reduce national soot emissions by only two percent. The report also found that California and Washington have cleanup programs that are making great progress in improving their fleets. But significant funding for cleanup programs, such as EPA's Clean School Bus USA, is needed to assist school districts protect children's health by replacing and retrofitting their school bus fleets. More information on the Report Card is available at: www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/big_rig_cleanup/clean-school-bus-pollution.html.
- May 12, 2006
EPA Announces Clean Diesel Grants for Northeast Region - On May 4, 2006, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced the availability of nearly $1.5 million in clean diesel grants under the 2006 Northeast Diesel Collaborative Emissions Reductions Grant Program. This program includes funding under both the National Clean Diesel Campaign and Clean School Bus USA. EPA is soliciting proposals from state and local governments, federally recognized Indian Tribes, environmental organizations, colleges and universities, hospitals and other non-profits in EPA Regions 1 and 2 interested in establishing innovative projects to reduce diesel emissions in their communities. Proposals must fall under at least one of the following three categories to be considered for funding: 1) marine vessels and ports; 2) construction; and/or 3) locomotives and rail. School buses will be funded under the Clean School Bus USA program. Projects can involve cleaner fuels, idle reduction, and retrofit technology. The deadline for applying is June 29, 2006. For more information, including a copy of the RFP, go to: www.epa.gov/ne/eco/diesel/2006nedcrfp.html.
- April 28, 2006
Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative Announces Grant Funding - The Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative has announced the availability of grant funds to address diesel pollution. The funds are being offered through two separate Requests for Proposals: one for school bus projects with total available funding of $464,320, and one for diesel reduction projects in areas other than school buses with total available funding of $575,000. State, county, federally recognized tribal, city or township governments, nonprofits with a 501(c)(3) status, and other similar organizations are eligible. Proposals are due on June 16, 2006. For more information on the grant announcements, go to: www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel/grants/rfp.htm.
University of Minnesota Rolls Out Cleaner Buses - The University of Minnesota Parking and Transportation Services (PTS), in partnership with Clean Air Minnesota, has equipped several older shuttle buses with diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs). Retrofitted buses began hitting campus streets last month. The upgrading of the university shuttle buses is the first wave of Clean Air Minnesota's Project Green Fleet, a partnership between government agencies, businesses, and other organizations. Project Green Fleet relies on donations from businesses and other organizations to retrofit buses. They plan to raise $2 million and retrofit 500 buses by 2007. Participation in Project Green Fleet is voluntary. First Student, Inc. owns and operates the university buses. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is the third-largest traffic generator in Minnesota.
- April 24, 2006
Union Pacific and EPA Test Program to Evaluate Retrofit DOCs and DPFs on Locomotive Engines - Union Pacific and EPA staff have initiated a test program at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to evaluate the performance of retrofit diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) and retrofit diesel particulate filters (DPFs) on two different in-use locomotive engines. DOCs will be installed on a 3800 hp, locomotive provided by Union Pacific (locomotive built in 1992). Retrofit DPFs will be installed on a 1500 hp yard Union Pacific switching locomotive (built in 1982). These retrofit DPFs include an active, burner-based soot regeneration system. Following tests at SwRI, the switcher locomotive, retrofit with active DPFs, will be placed in service in the Los Angeles basin for at least one year of real-world operation. For more information on Union Pacific's environmental activities, go to: www.up.com.
CAC Marks Earth Day with Emission Control Upgrade to NYC Sanitation Fleet - On April 19, 2006, Clean Air Communities (CAC) granted the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) $422,000 to install advanced pollution control devices on 65 refuse collection trucks. At a press event, the project partners unveiled to the public three of the newly retrofitted trucks and demonstrated the effectiveness of the technology in reducing diesel pollutants. Funded by the New York Power Authority, the DSNY fleet retrofit is one of four projects in CAC's Queens Clean Air Project (QCAP). Currently, the partnership is collaborating with Delta Airlines to replace its diesel-powered ground-service equipment with fast-charging electric equipment at the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia airport. The project with DSNY uses innovative technologies to reduce diesel exhaust pollution from trucks that frequently travel residential streets in order to address statistics linking air pollution and disease such as cancer and asthma. Three types of emission control technologies have been installed on DSNY's refuse collection fleet to reduce PM and NOx. Fifty trucks have been retrofitted with diesel oxidation catalysts and five trucks have been retrofitted with a lean NOx catalyst and diesel particulate filter combination. More information on this initiative is available at: www.cleanaircommunities.org/newsroom/pr050422qcap.html.
- April 3, 2006
ARB Releases Proposed Emission Reduction Plan for Ports and Goods Movement in California - On March 21, 2006, ARB released the "Proposed Emission Reduction Plan for Ports and Goods Movement in California" for public review and comment. This proposed plan was developed to identify and initiate specific actions that are necessary to cut emissions from international trade and all goods movement in California. The proposed plan includes significant changes from the December 2005 draft plan. The major changes in the proposed plan include:
The emission reduction plan is part of the broader Goods Movement Action Plan carried out by the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) and the Business, Transportation & Housing Agency (BT&H). The proposed plan will be considered for approval by the ARB Board during the April 21, 2006 Board meeting in Long Beach, CA. The proposed plan is available at: www.arb.ca.gov/planning/gmerp/gmerp.htm.
- Expanded scope of the plan to address all goods movement (domestic and international) and retained all port-related activity. This would include emissions from truck and train trips from transport of domestic cargo.
- Increased the health impacts and health costs in response to added emissions.
- Increased the cost to implement plan strategies from $3-6 billion in the draft plan to $6-10 billion in the proposed plan.
- Achieves 85 percent diesel PM risk reduction target by 2020.
- Added a new strategy for the entire fleet of older trucks in California by considering a strategy that would make use of best available control technology, including retrofits.
- Revised the port truck modernization program. The proposed truck strategy focuses on upgrading the heavy-duty diesel truck fleets that service the ports and move goods within California primarily by retrofitting or replacing the older, dirtier trucks. Port truck modernization would take place in three phases:
- Phase 1: By 2010, all trucks in regular port service would be retrofitted with diesel particulate filters to reduce diesel PM by 85 percent or more.
- Phase 2: Between 2007 and 2020, trucks entering port service for the first time would be required to meet 2003 or later emissions standards and fitted with diesel particulate filters.
- Phase 3: By 2020, all trucks in port service would be required to meet 2007 or later emissions standards.
Guidance Document on Retrofitting Off-Road Diesels Now Available - The Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) has posted a helpful guidance document on the application of diesel retrofit technologies on off-road engines. Prepared by Emissions Advantage, the "Offroad Diesel Retrofit Guidance Document" provides guidance on the major elements needed to develop a retrofit program for off-road engines, gives background information on diesel retrofit technologies and identifies the factors to consider in evaluating and selecting retrofit strategies, and provides insights based on current program experience involving off-road diesel engine retrofits. For a copy of the document, go to: www.wrapair.org/forums/msf/offroad_diesel.html.
- March 24, 2006
ARB Increases Inspections of Waste Collection Vehicles - On March 16, 2006, ARB announced that it has increased the enforcement of air quality regulations to reduce diesel emissions from waste collection trucks. The Solid Waste Collection Vehicle (SWCV) regulation, passed in September 2003, requires diesel-fueled waste collection trucks be retrofitted with technology that reduces particulate matter emission and that proper doorjamb labels be applied to each truck to verify the vehicle's compliance with the regulation. Efforts to enforce the rule were increased when it became evident that some hauling companies and municipalities were not complying with the rule. Violators of the rule can be fined with penalties ranging from $300 to $10,000 per violation. More information on this rule is available at: www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/swcv/swcv.htm.
- March 14, 2006
Northeast Diesel Collaborative Announces $1.4 Million for New Clean Diesel Projects - On March 8, 2006, the Northeast Diesel Collaborative announced that the U.S. EPA will be awarding nearly $1.4 million in new funds for clean diesel projects in the Northeast in 2006. The Northeast Diesel Collaborative is a partnership of public and private organizations working in the eight Northeastern states to improve air quality by taking action to reduce diesel pollution. EPA will be issuing a request for proposals from state and local governments, environmental organizations, and others interested in establishing innovative projects to reduce diesel emissions in their communities. Projects can involve cleaner fuels, idle reduction, and retrofit technology for a range of diesel engines, including school buses. For more information on the Northeast Diesel Collaborative, go to: www.northeastdiesel.org.
State of Washington Awards $2 Million in Grants to Help Local Governments Retrofit Public Vehicles - On February 13, 2006, the Washington Department of Ecology announced $2 million in grants to help local governments purchase and install diesel retrofit technology on public heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment. Of the 82 applications, twenty-eight cities, counties, transit authorities, and port authorities across the state will receive funding from the Department of Ecology's local government retrofit grant program. The majority of vehicles that will be retrofitted are transit buses, dump trucks, and garbage trucks. The Department of Ecology has also provided grants to help school districts over the years. More than 3,700 school buses statewide have installed diesel retrofit technology, which has prevented more than 100 tons of harmful pollutants from being released into the air. For the complete list of grant recipients and for more information on the Department of Ecology's local government retrofit grant program, go to: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/cars/DieselGrantPage.htm.
ARB Solicits Applications for Carl Moyer Multi-District Project - On March 10, 2006, ARB released its solicitation for applications for the Carl Moyer 2006 Multi-District Project. The 2006 Multi-District Project solicitation will only fund grants to offset the incremental cost of reduced emission technologies in the following project categories:
Seventy-five percent of all fuel consumed or miles traveled must occur within California during the life of the project, with the exception for marine vessel projects, and all projects must provide at least three years of emission reductions that are surplus to all applicable rules, regulations, and requirements. In addition, all projects must comply with the 2006 Carl Moyer Program Guidelines, the 2006 Carl Moyer Program Advisories, and the specific requirements of the solicitation. ARB has set aside up to $8,496,000 for the multi-district projects that will qualify for the Carl Moyer Program and impact air quality in at least two air districts. Applications are due to ARB by April 14, 2006. More information on this solicitation is available at: www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/moyer/apply/multi_district_apply.htm. For more information on the Carl Moyer Program, go to: www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/moyer/moyer.htm.
- Goods movement projects;
- Off-road construction equipment and mobile agricultural equipment that operate in more than one air district;
- PM retrofit devices that also get NOx reductions for on-road heavy-duty vehicles operating in more than one air district;
- Idle reduction technologies installed in on-road heavy-duty vehicles operating in more than one air district;
- TRUs on vehicles or equipment operating in more than one air district.
- March 3, 2006
ARB Releases Goods Movement Action Plan Phase II Progress Report - On February 17, 2006, ARB released the "Phase II Progress Report - Draft Framework for Action" of the Goods Movement Action Plan. The report presents a progress report of the Phase II efforts that have been in progress since November 2005. The draft report outlines a preliminary set of candidate actions for operational improvements, infrastructure additions, public health and environmental impact mitigation actions, community impact mitigation actions, and security and public safety improvement actions. The preliminary candidate actions for environmental mitigation list air pollution reduction strategies for ships, locomotives, trucks, cargo handling equipment, and commercial harbor craft. Included as mitigation actions are the use of low sulfur diesel fuel for all sectors, retrofit of the engines and vehicles with emission reduction devices, and other strategies discussed in the draft Emission Reduction Plan (www.arb.ca.gov/planning/gmerp/gmerp.htm). More information on this progress report is available at: www.arb.ca.gov/gmp/gmp.htm.
- February 22, 2006
EPA Announces Grants for Cleaner School Buses - On February 20, 2006, the U.S. EPA announced the award of the 2005 Clean School Bus USA assistance agreements. A total of $7.5 million was awarded to 37 school districts around the nation for projects that will help fund the clean-up of more than 500 tons of diesel emissions from approximately 4,000 school buses. The projects will replace older diesel school buses with new, less-polluting models and retrofit newer buses with emissions control technology and cleaner fuels. The list of award grantees is available at: www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/funding.htm.
EPA Report on Diesel Retrofit Experience Now Available - The U.S. EPA has released its final report on diesel retrofit technology application and program implementation experience in the U.S. since 2000. The report, "Diesel Retrofit Technology and Program Experience", identifies over 220 retrofit projects throughout the U.S. The report is designed to serve both as a reference tool on diesel retrofit technologies and programs in the U.S. and to document valuable lessons learned from the projects. For a copy of the report, go to: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/publications.htm.
Presentations from Northeast Clean Ports Workshop Now Available On-Line - Presentations given at the February 1, 2006 Northeast Clean Ports Workshop in New York City are now available on-line at: www.northeastdiesel.org/marine.htm. Nearly 170 people attended the workshop, which was organized by the Northeast Diesel Collaborative in partnership with MECA, NESCAUM, the North Atlantic Ports Association (NAPA), the National Association of Waterfront Employers (NAWE), and the U.S. EPA's Clean Ports USA program. The workshop brought together key members of the public and private sectors with a stake in port operations to examine cost-effective strategies for reducing diesel emissions at ports.
EPA and CenSARA Announce Blue Skyways Collaborative - At a kick-off meeting on February 16, 2006, the U.S. EPA and the Central States Air Resource Agencies (CenSARA) announced the formation of the Blue Skyways Collaborative. Similar to the West Coast Diesel Collaborative, the Northeast Diesel Collaborative, and the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, the Blue Skyways Collaborative plans to develop projects and partnerships to reduce air pollution emissions along major transportation corridors and in various sectors, including air, water, and rail transportation, on-road diesel vehicles, and heavy-duty off-road diesel equipment. Additional areas of focus include alternative and renewable energy. The Collaborative includes interests from nine states (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas), Canada, and Mexico. EPA announced at the meeting that it plans to commit an estimated $9 million to finance projects in the region beginning this year. The projects will eliminate an estimated 2,300 tons of diesel emissions from approximately 10,000 diesel engines. Blue Skyways Task Force members are optimistic that their continued efforts will leverage additional public/private money to achieve even greater health benefits.
- February 13, 2006
Proposed U.S. EPA FY 2007 Budget Issued - On February 6, 2006, the president issued his fiscal year (FY) 2007 budget proposal for the U.S. EPA. The FY 2007 EPA budget plan calls for proposed funding of $7.3 billion, a $300 million cut from FY 2006. Most of the difference between the FY06 and FY07 budgets comes from the exclusion of specific projects that were requested by members of the Congress during the appropriations process that added $280 million to the EPA's budget. A significant change also comes from cuts in funding for state and local air quality management grants - the president asked for $185 million for FY07, which is a $35 million cut from FY06. Included in the budget is $50 million for programs under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) to promote cleaner fuel and diesel retrofits, rebuilds, and replacements. (Note: DERA was authorized last year at $200 million per year for five years.) EPA believes that this funding will attract at least $100 million in additional funding assistance and reduce particulate matter by approximately 7,000 tons. The EPA budget also includes funding for EPA's Homeland Security efforts of $184 million, an increase of $55 million over the FY06 enacted budget, and funding to promote scientific research. The president's budget also provides for $11 million for the development and implementation of renewable fuel standards.
The EPA budget, along with the budgets of the rest of the Executive Branch, will now be sent to Congress, who will no doubt amend the budgets before passing bills enacting the budgets into law (normally prior to the start of the fiscal year, which runs from October to September). More information on the proposed EPA FY 2007 budget is available at: www.epa.gov/ocfo/budget/index.htm.
Westchester County, NY Approves Clean Diesel Bill - Following the lead of New York City's Local Law 77, the County Board of Westchester, NY last week unanimously approved a bill that would reduce local diesel air pollution. By a unanimous vote, the Board of Legislators approved a bill requiring county-owned and county-contracted trucks and equipment to use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and the best available emission-control technology. The legislation sets September 1, 2006 as the deadline for the exclusive use of ULSD, and 2009 as the final, phased-in deadline for retrofitting diesel-powered trucks and equipment with best available technology (BAT). Similar to Local Law 77, technologies on the list of available BAT must be verified by the U.S. EPA or California ARB; however, the County Board may select non-verified technology as is deemed appropriate.
Minnesota Power to Support School Bus Emission Program - Minnesota Power announced on February 9, 2006 that it will donate $75,000 to Project Green Fleet, a statewide pollution control initiative between businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations aimed at reducing emissions from school bus engines. Project Green Fleet will help school districts and other school bus operators reduce diesel emissions by installing pollution-control equipment (e.g., DOCs) on Minnesota school buses. By installing diesel retrofit equipment on school buses, the group hopes to reduce overall air pollutants generated from buses by 40 to 90 percent, as well as reduce the level of pollution inside the bus. Statewide, Project Green Fleet hopes to retrofit at least 500 school buses by the end of 2007. Project Green Fleet has already initiated discussions with several interested school districts. Minnesota Power urged other companies in the region to join in the effort.
- February 6, 2006
Connecticut DEP Announces Diesel Emissions Reduction Plan - The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has outlined measures for consideration by the state General Assembly that would significantly reduce harmful diesel emissions from buses and construction equipment. The report, entitled the "Connecticut Clean Diesel Plan," was developed in response to Special Act 05-7 of the General Assembly which required DEP to provide the legislature with a strategy to reduce health risks associated with diesel emissions. The measures include:
The DEP concluded it would cost approximately $20 million to implement these measures to meet the specific targets for diesel emissions reductions suggested in the 2005 legislation. These targets were: 1) transit buses - 85 percent reduction of diesel particulate matter by December 31, 2010; 2) school buses - maximize the reduction of diesel particulate matter emissions and prevent diesel emissions from entering the passenger cabin of the buses by December 31, 2010; and 3) construction equipment - maximize the reduction of particulate matter emissions servicing state construction projects valued at more than $5 million by July 1, 2006.
- Retrofit all 487 transit buses model years 1998 through 2006 with DPFs by 2010, and replace all 171 of the 1997 MY and older buses with vehicles compliant with EPA's 2007/2010 HDE standards.
- Mandate retrofit and replacement of the existing school bus fleet by 2010.
- Call on the state DOT, state DPW, and other state agencies to adopt Clean Air Construction Contract Specifications for state construction contracts greater than $5 million.
For a copy of the report, go to: www.dep.state.ct.us/air2/diesel/generalcomments.htm. For more information on the Connecticut Diesel Reduction Initiatives program, go to: www.dep.state.ct.us/air2/diesel/index.htm.
- January 27, 2006
EPA Announces $3 Million in Grants for Diesel Emissions Reduction Projects - On January 24, 2006, the U.S. EPA announced the availability of $3 million in grant funding for projects to reduce diesel emission on the West Coast. As part of the highly successful West Coast Collaborative, which has awarded more than $2.6 million in grants since 2004, EPA expects to award up to 12 grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. EPA is soliciting grant proposals for projects that would demonstrate new, innovative, or experimental ways to reduce diesel emissions. EPA will take proposals from states, the District of Columbia, territories, federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia, international organizations, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and other public or private nonprofit organizations. The deadline for proposals is March 23, 2006. In 2005, through the National Clean Diesel Campaign, Smartway, and the West Coast Collaborative, EPA awarded grants of more than $2.2 million to states in the West Coast for diesel emissions reductions. More information on this grant is available at: yosemite.epa.gov/R10/airpage.nsf/grants/wcc+rfp.
- January 20, 2006
EPA Opens Comment Period for Proposed PM Standards - On January 17, 2006, EPA opened a three-month public comment period for its proposed revisions to the daily standard for fine particle pollution and creation of a new coarse particulate standard for urban areas (FR). In addition to soliciting written comments, EPA will hold three public hearings next month in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
Last month, EPA had proposed lowering the daily fine particulate (PM2.5) standard from 65 micrograms/m3 to 35 micrograms/m3, while retaining the annual standard of 15 micrograms/m3. The proposal also included a new standard for coarse particles between 2.5 and 10 microns in size (PM2.5-10) of 70 micrograms/mm3 for daily exposure, which will replace the current daily coarse particle standard, except in 15 PM10 non-attainment areas. EPA would also withdraw and not replace the annual PM10 standard. The agency is accepting public comment on alternative standards that could include setting the daily standard as low as 25 micrograms/mm3 and/or the annual standard as low as 12 micrograms/mm3. The proposed standard has come under attack from both industry and environmental groups. Industry representatives are uncertain about the science behind the proposed 24-hour PM2.5 standard, while environmental and public health groups think that EPA is ignoring its own staff and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) that recommended lowering the annual and daily PM2.5 standards. Both environmentalists and the auto industry oppose the new PM2.5-10 proposal. Environmentalists say that the urban area-only standard would facilitate industrial facilities in rural areas to avoid the regulation, while the auto industry questions the scientific basis for distinguishing between urban and coarse particulates. The auto companies are likely afraid that the proposed rule could result in additional regulation for mobile sources.
More information on this proposed regulation is available at: www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/actions.html.
- January 13, 2006
DOJ, EPA Reach Clean Air Settlement with DaimlerChrysler; Penalty to Include Funds for Diesel Retrofit - The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. EPA have reached a settlement with DaimlerChrysler Corporation worth $94 million over defective emissions controls on nearly 1.5 million Jeep and Dodge vehicles from model years 1996 through 2001. Under the terms of the settlement, DaimlerChrysler will extend warranties on or advise owners of problems with catalytic converters on about one million vehicles; recall an estimated 500,000 vehicles to repair defective on-board diagnostic systems and inspect catalytic converters; and enhance procedures for reporting emissions-related defects. In addition to the total estimated cost to implement the settlement of $90 million, DaimlerChrysler will pay a $1 million penalty and spend at least $3 million on a retrofit program to reduce emissions from existing diesel engines. For more information on this settlement, go to: epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/daimlerchrysler.html.
- January 4, 2006
State of Indiana Announces Availability of Funds for Retrofit - The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is soliciting proposals to implement diesel emission reduction projects that will significantly reduce heavy-duty diesel emissions in northwest Indiana (specifically, Lake and Porter counties). IDEM says these projects should primarily focus on long-term idling reduction strategies, but IDEM will also accept applications for retrofit technology-based projects (i.e., installation of DOCs and/or DPFs) to reduce tailpipe emissions when the primary engines must be running. These retrofit options may only include technologies that are verified by the California ARB and/or U.S. EPA. The total estimated funding available is approximately $365,000. (Note: No individual award shall exceed $70,000.) Preference will be given to equipment owners/operators that are willing to provide a financial match and/or in-kind match, provide actual historic idling hours pre-installation, and actual reduced idling hours post installation, along with a commitment to maximize the use of the installed equipment.
This competitive grant program is open to private and public end-users. The closing date for receipt of applications is January 15, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. CST. For more information, go to: www.in.gov/idem/air/dieselwise/whatindoing/bids_scope.doc.
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