Diesel Retrofit News - 2008
- December 19, 2008
School District in Texas Receives Funding for Retrofits - On December 8, 2008, San Marcos school district in Texas announced that they have received a $96,205 grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) Clean School Bus program. The school district will use the money to retrofit 17 buses with flow-though filters (FTFs) and closed crankcase filtration systems (CCFSs). The school district retrofitted 31 school buses last year with FTFs and CCFSs using money from the Clean Air Force of Central Texas and the Capital Area Council of Governments. TCEQ's Clean School Bus Program has about $8 million available this year on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on this grant announcement, go to: www.smcisd.net/popup_info.cfm?story=225.
- December 5, 2008
EPA Announces Grant for Sustainable Skylines Initiative, Includes Funding for Retrofits - On November 25, 2008, EPA announced $250,000 in grant funds for up to five U.S. communities interested in working on an initiative to integrate transportation, energy, land use, and air quality planning. The Sustainable Skylines Initiative (SSI) will provide a framework that can achieve measurable emissions reductions within three years. SSI was piloted in Dallas and Kansas City, and EPA plans to expand the effort nationally. The long-term goal of the initiative is to help communities build self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will achieve positive environmental impacts, livability, and economic development benefits for many generations to come.
SSI asks participating areas to pick at least one project from at least five out of seven activity categories, including:
- Diesel engines (such as reducing idling, retrofitting diesel engines)
- Off-road sources (such as replacing or retrofitting small off-road equipment)
- Stationary and area sources (such as conducting pollution prevention audits for small business to reduce energy consumption and environmental impacts)
- Energy and climate (such as reducing landscape equipment emissions through sustainable lawn irrigation and turf management)
- Land use transportation strategies (such as increasing public transportation, reducing vehicle miles traveled, converting parking lots to parks)
- Central city livability (such as decreasing amount of heat surfaces, increasing permeability of surfaces, mitigating heat island impacts)
- Green building and development (such as linking green building techniques with affordable housing initiatives)
EPA is soliciting applications for the grant from areas willing to commit the time and staff resources necessary for a successful program. The applications are due on December 17, 2008. A copy of the Request for Applications is available at: www.epa.gov/air/grants/08-08.pdf.
Texas Awards Funds to Local School Districts to Retrofit Buses - On November 27, 2008, Round Rock school district in Texas announced that it has received a $239,258 grant to retrofit 68 school buses with emission control devices. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) awarded the grant through its Clean School Bus Program. Round Rock school district maintains a fleet of 233 buses (49 of which are at least 10 years old).
Also, in late November, Bowie County Schools in Texas announced it will get more than $248,000 from TCEQ's Clean School Bus Program to retrofit its fleet of older buses.
- November 26, 2008
Funding Available to Retrofit Diesel Vehicles in Kansas City - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has received a grant from the U.S. EPA to fund a Request for Proposals (RFP) for clean diesel projects in the Kansas City metropolitan area (Clay, Platte, and Jackson counties). Any owner or operator of an on-road or off-road diesel vehicle stationed in the metropolitan area may apply for this grant (private for-profit companies are allowed to submit applications as well as any non-profit organizations as long as their vehicles are located in one of the eligible counties in Missouri). Under the RFP, an applicant may apply for funding to cover up to 40% of the costs of any project that deals with reducing diesel emissions through verified emission control technology, idle reduction technology, and/or EPA SmartWay technology. Any funding awarded will be for a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $45,000. Emission control technology that is eligible for funding under this cost-share project includes DPFs, DOCs, flow-through filters, and closed-crankcase ventilation systems.
This grant is a reimbursement program. Once an applicant is chosen for an award, the applicant must fund the entire project. Once completion of the project has been verified, the applicant will receive a reimbursement for up to 40% of the incurred cost, not to exceed the requested amount. The deadline for applications to be submitted is December 1, 2008. For a copy of the RFP, go to: www.marc.org/rfp/CleanDiesel-MoDNRRFP.pdf.
School District in Texas Receives $208,898 Grant to Retrofit School Buses - On November 20, 2008, North East Independent School District in Texas received a grant totaling $208,898 from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) Clean School Bus Program to retrofit 136 NEISD school buses (36% of the school bus fleet) with DOCs and closed-crankcase filtration systems. The devices will be installed on 2000-2006 model-year school buses. These newer model-year buses were chosen so they could be retained and used for at least five years after installation of the retrofit devices. Installation of the retrofit devices is expected to be completed by March 2009. For more information, go to: www.neisd.net/ComRel/MediaCenter/PressItems/CleanSchoolBusProgram.pdf.
School District in Ohio Receives $19,500 Grant to Retrofit School Buses - On November 13, 2008, St. Marys City school district in Ohio received a $19,500 grant from the U.S. EPA to retrofit 15 of the district's 26 school buses with DOCs and closed-crankcase filtration systems. (The school district provided a match to cover labor costs.)
All of the buses to be retrofitted are model year 2005 and older and accumulate at least 5,000 miles annually. Installation of the retrofit devices will begin in early 2009. All of the devices must be installed by no later than January 1, 2010.
NY State, NY City Announce Agreement for Environmental Compliance of Wastewater Treatment Plants, Includes Funds for Diesel Retrofit - On November 6, 2008, New York State and New York City officials announced an agreement that will upgrade the city's Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and will ensure compliance with environmental laws at all 14 of the city's wastewater treatments plants. The agreement also provides $10 million for community environmental benefit projects (the largest such allocation in state history), which includes funds for diesel retrofit.
- Assures that the city's upgrade of the Newtown Creek plant (the largest wastewater treatment plant in the state) will continue under a strict set of deadlines.
- Commits NYC to completing a comprehensive environmental audit to assure compliance with environmental laws at its 14 in-city sewage treatment plants and its four largest combined sewer overflow (CSO) facilities, and to identify and correct any violations discovered during this audit. This is the first time such a protocol has been established between the city and the state for the in-city wastewater treatment plants.
- Provides $10 million for local environmental benefit projects (EBPs).
The EBP funds will be administered through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the City Parks Foundation, and the Hudson River Foundation. These organizations will develop a portfolio of local projects to retrofit diesel trucks and buses; install green infrastructure; create or improve open space, public parks, and waterfront access; create ecological stewardship and education programs; and implement energy efficiency programs in low-income housing. NYSERDA specifically will be in charge of distributing the funds for the retrofit projects (they will issue a Program Opportunity Notice to solicit applications for projects).
For more information, go to: www.dec.ny.gov/press/48881.html.
- November 20, 2008
Maryland Highway Construction Settlement Includes Funds for Retrofit of School Buses - On November 17, 2008, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) settled a suit filed by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) over construction of the Intercounty Connector (ICC) by agreeing to public health benefits, including the retrofit of school buses, to offset the
impacts of air pollution generated by the highway. EDF's suit alleged that state and federal agencies violated the Clean Air Act and other federal laws when they approved the ICC, a multi-billion dollar, six-lane, 18.8-mile toll highway connecting I-95 and US-1 in northwestern Prince George's County with I-270/I-370 in central and eastern Montgomery County.
Under the settlement:
- SHA will provide up to $1 million to retrofit diesel school buses in Montgomery County with emission control devices and will work with the county school system to develop a program to reduce idling.
- SHA will sponsor a three-year study for approximately $1 million that involves installing air quality monitors along the intersection of I-95 and Route 214 in Largo, a stretch of highway selected for its similar characteristics to the intersection of the ICC and I-95.
In return, EDF agreed to withdraw its appeal of a September 2007 federal district court ruling that upheld federal approval of the ICC. EDF believes the ICC will promote sprawl and
greenhouse gas pollution.
Contracts to build 17.9 miles of the 18.8-mile ICC are underway, representing $1.5 billion in work. SHA officials say the project remains within its $2.4-billion budget. The highway's west end will open in the fall of 2010, with the remaining segments in the fall of 2011 or early 2012.
For more information on this settlement, go to:
TCEQ Fines Include SEP Funding for Bus Retrofits and Replacements - In October and November, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved pollution
penalties totaling more than $2.3 million. Included in these penalties were significant fines against Shell Chemical, Shell Oil, Houston Refining, and Enterprise Products Operating LLC.
The pollution fines levied against these four parties included a total of $636,039 that will be used to replace and retrofit buses operating in the Houston-Galveston region through a supplemental environmental project (SEP) managed by the Houston-Galveston Area Emission Reduction Credit Organization's (AERCO) Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles Program. In addition to administering SEP programs, AERCO also administers the Clean School Bus Houston Program. Information on the Houston-Galveston AERCO is available at: www.hgac.
School District in Texas Receives Funding to Retrofit Buses - At the beginning of November, Jacksonville Independent School District in Texas received a $220,541 grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) under TCEQ's Clean School Bus Program to retrofit 32 school buses with DPFs. The buses were originally purchased between
1999 and 2002. School officials expect all of the buses to be retrofitted before the end of the year. For more information, go to: www.jacksonvilleisd.org.
- November 7, 2008
EPA Announces Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in North Carolina and South Carolina under State Clean Diesel Grant Program - On October 23, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 4, as part of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative, presented grant awards of $295,320 each to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources under the EPA's FY08 State Clean Diesel Grant Program. Each state provided a funding match of $196,880 to bring the overall grant total in each state to $492,200. North Carolina and South Carolina are two of eight states in EPA Region 4. EPA Region 4 includes: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. (Note: Grant funding announcements for the other six states will be made in the near future.) These grants will be used to fund projects that will use various retrofit technologies, including DPFs and closed crankcase ventilation systems. With this funding, diesel emissions are expected to be reduced by over 100 tons by the end of the useful life of the diesel engines affected. For more information on this grant announcement, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/6424ac1caa800aab85257359003f5337/6240d88f92b0b6a8852574eb006b2da6!OpenDocument.
- October 31, 2008
EPA Awards Grant to Retrofit School Buses in Michigan - On October 27, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced the award of a $166,815 grant to the St. Clair County Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) in Michigan to help pay for retrofitting up to 180 county school buses with DOCs. The grant is part of EPA's Clean School Bus USA program. Approximately one-thousand school buses in the state have already been retrofitted.
- October 24, 2008
New York State DEC to Hold Public Hearings on Proposed Revisions to Clean Diesel Regulations - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will hold public hearings on November 24, 25, and 26, 2008 to take comments from stakeholders on the DEC's proposed revisions to Part 248, "Use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel and Best Available Retrofit Technology for Heavy-Duty Vehicles." This regulation will require the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel and best available retrofit technology (BART) on heavy-duty diesel vehicles owned by, operated by or on behalf of, or leased by state agencies and state and regional public authorities by December 31, 2010 (phased-in).
The public hearings will be held at the following locations:
- November 24, 2008, 1:00 pm at DEC Annex, Region 2, 11-15 47th Avenue, Hearing Room 106, Long Island City, NY
- November 25, 2008, 1:00 pm at DEC Region 8 Office, Conference Room, 6274 E. Avon-Lima Road, Lima, NY
- November 26, 2008, 9:00 am at DEC, 625 Broadway, Public Assembly Room 129, Albany, NY
Part 248 consists of two primary components. For affected heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), the components require the use of: 1) ULSD fuel and 2) BART. The ULSD requirement became effective February 12, 2007. The BART requirement is a phase-in requirement that specifies that a minimum of 33%, 66%, and 100% of applicable HDVs have BART installed by December 31, 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively. The BART selection process is essentially a process of elimination. In other words, if a verified Level 3 device (>85% PM reduction) is applicable and available to be installed, then the end-user must install that device. If not, then the end-user considers a verified Level 2 device (>50% PM reduction), and so on. In lieu of retrofitting an affected HDV with a verified technology, the HDV can be replaced with a model year 2007 (or subsequent model year) vehicle that meets or exceeds the 2007 PM emission standard, replace the vehicle with an alternative fuel vehicle/engine, or retire the vehicle/engine from service.
Affected HDVs subject to the ULSD or BART requirements are also subject to "chip reflash" requirements if the affected engine is an engine that is eligible to be reflashed according to an EPA or California ARB Consent Decree. (The reflash is a computer software upgrade of the vehicle's engine control module to help reduce NOx emissions during the engine's off-cycle operation.) The reflash would occur prior to the installation of any BART device.
Written comments will be accepted until December 4, 2008. For more information on this regulation, including links to the revised regulatory language, go to: www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/47297.html.
Arizona Announces Completion of Project to Retrofit City Vehicles in Phoenix - On October 17, 2008, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced that work has been completed on a project funded by ADEQ to install emission control devices on a number of diesel-powered vehicles and equipment operating in South Phoenix. ADEQ provided the City of Phoenix with a $208,000 grant last year to buy and install 53 DOCs and 11 DPFs on 64 vehicles and other pieces of equipment owned and operated by the city. The retrofitted vehicles include 39 trash trucks, 23 sweet sweepers, an excavator, and a loader. In addition to the retrofit project, ADEQ has taken other steps over the past year to reduce diesel emissions in Phoenix, including getting five school districts in South Phoenix to participate in ADEQ's School Bus Idling program. For more information on this retrofit announcement, go to: www.azdeq.gov/function/news/2008/download/1017.pdf.
- October 10, 2008
EPA Announces Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in EPA Region 5 under State Clean Diesel Grant Program - On October 2, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced the recipients of FY08 grant funding in the six states in EPA Region 5 under the State Clean Diesel Grant Program. The six states received a total of $1.8 million from EPA. EPA Region 5 includes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
All six states in Region 5 provided a 100% funding match and therefore received EPA's match incentive.
The funding allocations for each state and the associated clean diesel projects are as follows:
- Illinois ($495,320): Of the $495,320, the Illinois EPA received $196,880 from EPA, the state matched with $200,000, and the EPA match incentive was $98,440. The Illinois EPA, in coordination with its partners in the Illinois Clean Diesel Workgroup, will administer the Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program (ICDGP), which is part of the Illinois Green Fleets initiative. ICDGP will provide funds for the installation of DOCs, DPFs, closed crankcase ventilation systems, and anti-idling equipment (including direct-fired heaters and auxiliary power units). If funds are available, diesel-electric hybrid vehicles will also be considered. ICDGP will provide grants to projects which focus on school districts, local governments, businesses, and truck owners/operators. Target vehicles include school buses, shuttle buses, diesel vehicles that operate in residential areas, and over-the-road trucks that are located and spend significant driving time in Illinois.
- Indiana ($493,739): Of the $493,739, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) received $196,880 from EPA, the state matched with $198, 419, and the EPA match incentive was $98,440. IDEM will administer the State of Indiana Clean Diesel Grant Allocation Program. The Indiana Clean Diesel Grant Allocation Program will provide funding for a variety of retrofit technologies for on-road and nonroad diesel engines, including DOCs, DPFs, closed crankcase filtration systems, and idle reduction technologies, as well as technologies to improve the fuel efficiency of diesel locomotives.
- Michigan ($495,320): Of the $495,320, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality received $196,880 from EPA, Marathon Oil Company provided a private match of $200,000, and the EPA match incentive was $98,440. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, in coordination with its partners in the Michigan Clean Diesel Initiative, will administer the Southeast Michigan Diesel Reduction Project. The Southeast Michigan Diesel Reduction Project is focused on decreasing diesel emissions through the retrofit of school buses in metropolitan Detroit (with DPFs, DOCs, and/or crankcase filtration systems). The project will also provide a general education and outreach component, which will be administered by the project's partners and the Michigan Clean Diesel Initiative.
- Minnesota ($492,200): Of the $492,200, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) received $196,880 from EPA, the state matched with $196,880, and the EPA match incentive was $98,440. MPCA, in conjunction with Minnesota Environmental Initiative's Clean Air Minnesota, will use the funds to augment two existing clean diesel projects across the state - Project Green Fleet and the Minnesota Small Business Assistance Loan Program. With a portion of these funds, Project Green Fleet will be able to retrofit an additional 55 school buses in the first year (with DOCs). The remainder of the funds will go to the Minnesota Small Business Assistance Program, which will result in 11 auxiliary power units installed on long-haul trucks in the first year.
- Ohio ($492,200): Of the $492,200, the Ohio EPA received $196,880 from EPA, the state matched with $196,800, and the EPA match incentive was $98,440. The Ohio EPA will use the funds to augment the Ohio Clean Diesel School Bus Fund. The Ohio Clean Diesel School Bus Fund provides sub-grants from $5,000 to $100,000 to public school districts in Ohio for the purchase and installation of verified retrofit technologies on school buses. Priority is given to school districts in PM2.5 nonattainment areas or areas with an anti-idling or other pollution reduction program already in place. Ohio EPA hopes to retrofit 384 school buses in the next two years through EPA's State Clean Diesel Grant Program funds.
- Wisconsin ($492,200): Of the $492,200, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received $196,880 from EPA, the state matched with $196,880, and the EPA match incentive was $98,440. The Wisconsin DNR will administer a funding program to issue grants to diesel fleets. The program will address both on-road and off-road equipment across the state. The program hopes to offer grants to on-road equipment owners for idling reduction devices, as well as retrofit equipment (DOCs and DPFs). Nonroad equipment owners can apply for grants for idle reduction devices, DOCs, and engine repowers. The Wisconsin DNR expects to award grants to 11 fleets in 2008.
For more information on this grant announcement, go to: www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel/grants/mcdirfp08/html.
EPA Announces Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in EPA Region 2 under State Clean Diesel Grant Program - On October 8, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced the recipients of FY08 grant funding in the two states in EPA Region 2 under the State Clean Diesel Grant Program. The two states received a total of over $2 million from EPA. EPA Region 2 includes: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The funding allocations for each state and the associated clean diesel projects are as follows:
- New Jersey (~$1 million): Of the almost $1 million, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) received nearly $600,000 from EPA and has leveraged an additional $393,760 in state funding. The funds will be used to retrofit publicly- or privately-owned nonroad equipment used for construction projects. There are approximately 98,000 pieces of nonroad diesel equipment in New Jersey. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/743d4834524dd099852574dc006fddd9!OpenDocument)
- New York (~$1 million): Of the more than $1 million, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) received more than $600,000 from EPA and has leveraged an additional $413,448 in state funding. Under this grant, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) will receive $857,705 to retrofit school buses (using DOCs, DPFs, and/or closed crankcase filtration systems, and by applying idle reduction measures). Additionally, $175,915 will be awarded to NYSDEC to help pay for two new hybrid 3.2 liter (250 hp) diesel marine engines with electric drives for their new 36-foot patrol boats used to safeguard the Hudson River. The hybrid diesel engines are expected to save 8,000 gallons of fuel per year. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/81ae36c37b74a52b852574da006087df!OpenDocument)
EPA Announces Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in EPA Region 6 under State Clean Diesel Grant Program - On October 8, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced the recipients of FY08 grant funding in the five states in EPA Region 6 under the State Clean Diesel Grant Program. The five states received a total of $1,378,160 from EPA. EPA Region 6 includes: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The funding allocations for each state and the associated clean diesel projects are as follows:
- Arkansas ($295,320): The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will receive $295,320 from EPA to help reduce diesel emissions. ADEQ will use its grant to fund projects that use retrofit equipment, idle reduction technologies, and other techniques. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/870ace868efcbb6f852574db0071da7b!OpenDocument)
- Louisiana ($295,320): The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) will receive $295,320 from EPA to help reduce diesel emissions. LDEQ will use its grant to work with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to retrofit several engines in its ferry fleet. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/8f8eafff53a98e33852574db007320c0!OpenDocument)
- New Mexico ($196,880): The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) will receive $196,880 from EPA to help reduce diesel emissions. NMED will use its grant to retrofit a minimum of 55 school buses with DOCs and enhanced crankcase ventilation systems. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/2bf59fb795b202f8852574db00737ac2!OpenDocument)
- Oklahoma ($295,320): The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) will receive $295,320 from EPA to help reduce diesel emissions. ODEQ will use its grant to retrofit refuse haulers and school buses with DOCs and DPFs. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/a889e2c91ccb1cd9852574db0073b5b0!OpenDocument)
- Texas ($295,320): The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will receive $295,320 from EPA to help reduce diesel emissions. TCEQ will use its grant to fund projects that reduce diesel emissions from school buses as part of the Texas Clean School Bus program. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/889da24dcdefaf18852574db0073f6d0!OpenDocument)
EPA Awards Grant to Wisconsin DNR to Retrofit Garbage Trucks - On October 3, 2008, the U.S. EPA, through the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, awarded a $50,000 grant to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to be used to retrofit at least 25 garbage trucks in Dane County (Madison area) with DOCs. Green Valley Disposal Company, the city of Madison, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive the grant funds from DNR to purchase and install the DOCs on the garbage trucks. The DOCs will be installed in trucks with engine model years between 2000-2004 (these trucks are likely to be in service for at least another five years). The DOCs will be installed within the next 12 months.
Kentucky Announces Approval of CMAQ Funds for Retrofit of Construction Equipment - On October 8, 2008, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) announced the approval of $240,000 in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds for a project to reduce diesel emissions from highway construction equipment. The Diesel Retrofit for Highway Construction Equipment project, administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, will make retrofit technologies available to construction companies for the purpose of reducing PM emissions from their equipment. Funding for this project will be made available on a first-come, first-serve basis and recipients will be required to provide a 20% match. For more information on this retrofit project, go to: tea21.ky.gov/air_quality_files/cmaqhome.htm.
Environmental Defense Fund Releases Report on Cleaning Up NYC School Buses - On October 2, 2008, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) published a report that lays out a set of recommendations for the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to implement to leverage federal funds and upcoming 2010 school bus contracts to maximize clean air benefits from New York City school buses, minimize costs, and achieve a 90% reduction in PM using diesel retrofit technologies. The report, entitled "A Healthier Ride to School: Cleaning up New York City's Dirty Diesel School Buses," stresses that, even during times of budget cuts, this investment is well worth it since "investments in diesel retrofits pay themselves back many times over in health benefits." Although the DOE has retrofitted almost all large school buses with DOCs, EDF is calling on the installation of DPFs. The report says that, under Local Law 42 (passed in 2005), DPFs need to be installed to protect the health of NYC's children.
The report anticipates air quality improvements and health benefits to school children and neighborhoods if their recommendations are adopted. EDF estimates that the installation of diesel retrofit technologies would amount to a $30 million investment over 10 years. EDF is urging the DOE to use $7.8 million in federal CMAQ funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation this year for school bus retrofits. The report further recommends that the New York City DOT and DOE apply for additional CMAQ or EPA funding over the next two years to bring the cost to NYC even lower.
More than 7,000 public school buses transport approximately 138,000 NYC children every day. About 6,770 city public school buses are diesel-powered (2,700 small diesel-powered buses and more than 4,000 large diesel-powered buses).
For a copy of the full report, go to: www.cleanbuses.org.
- October 3, 2008
Blue Skyways Collaborative Announces Grant Recipients under National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program - On September 24, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced the recipients of grant funding as part of the Blue Skyways Collaborative's competitive process for FY08 funding under the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Six grants totaling more than $4.7 million were awarded as part of the competitive process in the Blue Skyways region. These funds leverage an additional $4.8 million in matching funds. The Blue Skyways region includes EPA Regions 6 and 7, incorporating 10 states: Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico.
The six grants include:
- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is selected to receive $1,525,524 to reduce diesel fleet emissions in the Kansas City Metro area and Wichita. KDHE and the Kansas State Pollution Prevention Institute (PPI) will work with two of Wichita's largest refuse haulers, Waste Management and Waste Connections, to replace and/or retrofit some of their trucks with EPA/ARB-verified DOCs and crankcase filters. KDHE and Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) will work with the Board of Public Utilities in the Kansas City Ozone Maintenance Area to retrofit utility trucks with EPA/ARB-verified DOCs and with the Government of Johnson County to retrofit county vehicles with DOCs.
- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) was selected to receive $726,227 to reduce the emissions coming from Missouri Department of Transportation fleets in the St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield Districts through the use of emission control devices, idle reduction equipment, engine upgrades, and early vehicle replacements.
- Grace Hill Settlement House, a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization, was selected to receive $454,960 to retrofit more than 400 St. Louis city public school buses with crankcase filters.
For more information on this grant announcement, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/df99c47cfbd835f4852574ce00784e23!OpenDocument. For more information on EPA's National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, go to: www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/prgnational.htm.
EPA Announces Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in New England States under State Clean Diesel Grant Program - On September 25, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced the recipients of FY08 grant funding in the six states in New England under the State Clean Diesel Grant Program. The six states received nearly $1.6 million from EPA, leveraging an additional $780,000 in state funding. The six New England states include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The funding allocations for each state and the associated clean diesel projects are as follows:
- Massachusetts ($492,200): Of the $492,000, $295,320 was awarded by EPA, with matching funds of $196,880 from the state. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will use this grant to retrofit publicly owned waste collection vehicles with emission control technology, retrofit head-end power units on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail locomotives with DOCs, and fund the incremental cost associated with replacing conventional diesel trucks used in utility or municipal operations with hybrid trucks. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/d2fdb2bf5d8a0fb8852574cf006ffbd1!OpenDocument)
- Vermont ($196,880): The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC) will use this grant to continue efforts to equip publicly-owned school buses with emission control technologies, including technologies that reduce unnecessary idling. In addition, this grant will pilot the retrofit of transit buses and/or ambulances with idle reduction technologies, and assist with outreach and education efforts to stakeholders statewide. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/aae0636905a9d7bf852574cf0070435c!OpenDocument)
- Rhode Island ($196,880): The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) will use this grant to retrofit diesel equipment operated by the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. In addition, this grant will support outreach and education efforts to diesel fleet operators and other stakeholders on strategies for reducing diesel emissions. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/e875a6be59b94c04852574cf00707c92!OpenDocument)
- New Hampshire ($492,200): Of the $492,200, $295,320 was awarded by EPA, with matching funds of $196,880 from the state. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) will use this grant to retrofit transit buses and Department of Transportation vehicles with a combination of DOCs, DPFs, and idle reduction technology. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/84cd9d46004d8c88852574cf0070bc51!OpenDocument)
- Connecticut ($492,200): Of the $492,200, $295,320 was awarded by EPA, with matching funds of $196,880 from the state. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) will use this grant (along with funds from its clean school bus program) to equip school buses with emission control technology. Funding will also be used to provide incentives to schools interested in early replacement or retirement of school buses. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/1b2c86c4362a109c852574cf0070e89e!OpenDocument)
- Maine ($492,200): Of the $492,200, $295,320 was awarded by EPA, with matching funds of $196,880 from the state. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) will use this grant to fund 50 percent of the purchase of two compressed natural gas school buses to replace conventional diesel versions and to provide direct-fired heaters for 25 school buses statewide. In addition, ME DEP will sub-grant $100,000 to the state Public Utilities Commission to supplement an existing low-interest loan program for small businesses to purchase idling reduction technologies to reduce diesel emissions. The grant will also pay for the purchase and installation of an auxiliary power unit on a locomotive. (yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/5a18e3dab8fb058f852574d4005350ba!OpenDocument)
For more information on EPA's State Clean Diesel Grant Program, go to: www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/prgstate.htm.
EPA Announces Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in EPA Region 7 under State Clean Diesel Grant Program - On September 24, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced the recipients of FY08 grant funding in EPA Region 7 under the State Clean Diesel Grant Program. EPA Region 7 includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
The funding allocations for each state and the associated clean diesel projects are as follows:
- Iowa ($196,880): The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was selected to receive $196,880 in federal funds that will emphasize reduction of emissions from school buses through Iowa Bus Emission Education Program (BEEP) Funds that will be used to replace an older diesel school bus with a hybrid school bus.
- Kansas ($492,200): The Kansas Department of Health and Environment was selected to receive $295,320 in federal funds, with $196,880 in state matching funds, to develop the Kansas Clean Diesel Program grant competition for public and private fleet owners and operators across the state. Eligible projects will include EPA- or ARB-verified retrofits, certified engine replacements or repowers, and verified idle reduction technology.
- Missouri ($492,200): The Missouri Department of Natural Resources was selected to receive $295,320 in federal funds and $196,880 in state matching funds to develop a grant program to support diesel emission reduction projects in the state's three largest metropolitan areas (St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield).
- Nebraska ($196,880): The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality was selected to receive $196,880 federal funds with a goal to retrofit diesel-powered vehicles in the Omaha and Lincoln areas, including school buses, and to raise awareness of the need to retrofit more vehicles, reduce diesel engine idling, and encourage use of ULSD fuel.
For more information on this grant announcement, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/df99c47cfbd835f4852574ce00784e23!OpenDocument. For more information on EPA's State Clean Diesel Grant Program, go to: www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/prgstate.htm.
Virginia Port Authority Receives EPA Environmental Award, Clean Diesel Programs Cited - On September 25, 2008, the U.S. EPA recognized the Virginia Port Authority for its environmental stewardship and its commitment to reducing pollution by awarding it one of the agency's 2008 Mid-Atlantic Environmental Achievement Awards. The authority, which has oversight of three marine terminals in Hampton Roads and an inland port in the Shenandoah Valley, is one of 10 recipients of EPA's first environmental achievement awards, which recognize groups, agencies, individuals, and businesses making "extraordinary contributions to improving the environment."
Among the authority's achievements:
- In October 2007, the port volunteered to participate in EPA's SmartWay program to develop and implement a diesel retrofit program for local drayage trucks (the first U.S. port involved in the program).
- The authority voluntarily converted its fuel usage to ULSD three years ahead of the federal mandate, resulting in a 33 percent reduction in emissions from port operations over a five-year period.
- In July, the state-owned marine terminal operator was the first major port on the U.S. East Coast to become certified by the International Organization for Standards for its environmental management system.
- Also, in July, EPA awarded the authority a $750,000 grant to help pay for the lease and eventual purchase of three fuel-efficient locomotives for its rail operations at its Norfolk marine terminals.
For more information on this award announcement, go to: www.vaports.com/Media_Room/2008/EPA.pdf.
- September 26, 2008
EPA Announces 2008 Grant Recipients under SmartWay Program - On September 24, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced the 2008 grant recipients under the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program. This announcement is the first grant announcement as part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign's FY08 funding under DERA ($49.2 million). The SmartWay Program was allocated $3.4 million in FY08. The SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program uses cooperative agreements to establish innovative finance programs for buyers of eligible diesel vehicles and equipment. Innovative finance projects include those where the loan recipient receives a unique financial incentive (i.e., greater than regular market rates or conditions) for the purchase of eligible vehicles or equipment.
The 2008 grant recipients are:
- Cascade Sierra Solutions, Oregon ($1.13 million) - The EPA funds will serve as a security interest allowing Cascade Sierra Solutions to expand its line of credit to $17.1 million that it will use to provide below-market interest rates loans. These loans will allow truck owners to install and lease SmartWay fuel-saving technologies or EPA- or ARB-verified emission control technologies. The goal is to install emission reduction technology and idle reduction technology on 1,700 trucks.
- Community Development Transportation Lending Services, Washington, D.C. ($1.13 million) - This project will create a revolving loan program. CDTLS will work with truck dealerships to offer low-interest loans, ranging from 5.5% to 8.5%, and longer loan payback periods, ranging from three to six years, to qualified applicants who wish to purchase used trucks that are upgraded with SmartWay fuel-saving idle reduction and/or emission reduction technology. The goal is to lend funds for the purchase of over 200 used trucks with complete SmartWay upgrades.
- Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Missouri ($1.13 million) - The association will offer a financing package that includes below-market financing and rebates for emission reduction and idle reduction equipment on their trucks.
For more information on this SmartWay Program grant announcement, go to: www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/prgfinance.htm.
School District in Texas Announces Successful School Bus Retrofit Project, Deadline Extended for Clean School Bus Program Applications - On September 19, 2008, Texas Senator Eddie Lucio, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Chairman Buddy Garcia, and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Daniel King gathered at North Alamo Elementary School in Pharr, TX, to congratulate the district on efforts to clean up school buses in the district. PSJA I.S.D. has received more than $87,000 and retrofitted 42 school buses with DOCs and closed crankcase filtration systems, paid for through TCEQ's Texas Clean School Bus Program.
In related news, the deadline for submitting applications under TCEQ's Clean School Bus Program has been extended to December 15, 2008, in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. The Clean School Bus Program is a state-wide program for reimbursements to Texas school districts that install emission-control devices on diesel school buses in their fleets. A total of $8 million can be issued to school districts this year. For more information on TCEQ's Clean School Bus Program, go to: www.texascleanschoolbus.org.
- September 12, 2008
EPA Awards Grants to Retrofit School Buses in Texas - The U.S. EPA has awarded $193,700 to the Capital Area Council of Governments to retrofit 108 school buses in the 10-county Austin, TX, area with emission control devices. The project will retrofit 98 diesel-powered buses with DOCs and closed-crankcase ventilation systems; the remaining 10 buses will be retrofitted with flow-through filters and closed-crankcase ventilation systems. The Capital Area Council of Governments is scheduled to complete installation of the retrofit devices by November 30, 2009. For more information on this retrofit announcement, go to: www.capcog.org/news/templates/newstemplate.asp?articleid=441&zoneid=1.
In addition, the U.S. EPA has awarded $200,000 to the Houston-Galveston Area Council to retrofit 47 school buses in the Waller Independent School District with DPFs and closed-crankcase ventilation systems. For more information on this retrofit announcement, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/Press%20Releases%20From%20Region%206!OpenView.
- September 5, 2008
Baltimore Announces Availability of CMAQ Funding for Clean Transportation Projects, Includes Funding for Retrofit of On-Road Diesel Vehicles - On August 29, 2008, the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) began accepting applications for vehicle emission reduction projects to be funded through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has authorized the BRTB to award up to $1 million in CMAQ funding to eligible applicants to develop and implement transportation programs and projects that will reduce vehicle emissions that contribute to air pollution in the Baltimore region. (Note: The Baltimore region currently does not meet federal standards for ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter.)
Candidates for funding will be asked to submit projects in one of the following nine categories:
- School Bus Diesel Retrofits (i.e., DOCs, DPFs)
- Transit Bus Retrofits (i.e., DOCs, DPFs)
- Heavy-Duty Diesel Truck Retrofits (i.e., DOCs, DPFs)
- Clean Fuel/Hybrid Transit Buses
- Clean Fuel/Hybrid Non-Transit Vehicles
- Idle Reduction Devices
- Emergency Ride Home Programs
- Transportation Management Associations (TMAs)
- Other (i.e., traffic signal synchronization, bicycle/pedestrian facilities and storage, etc.)
Local jurisdictions and public-private partnerships in the Baltimore region are eligible to apply. CMAQ grants will cover up to 80 percent of the total cost for a local jurisdiction project, and up to 50 percent of the total cost for a public-private partnership project. All projects selected must be new or currently undergoing development.
Applications must be received by November 4, 2008. Winning applicants will be notified in early 2009. For more information on this funding announcement, including a copy of the grant application, go to: www.baltometro.org/content/view/922/596/.
- August 29, 2008
Power Company in Texas Reaches Agreement with Environmental Groups, Includes Retrofit of Nonroad Diesel Equipment - On August 4, 2008, NRG Texas LLC reached agreement with the Texas Clean Air Cities Coalition (TCACC) and Environmental Defense Fund in which TCACC and Environmental Defense Fund have agreed to drop their opposition to construction of a third power generating unit at the company's Limestone Station in Jewett, TX (central Texas) in response to a number of innovative environmental commitments by the company. One of these commitments was a pledge by NRG to retrofit or replace a substantial portion of its nonroad diesel equipment (replace with Tier 2 or better nonroad engines) to reduce PM and NOx emissions.
Other emission reduction measures of note include:
- Until a Federal climate change program is implemented, NRG will offset or sequester 50% of the carbon generated by the new unit in a manner that is verifiable, which makes the carbon profile of this coal-fueled plant roughly equivalent to that of a gas-fueled plant.
- Site-wide NOx, SO2, and mercury emissions for all three units will not increase with the addition of the new unit, and will decrease below the 2006 levels of the two existing units following start-up.
- NRG will commit to reduce water usage at the new plant by almost 60% (about 5,000 acre-feet per year) through conservation and use of advanced air cooling technology.
The Limestone Electric Generating Station expansion is part of the NRG Texas repowering program, which is designed to provide new, efficient, and environmentally responsible power generation. Currently, the Limestone Electric Generating Station generates over 1,700 MW of baseload generating capacity (enough to supply power to over one million households).
Local Grant to Retrofit City Vehicles in Town in Upstate New York - The city of Watervliet, NY (near Albany), has received a grant this month in the amount of $42,000 to reduce air pollution from 14 diesel vehicles used by the city. The grant, awarded by the New York State Department of Transportation and the Capital District Transportation Committee, will retrofit 14 city vehicles (including several trucks with the Department of Public Works and the Fire Department) with new emission control devices (DOCs). The city has received multiple grants like this one in the past few months for revitalizing the city and improving the quality of life. So far, the city has received $1.44 million, with the goal of getting $5 million in four years.
- August 22, 2008
Texas Opens Second Round of Clean School Bus Funding - On August 15, 2008, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that applications are now being accepted (through the Texas Clean School Bus Program) for funding to retrofit older school buses with emission control devices. A total of about $8 million is available in this second round of FY08 funding. Funding will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Texas Clean School Bus Program provides reimbursement for Texas school districts to install emission control devices (DPFs, FTFs, DOCs, and/or closed crankcase filters) on diesel school buses. All public school districts and charter schools in Texas that operate one or more diesel-powered school buses are eligible to be reimbursed for costs of approved retrofits. The application deadline is November 14, 2008. In the first round of FY08 funding, about $5 million was awarded to retrofit 2,643 school buses. For more information on this retrofit funding opportunity, including a copy of the form to apply for grant funding, go to: www.texascleanschoolbus.org.
TCEQ and Texas PTA to Work Together to Clean Up School Buses - On August 7, 2008, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas Parent Teacher Association (PTA) announced that they will work together to distribute funding to retrofit and replace school buses in the state. The funding will come from a portion of penalties assessed by the commission that is used to support Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs). (Note: This funding is separate from funding distributed by the Texas Clean School Bus Program.) Through SEP funding, Texas school districts can install emission control devices (DPFs, FTFs, DOCs, and/or closed crankcase filters) on diesel school buses or replace older school buses (model year 1991 or older) with 2007 or newer models. Individual projects are funded based on qualifying enforcement actions taken by the commission. The amount of funding the PTA can receive is up to a maximum of $5 million per year, and the number of locations and projects may vary.
EPA Awards Grant to Missouri School Districts for School Bus Retrofits - On August 19, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 7, through the Blue Skyways Collaborative, announced that they have awarded a $130,301 grant to Springfield Public Schools and Logan-Rogersville Schools in Springfield, MO, for the installation of school bus retrofit devices. The Ozarks Clean Air Alliance will provide an additional $8,212 local contribution as part of the grant award. The grant will provide funding to retrofit 75 Springfield buses and up to 14 Logan-Rogersville buses with EPA-verified DOCs and crankcase filters. Springfield Public Schools' buses log more than 1.6 million miles per year, transporting more than 6,000 students throughout the community. Logan-Rogersville adds thousands of additional miles to this total while serving a more rural community. As a provision of EPA's Clean School Bus program, grant recipients must also develop policies and practices to eliminate unnecessary public school bus idling. For more information on this retrofit funding announcement, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/1672f363e449fede852574aa0070dd2b?OpenDocument.
EPA Announces Grant for School Bus Replacements in Iowa - On August 19, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 7, through the Blue Skyways Collaborative, announced the availability of $256, 479 for school bus replacements in Iowa. The grant award will leverage an additional $312,125 from the Iowa Bus Emission Education Program (BEEP) partners and participating school districts. The program will provide funding to replace eight school buses for Iowa schools that would not be able to replace them through any other means. All Iowa school districts with diesel bus engines from 1981 through 1992 in daily route use are eligible to apply for the matching grant. Currently, there are 571 school buses in Iowa in this age category and approximately 40 percent of these are used on daily routes.
BEEP is a collaborative effort to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust through reducing emissions in school bus fleets. The partners include the School Administrators of Iowa, the Iowa Association of School Boards, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Education, and the Iowa Pupil Transportation Association. Since its inception in 2002, BEEP has funded the installation of 541 DOCs on school buses and supported the use of biodiesel in every school district where the fuel is available through two grants provided by EPA.
Baking Company in Minnesota to Pay Fine for Air Quality Violations, Includes Funds for Retrofitting School Buses - On August 13, 2008, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced that they have reached an agreement with Pan-O-Gold Baking Co. that requires the company to pay $442,600 for alleged air-quality violations at its bread-baking facility in St. Cloud, MN. Of the $442,600, the company will pay $50,000 as a civil penalty to the MPCA. The remaining $392,600 will go towards two Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs). One project will pay $176,600 to the Minnesota Environmental Initiative to help fund its Project Green Fleet, which will provide retrofit devices for diesel school buses in the St. Cloud area. The remaining $216,000 will fund a project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase thermal efficiency at Pan-O-Gold's St. Cloud bakery. The fine stems from alleged air-quality violations involving installing and operating equipment for bread and bun production lines, and beginning construction of a third production line, without first obtaining required air quality permits.
Mining Operation in California Fined $100,00 for Air Quality Violations, Includes Retrofit of Diesel Equipment - On August 20, 2008, the Lake County Air Quality Management District and Clearlake Cinder Chip Co., a volcanic cinder mine in Clearlake, CA, agreed to a $100,000 settlement, including retrofit of the mine's diesel equipment with emission control devices, to settle a legal dispute over alleged air quality violations by the mine. The settlement is the largest air quality penalty in Lake County history. Clearlake Cinder Chip Co. harvests and processes red lava rock, which is turned into small rock or gravel and sand for uses ranging from highway projects to landscaping.
The $100,000 settlement amount was calculated by the air district based on the mine's number of violations, days in violation, and severity of the violation. Of the total fine, $40,000 will be used by the mine's owner and operator to purchase and install new DPFs on the mining equipment. Before mining operations can start again, the filters must be on order and the first $20,000 penalty payment must be made. The remaining $60,000 will go to the air district. The order also requires the mine to replace an old, high-emitting Caterpillar D8 excavator with a 2006 or newer excavator, complete a toxic risk assessment, and maintain stringent dust control. In a typical year, fines and penalties only make up about four percent of Lake County Air Quality Management District's $600,000 budget. Most of the air district's fines are for residential burn violations, which range between $50 and $100.
- August 15, 2008
Federal Government Settlement with Arizona Power Plant Includes Installation of Stationary SCR System, Funds for School Bus Retrofits - On August 12, 2008, the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP) in St. Johns, AZ, agreed to install pollution controls at an estimated cost of $400 million to reduce harmful emissions and pay a $950,000 civil penalty. The settlement is part of the U.S. EPA's enforcement initiative to control harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act's New Source Review requirements. Specifically, SRP has agreed to install and operate new pollution control equipment on both generating units at its Coronado Generating Station, a 773-megawatt plant. SRP will install flue gas desulfurization devices (scrubbers) to control SO2 at both units and SCR controls to limit NOx at one of the units. This is the first settlement in the western U.S. to secure an SCR retrofit of an existing coal-fired electric generating unit. The controls are expected to reduce combined emissions of SO2 and NOx by over 21,000 tons each year. SRP will have until June 2014 to complete all of the technology upgrades at the Coronado plant.
In addition, SRP will spend $4 million on environmentally beneficial projects to reduce air emissions and mitigate the impacts of the alleged violations. The projects (to be completed by 2011) include:
- Retrofit public school bus diesel engines in the Phoenix metropolitan area with pollution control equipment ($1.25 million);
- Install solar photovoltaic panels on school buildings in Arizona, and fund the maintenance of the panels for at least 10 years ($2 million);
- Offer incentives to residential homeowners, such as rebates, toward the replacement of pre-1988 wood stoves with cleaner burning, energy-efficient stoves or hearth appliances ($750,000).
In a complaint that the government filed concurrently with lodging this consent decree, EPA and the Department of Justice alleged that SRP illegally modified the two units at the plant, thereby increasing air pollution. Specifically, the government cited the utility for failing to obtain necessary pre-construction permits and install required pollution control equipment.
Last year, American Electric Power agreed to cut more than 800,000 tons of air pollutants annually in the single largest environmental enforcement settlement in history. The total combined SO2 and NOx emission reductions secured from these two settlements will exceed over 1.8 million tons each year once all the required pollution controls are installed and operating.
For more information on the SRP settlement, go to: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/srp.html.
Laidlaw to Retrofit and Replace School Buses in California under Lawsuit Settlement - On August 6, 2008, Laidlaw Transit, California's largest school bus operator, agreed to invest a minimum of $4.7 million dollars over the next five years to retrofit buses in its California fleet that are more than five years old with emission control devices to reduce diesel exhaust. In addition, Laidlaw will make substantial investments ($23.6 million) in its fleet over the next seven years by either retrofitting additional buses or purchasing new, cleaner buses. The company will also pay $6.6 million to the three Bay Area environmental groups (Environmental Law Foundation, Our Children's Earth, and Communities for a Better Environment) who sued the company back in 2006. The lawsuit accused Laidlaw of violating Proposition 65, which requires companies to warn the public about exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer or birth defects. The settlement will require the company to post those warnings in its buses. Laidlaw operates about 4,200 school buses in California. For more information on this case, go to: www.envirolaw.org/currentcases.html (scroll down to: ELF, et.al v. LAIDLAW TRANSIT INC., et al.).
Arizona DEQ Announces Effort to Retrofit Trucks Crossing Arizona-Mexico Border - On August 13, 2008, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced that it is launching a new initiative to reduce diesel emissions in the Nogales area on the Arizona-Mexico border. The $100,000 project, funded by the U.S. EPA, will retrofit about 30 diesel trucks that cross the border several times a day with DOCs. The DOCs will be installed free of charge to the owner. ADEQ is seeking to retrofit trucks which are expected to be on the highways for the next several years. ADEQ's Office of Border Environmental Protection in Tucson will identify the trucks that will benefit most from the program. The program is being promoted by the Greater Nogales/Santa Cruz County Port Authority and the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. The air in Nogales is especially affected by particulate pollution because the city is located in a valley where airborne contaminants can become trapped in an inversion layer.
School District in Texas to Retrofit Buses - On August 7, 2008, Seguin Independent School District in Seguin, TX (near San Antonio), announced that 22 of its school buses (one-third of the fleet) will be retrofitted with DOCs and closed crankcase filtration systems in time for the start of the upcoming school year. The retrofitted buses range in age from model year 1993 to 2004. The cost of the work totals $36,461 and will be completely funded by the Texas Clean School Bus Program. The oldest buses (pre-1993) are being phased out and will be mostly used for back-up. All of the buses in the fleet will be switched over to either a retrofitted bus or a new bus within the next few years, said Seguin ISD's director of student transportation.
- August 8, 2008
Ohio Announces Recipients of Diesel Emission Reduction Grants - On July 29, 2008, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher announced 10 awards through the state's Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant program. The Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG) program leverages private investment in equipment with public resources to ensure that diesel equipment has the best available technology to reduce emissions and keep Ohio in compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The total funding available for this round of DERG funding was $9,817,105 in federal CMAQ funds.
The grant recipients include:
- Cleveland Heights (Cuyahoga County) - vehicle replacement
- Central Ohio Transit Authority (Franklin County) - bus repower and retrofit
- Crestwood Local Schools (Portage County) - bus retrofit
- Toledo RTA (Lucas County) - bus repower
- Greater Dayton RTA (Montgomery County) - bus replacement
- R.J. Coleman RR (Stark County) - locomotive replacement
- Wheeling & Lake Erie RR (Stark County) - anti-idle equipment
- Arcelormittal Cleveland Works Railway (Cuyahoga County) - anti-idle equipment
- Indiana & Ohio Railway Company (Hamilton County) - locomotive replacement
- Indiana & Ohio Railway Company (Hamilton County) - locomotive anti-idle equipment
DERG funding is available for all public diesel engine fleets and private diesel engine fleets (with a public sponsor) that have at least 20% matching funds and who are committed to operating their equipment in ozone and PM2.5 nonattainment counties in Ohio at least 65% of the time. Public fleets include (but are not limited to) school buses, mass transit vehicles, trash trucks, and government fleets. Private fleets include (but are not limited to) long- and short-haul trucks, switcher locomotives, and non-road construction equipment. Eligible project types include retrofit, vehicle replacement, repower, and anti-idle.
The Ohio Department of Development expects to announce additional awards later this year. The DERG program was created in state budget bill H.B. 562, which earmarked $19.8 million of Ohio Department of Transportation's federal CMAQ funds over two years to reduce diesel emissions. For more information about the DERG program, go to: www.odod.state.oh.us/diesel-emissions/.
Central Ohio Transit Authority to Repower and Retrofit Buses - The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) will receive $862,409 in state CMAQ funding to repower and retrofit older buses in its fleet. COTA will match the state funding with its own contribution of $215,602. The Ohio Department of Development announced last week that COTA was one of 10 grant recipients through its Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG) program. COTA's Bus Repower and Retrofit program will replace engines in 11 vehicles rolled out between 1999 and 2003. COTA currently has approximately 260 buses in its fleet. The repower and retrofit program is a smaller part of an ongoing move to add 40 new buses annually to COTA's fleet through a five-year contract, while retiring older buses. By 2011, net gains on the program should bring COTA's fleet to about 340 vehicles.
Funding Announced for Utah School Districts to Retrofit Buses - On July 31, 2008, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality announced the upcoming availability of $2.3 million in grant funding for school districts across the state to retrofit diesel-powered school buses with emission control devices (DOCs and closed crankcase ventilation systems). The funding includes $400,000 from the U.S. EPA, about $96,000 from the Utah Division of Air Quality, and $100,000 from the state legislature. It also includes $750,000 each from Salt Lake and Utah counties. The program is still in the planning stages, and state officials are working to get the word out and working with school districts to coordinate the retrofit installations. Actual installation of retrofit devices should begin in early 2009. School districts that receive money for the retrofit devices must match 6.7% of the funding in kind (meaning the match could be with money or time from the school district). Model year 1993 to 2006 school buses will be eligible for the grant funding. For more information on this announcement, go to: www.deq.utah.gov/News/2008/docs/Schools_Eligible_for_Funds_to_Retrofit_Busses_080408.pdf.
U.S. EPA Awards over $200,000 to Charleston County, SC, for Pollution Reduction Efforts, Includes Funding for Retrofit Education - On July 30, 2008, the U.S. EPA awarded $236,498 to the Charleston County Area, South Carolina Project Impact Partnership for their continuing work to reduce local air and water pollution. The award is part of EPA's Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program, a competitive grant program that offers an innovative way for communities to organize and take action to reduce toxic pollution in their air, land, and water. Educational campaigns to be developed through the Charleston CARE project will focus on: reducing on-road diesel emissions through retrofits and the use of alternative fuel vehicles; anti-idling; controlling open burning; promoting mass transit; working with boaters to address marine pollution; and preserving green space.
Since the program was established three years ago, CARE has provided a total of $7.75 million to more than 49 communities nationwide. Through the CARE project, project partners aim to heighten local residents' awareness of toxic pollution sources and encourage actions that individuals can take to reduce pollution. The Charleston CARE project is one of five awarded in the Southeast region. For more information on the CARE program, go to: www.epa.gov/care.
EPA Awards Grant to Improve Air Quality in Local Independent School Districts - On August 4, 2008, the U.S EPA awarded $157,259 to the San Antonio-based Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) to improve ambient air quality in four local independent school districts. Edgewood ISD, Hunt ISD, Boerne ISD, and Harlandale ISD will participate in a project aimed at reducing harmful air emissions from fleet of older school buses. Some buses will be retrofitted with diesel emissions control technologies while others will be replaced with newer model school buses. More information on this is available at: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/e8f4ff7f7970934e8525735900400c2e/96e88d635bcdb0c18525749b006d11a5!OpenDocument.
Minnesota Issues RFP for Diesel Retrofit Project - On August 6, 2008, the State of Minnesota issued a request for proposal (RFP) for Vehicle Maintenance: Diesel Retrofit Work. The RFP solicits proposals from vendors to purchase and install diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) and optional crank case filtration systems for on-road heavy-duty vehicles for the state. The estimated total dollar value of the contract is for $625,000. The deadline to submit proposals is August 15, 2008. More information on the RFP is available at: www.mmd.admin.state.mn.us/process/admin/postings.asp.
- August 1, 2008
Emisstar Completes Two-Year Water Treatment Plant Retrofit Project in NYC - At a press event held on July 29, 2008, at the Croton Water Treatment Plant in the Bronx, NY, Emisstar announced the successful completion of a two-year project to retrofit 25 pieces of construction equipment used to build the facility that, when competed in 2011, will supply one-third of New York City's fresh drinking water. Since this retrofit project was initiated in 2005, construction equipment emissions of diesel particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) were reduced by 0.7 tons and 1.2 tons, respectively (a 96.5% reduction of these emissions at the project site). This construction equipment retrofit demonstration is the first official implementation of New York City's Local Law 77 that requires best available retrofit technology be used to reduce diesel emissions from construction equipment used on public works contracts. Emisstar has released two technical reports from this project that summarize cumulative emission reductions and the results of in-use testing of equipment retrofit with a variety of emission controls including active and passive diesel particulate filters and a combined filter + SCR catalyst system. A copy of the press release associated with the Croton project, including links to the two Emisstar technical reports, is available at: www.emisstar.com/news_press.php.
- July 25, 2008
EPA Releases Clean Diesel Emerging Technologies RFP - On July 21, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced the availability of approximately $3.4 million in grants to establish projects using emerging technologies to reduce emissions from in-use diesel engines. This amount was authorized through DERA (under the Energy Policy Act of 2005) and funded for the first time this fiscal year. EPA anticipates awarding a total of approximately two to five cooperative agreements under this announcement ranging in value from approximately $200,000 to $1,000,000. State, local, regional, and tribal governments may apply for the grants, as well as non-profits and institutions with transportation, educational service, and air quality responsibilities. Emerging technology manufacturers must partner with an eligible applicant to receive this funding. The grants are targeting school or transit buses, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, marine engines, locomotives, and non-road engines. The grants will be administered by EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign under the Emerging Technologies Program (ETP). The ETP program gives manufacturers the opportunity to capture real-world data and gain operating experience on their technology while it is used by fleet partners.
An emerging technology is a device or strategy that reduces emissions from diesel engines or equipment that has not been verified or certified by EPA or ARB. To qualify as an emerging technology, manufacturers must: 1) submit/have submitted a verification application to EPA and/or ARB, 2) submit/have submitted an approvable test plan to EPA and/or ARB, and 3) request to be placed on the Emerging Technologist List.
Grant proposals must be submitted by September 21, 2008. The final awards will be announced in December. For a copy of the RFP, go to: www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/grantfund.htm#emerge. For more information about the Emerging Technologies Program, go to: www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/prgemerg.htm.
- July 3, 2008
President Bush Signs Legislation on Use of SEP Funds for Diesel Retrofits - On June 30, 2008, President Bush signed into law legislation passed by Congress that allows the U.S. EPA to again use funds associated with Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) for diesel emission reduction projects, including the funding of diesel retrofit projects. As part of EPA's enforcement activities, violators of Clean Air Act regulations can be assessed fines and ordered to complete SEPs that provide emission reductions in the regions where violations occurred. Prior to the adoption of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), EPA often directed SEP funds to diesel retrofit projects and this new law allows EPA to once again use SEP funding for diesel retrofit projects.
New York Air Quality Settlement with Power Company Includes Funds for School Bus Retrofits - On June 18, 2008, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that money from a state settlement with Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) will be used to retrofit schools buses in the Rochester area. In February 2008, RG&E settled violations at its Russell Power Plant (located in the town of Greece in Monroe County) by agreeing to eventually shut down the plant and replace it with a cleaner plant, pay a $200,000 civil penalty, and fund $500,000 worth of clean energy or air pollution reduction projects in the area, with the details to be developed later. The announcement on June 18 confirms that the money will fund the purchase and installation of emission-control equipment on public and private school bus fleets in Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, and Wayne counties.
The project will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). School bus operators will have to apply to NYSERDA to become eligible. NYSERDA would pay 100 percent of the cost of purchasing and installing eligible retrofit technologies on an existing bus. Priority will be given to applicants from the town of Greece and from environmental justice communities. Initial projections are that 500 buses could be retrofitted through this project. For more information on this retrofit funding announcement, go to: www.nyserda.org/Funding/funding.asp?i=1M.
Ohio Company Fined by Ohio EPA for Violating Environmental Standards, Retrofits Part of Settlement - On June 26, 2008, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) announced that RLR Investments, LLC, has paid a $227,700 penalty for violating Ohio's asbestos emission control standards at the Urban Resort property in Dayton, OH. It is the largest civil penalty ever collected by the state for asbestos violations. Of the $227,700, $45,540 will go to OEPA's Clean Diesel School Bus program. The remaining $182,160 will be used to administer air pollution control programs. During 2003, RLR Investments, LLC, was responsible for renovating the Days Inn Hotel and failed to provide proper notification for the asbestos abatement, among other violations.
Oregon School District to Retrofit School Buses - The Beaverton School District will spend nearly $3 million to retrofit 192 school buses with DPFs and crankcase ventilation systems. It is estimated that the DPF and crankcase ventilation system will reduce total diesel emissions by 95% per school bus. According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Beaverton School District and Reynolds School District are the first Portland-area districts to retrofit their school buses. The Beaverton School Board authorized funding for the project through bonds funded by the district. The district plans to have most of its 295 buses retrofitted by June 30, 2009. More information on this announcement is available at: www.oregonlive.com/metrowest/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/metro_west_news/1213925117105530.xml&coll=7.
EPA Highlights Success of Honolulu Diesel Retrofit Program - On June 24, 2008, the City and County of Honolulu and the U.S. EPA announced the successes of a $800,000 diesel retrofit program to reduce diesel air emissions from vehicles and engines for both highway and off-road vehicles operated by public and private organizations. The program specifically identified fleets that could meet retrofit requirements, profiled the equipment needed, developed a purchasing process for the parts and equipment, and provided training for installation and maintenance to continue the program. Over 75 vehicles have been retrofitted with more planned in the coming years. The diesel retrofit program is funded from a supplemental environmental project (SEP) agreed to by Chevron as part of a settlement for enforcement actions.
- June 20, 2008
House Passes Bill Allowing EPA to Use SEP Funds for Retrofits - On June 12, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to allow the U.S. EPA to continue to accept funds for diesel emissions reduction projects (e.g., diesel retrofits) as part of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs). The bill (S. 2146) passed unanimously, 406-0. Because the House took up a slightly amended version of the legislation (the amended House version added language to include the District of Columbia in state and local grant programs for diesel emissions reduction), it now goes back to the Senate for their approval (the Senate passed the original measure on February 29, 2008).
EPA decided to stop accepting SEPs after Congress and President Bush approved $49.2 million in EPA's FY 2008 funding for diesel emissions reduction programs under DERA. The agency believed continuing with the projects would violate the Miscellaneous Receipts Act, which says agency budgets allocated by Congress cannot be supplemented. This legislation would grant EPA an exception and allow the agency to continue accepting the projects, as long as they are related to the underlying violations and are not activities the rule violator would otherwise be undertaking. The projects also should not provide funds for EPA internal operations.
Massachusetts Announces Statewide School Bus Retrofit Program - On June 12, 2008, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced the launch of MassCleanDiesel, the nation's first fully funded statewide program designed to reduce air pollution from school buses. All eligible diesel-powered school buses will be retrofitted with emission control devices at no expense to bus owners. The retrofit devices will be installed using $16.5 million in state and federal funds. This plan to retrofit about 5,500 school buses in the state by 2010 is part of a deal made nearly two years ago between the state Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works and the Department of Environmental Protection to offset air pollution from the Big Dig.
School buses will receive: 1) either a DPF, a FTF, or a DOC, and 2) a closed crankcase ventilation (CCV) filter. To receive the diesel retrofits, bus owners will need to enroll in MassCleanDiesel, provide general information about their school buses, obtain estimates from retrofit vendors, and then arrange for retrofit installations. MassDEP will reimburse retrofit vendors for these installations, provided they meet all terms of the program. MassCleanDiesel is a voluntary program and retrofitting school buses is currently optional. However, after the program ends (currently planned for 2010), school bus owners may be required to install diesel retrofits on certain buses and will likely have to pay for their own retrofits.
For more information on the MassCleanDiesel program, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/air/diesel/masscleandiesel.htm.
NEDC Seeking Bids for Retrofit of Utility Fleets in Northeast - On June 16, 2008, the Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC) announced an Invitation for Bids (IFB) for the retrofit of diesel trucks owned by public and private utility fleets in the Northeast with emission control devices designed to reduce PM emissions. Diesel fleet vehicles operated by electric, gas, and water utility companies within the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), New York, and New Jersey are eligible for retrofit under this program. Initial funding available for this program is $1.5 million. NEDC anticipates that this level of funding will enable the retrofit of at least 500 vehicles with DOCs and 50 vehicles with DPFs. Funding for additional retrofits may become available in the future. All retrofit devices or combinations of technologies that have been verified by the U.S. EPA or ARB to reduce PM by 25% or more are eligible for purchase under this program.
In response to this IFB, manufacturers are requested to submit technical and pricing information for PM retrofit devices applicable to each target vehicle make/model in each of the following three categories:
- Level 1 Devices: Minimum PM reduction of 25%
- Level 2 Devices: Minimum PM reduction of 50%
- Level 3 Devices (passive): Minimum PM reduction of 85%
- Level 3 Devices (active): Minimum PM reduction of 85%
The deadline for responses to this IFB is July 14, 2008. For a complete copy of the IFB and the proposal pricing form, please contact Mr. Dana Lowell at firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries or questions about this IFB must be submitted in writing, by e-mail, to Mr. Lowell. For more information on this retrofit funding announcement, go to: www.northeastdiesel.org/funding.htm#invitation4bids.
EPA Awards $150,000 Grant to Anheuser-Busch to Retrofit Delivery Trucks - On June 6, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced that it has partnered with Anheuser-Busch and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install emission control devices in 15 delivery trucks that will operate out of Hunt's Point in the Bronx, New York City. The $150,000 grant, awarded by EPA on behalf of the Northeast Diesel Collaborative, will equip the 15 trucks (20% of Anheuser-Busch's local fleet) with flow-through filters and closed crankcase filtration systems. Anheuser-Busch is developing a three-part environmental transportation strategy for reducing diesel emissions that includes using biodiesel for its entire Hunt's Point fleet. In addition, the beer distributor has begun re-powering the trucks in its fleet manufactured between 2002 and 2005 with CNG engines. The company plans to re-power 22 additional trucks with CNG engines by December 2009. For more information on this grant announcement, go to: www.northeastdiesel.org.
Albany, NY, Seeks EPA Funds for Retrofit of County Vehicles - On June 9, 2008, legislators in Albany County, NY, gave the go-ahead to the county commissioner to apply for $400,000 in U.S. EPA grant money to retrofit and replace diesel vehicles used by the county. The grant is divided into two parts: one paying 100% of the costs to retrofit diesel vehicles with emission control devices and one paying 25% to replace older diesel vehicles with newer, cleaner ones. The county maintains 110 on- and off-road diesel vehicles and equipment, including dump trucks, loaders, backhoes, graders, mowers, snow plows, and snowblowers.
- June 13, 2008
NYSERDA Announces $6 Million in Funding for Alternative-Fuel Vehicles, Emission Controls for Diesel Vehicles in NYC - The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, announced this week the availability of $6 million in funding to encourage the use of alternative-fuel vehicles and advanced emission controls for medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles in New York City. This program - the New York City Private Fleet Program - is a public-private partnership and is funded by federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds.
The New York City Private Fleet Program will make funding available:
- To purchase compressed natural gas, hybrid electric, battery electric, and dual-fuel vehicles to operate in New York City,
- For natural gas and electric recharging stations, and
- For advanced diesel emission control equipment for medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles operating in New York City (NYSERDA will fund up to 80% of the cost of purchasing and installing ARB- or EPA- verified/certified emission reduction equipment).
Priority will be given to projects that: result in the greatest emissions reduction per program dollar; reduce the greatest amount of petroleum fuel per program dollar; leverage private and public cost-sharing for infrastructure development and vehicle acquisition; represent a planned approach to introduce AFVs into the proposer's fleet; and offer unique and innovative partnerships and approaches to meet critical needs and priorities. Proposals are due by August 19, 2008. For a copy of the full Program Opportunity Notice (PON 1213), go to: www.nyserda.org/Funding/1213pon.asp.
- June 6, 2008
EPA Awards Grant to City of Baltimore for School Bus Retrofits - On June 4, 2008, the U.S. EPA, though its Clean School Bus USA program, awarded Baltimore City Public Schools a $68,600 grant to retrofit 19 of its school buses with emission control devices. The school system also received a second grant -- $95,000 from the EPA Tools for Schools program -- to develop a plan to analyze the current condition of the indoor environment in 190 school buildings. For more information on these grant announcements, go to: www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/funding.htm.
EPA Awards Grant to School District in Washington State for New School Buses - In May 2008, the U.S. EPA, through its Clean School Bus USA Program, awarded Eastmont School District in East Wenatchee, Washington, a $179,400 grant to be used towards the purchase of five new school buses meeting EPA's 2007 heavy-duty engine standards. Matching funds in the amount of $354,355 from Eastmont School District and the Washington Department of Ecology helped cover the total cost of the buses. The Department of Ecology also funded the retrofitting of 21 of the district's other buses with emission control devices. Eastmont School District maintains one of the oldest school bus fleets in the state -- prior to receiving this grant, only eight out of the district's total fleet of 33 buses were newer than 10 years old. For more information on this grant announcement, go to: www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/funding.htm.
- May 30, 2008
Delaware Awards Grant to Local School District for School Bus Retrofits - On May 28, 2008, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control awarded Red Clay school district in Wilmington a $180,000 grant to retrofit 18 school buses with DPFs. Red Clay, which owns 50 school buses and contracts 50 others, has also ordered 12 new buses (six last year and six this year) that meet the 2007 heavy-duty highway standards. Both the grant and the purchase of new buses will upgrade two-thirds of Red Clay's bus fleet. The remaining buses will be upgraded in the future using state transportation money.
Alexandria, VA, Receives Grant to Retrofit School Buses - The Alexandria, VA, school system (near Washington, D.C.) has received a $70,000 grant from the U.S. EPA to retrofit about 40 school buses with DOCs. The funds were distributed through the Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative. The program is expected to begin this summer. For more information on this grant announcement, contact Erica Bannerman, Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, at (703) 838-4334 or David Rose, Alexandria City Public Schools, at (703) 461-4169.
- May 23, 2008
Georgia Provides $250,000 in CMAQ Funds for School Bus Retrofit Projects - On May 14, 2008, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (R) signed the FY2009 state budget, which included $250,000 for school bus retrofit projects. The funds will be available to financially constrained school systems in the Atlanta area's 20 nonattainment counties. A 20% match in cash or in-kind services is required to access the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program (CMAQ) funds. A Request for Proposals will be issued soon. For more information about this funding opportunity, contact Stacy Allman (404/363-7033) or William Cook (404/363-7031) at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
- May 16, 2008
Washington State Offers $2.5 Million in Grants for Retrofit and Idle Reduction Technologies - The Washington Department of Ecology is now receiving applications for $2.5 million in funds available through their Washington State Clean Diesel Grant Program for the purchase of diesel retrofit or idle reduction technologies for public or private fleets that operate within the state. Public fleets may receive funding for both retrofit technologies and idle reduction technologies while private fleets may receive funding only for retrofits. Priority will be given to public fleets and private fleets that provide public services or operate on port properties. The deadline for priority consideration is June 6, 2008. Awards are expected to be given starting in July 2008. Since 2002, this grant program has provided funds for cleaning up more than 7,000 heavy-duty vehicles. Additional details on this funding opportunity are available at: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/cars/DieselGrantPage.htm.
EPA Awards Erie County, NY, with $173,997 for School Bus Retrofits - The U.S. EPA, through the Northeast Diesel Collaborative, has awarded the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning (the Buffalo, NY, area) with a grant of $173,997 for the application of retrofit technologies on school buses that operate in three school districts around Buffalo. Funds will be used to install diesel oxidation catalysts and crankcase filters on 42 school buses and to install heater systems to reduce idling on 20 additional buses in the Orchard Park, Hamburg, and Sweet Home school districts.
Ohio Awards Grants for School Bus Retrofits - Ohio EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Fund has begun awarding another round of grants for the purchase of diesel retrofit technologies used on school buses operating in the state. This round of grants totals $278,418 and includes recent awards to the Minerva Local, Alliance City, and Beavercreek City school districts. The Ohio Clean Diesel School Bus Fund was created in 2006 and has awarded $1.7 million to 35 school districts to retrofit 654 school buses. Funds for the program come from civil penalties Ohio EPA collects from environmental violations. The Ohio EPA recently received reauthorization from the Ohio General Assembly to continue school bus retrofit grants through 2009. Upcoming grant application deadlines are September 2, 2008 and March 2, 2009. Additional information on the Ohio EPA Clean Diesel School Bus Fund is available at: www.epa.state.oh.us/oeef/html/schoolbus.html.
Refining Company Settlement with BAAQMD Includes Diesel Retrofits - On May 9, 2008, the San Francisco's Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) announced that Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. has agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty to settle air quality violations at its Golden Eagle refinery in Martinez, California. As part of the settlement, Tesoro will retrofit heavy-duty diesel vehicles in and around the refinery with diesel particulate filters to reduce PM emissions. Tesoro will also undertake a number of capital improvement projects and equipment upgrades by replacing them with equipment that incorporates best available pollution control technology. The air quality violation included failure to inspect tanks and equipment, equipment malfunctions that resulted in air pollution releases, and reporting violations over three years.
- May 9, 2008
EPA Announces $300,000 Grant to New York School District to Retrofit School Buses - On April 8, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced a $300,000 grant to put emission-reduction devices on school buses in the Yonkers school district in Westchester County, New York (outside New York City). The money will pay to retrofit 50 to 100 school buses with either DPFs or DOCs. There are approximately 400 buses in Yonkers that transport about half of the city's 24,000 students to school. School district superintendent Bernard Pierorazio said that the city's child asthma rate is twice the national average, affecting more than 12 percent of the city's children.
EPA Awards $37,271 Grant to Wisconsin School District for Clean School Bus Project - On May 8, 2008, the U.S. EPA, through the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, awarded a $37,271 grant to the Manitowoc Public School District in Manitowoc, WI, for a project to cut diesel emissions from the district's school buses. EPA said the grant will be used to install idling reduction equipment on 14 school buses. In addition, the buses will have crankcase filtration systems installed (funded separately by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources). The buses have already been retrofitted with diesel emission reduction devices and already use low-sulfur diesel fuel. For more information, go to: www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel.
North Carolina Awards Funds to Reduce Air Pollution, Includes Bus Retrofits - On May 5, 2008, Durham County school district in Durham, NC, was awarded a $125,600 state grant to retrofit school buses with diesel emission control devices. In addition, Triangle Transit Authority (connects Raleigh, Cary, Research Triangle Park, Durham, and Chapel Hill by bus) received $4,356 to retrofit transit buses with diesel emission control devices. These grant awards were among $800,390 awarded by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources for 16 projects aimed at reducing air pollution from motor vehicles.
- May 2, 2008
NEDC Posts On-Line Diesel Retrofit Toolkit - The Northeast Diesel Collaborative has posted on-line a diesel emissions reduction "toolkit" designed to give colleges/universities, hospitals, municipalities, and other stakeholders a convenient resource for all aspects of diesel retrofit. The webpage contains links to information on alternative fuel options, construction retrofit case studies and model contract specifications, funding opportunities, idle reduction technologies, state regulations, verified retrofit technologies, and clean school bus projects, as well as other web resources. To access the toolkit, go to: www.northeastdiesel.org/toolkit.htm.
EPA Announces Grant for Project to Retrofit Trash Trucks in Pittsburgh - On April 25, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced a $127,000 grant to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA coordinates the Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative) who will, in turn, issue a grant to the City of Pittsburgh and two partners (Clean Water Action and the Group Against Smog and Pollution) for a pilot project to cut emissions from the city's heavy-duty diesel trucks used for hauling waste. EPA said the grant will be used to retrofit (and maintain) eight to 12 diesel trash trucks with DPFs, as well as provide staff resources and expertise. For more information on this grant announcement, go to: www.dieselmidatlantic.org/diesel/index.htm.
EPA Announces Grant to Retrofit School Buses in Washington, D.C. - On April 29, 2008, EPA's Clean School Bus USA program, through the Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative, awarded $224,540 to the District of Columbia's Department of the Environment to retrofit 22 public school buses with DPFs. The District's Division of Transportation provides transportation to nearly 4,000 special needs students throughout the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. For more information on this grant announcement, go to: www.dieselmidatlantic.org/diesel/index.htm.
- April 25, 2008
EPA Announces FY2008 Funding under National Clean Diesel Finance Program - On April 16, 2008, the U.S. EPA posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for FY2008 funding under the National Clean Diesel Finance Program. The total estimated funding available under this competitive opportunity is approximately $3 million. EPA anticipates awarding approximately one to four cooperative agreement(s) from this announcement.
The National Clean Diesel Finance Program, administered by EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership, will award cooperative agreements to establish innovative finance programs, like low cost loans, for buyers of eligible diesel vehicles and equipment to reduce diesel emissions throughout the U.S. Innovative finance projects include those where the loan recipient receives a unique financial incentive (i.e., greater than regular market rates or conditions) for the purchase of eligible vehicles or equipment. Particular emphasis is on establishing low-cost loan programs for the retrofit of used pre-2007 highway vehicles and new or used pieces of nonroad equipment with EPA- or ARB-verified emission control devices. Eligible entities are restricted to: state agencies and non-profit groups related to air quality and transportation, school districts, municipalities, etc.
The closing date for receipt of proposals is June 9, 2008. For a copy of the RFP, go to: www.epa.gov/air/grants/08-04.pdf. For more information on the National Clean Diesel Finance Program, go to: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/prgfinance.htm.
Tennessee Accepting Applications for New Pilot Diesel Retrofit Program for School Buses - On April 16, 2008, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) began accepting applications for a new pilot grant project aimed at reducing diesel exhaust emissions from school buses in nonattainment and maintenance areas in the state. TDOT is partnering with the Department of Environment and Conservation to provide $1 million in competitive grant funds to install emission control devices in older school buses. TDOT has allocated $800,000 in federal CMAQ funds for the program. The Department of Environment and Conservation, working in partnership with TDOT, will provide funding to cover the 20-percent match requirement (school districts will not be required to provide any matching funds). School districts in 16 Tennessee counties are eligible to apply for up to 100 percent funding to retrofit a portion of their school bus fleet. The maximum grant award is $250,000. By providing 100 percent funding for the retrofits, the departments hope to encourage school systems to take advantage of the grant opportunity.
The School Bus Diesel Retrofit Pilot Project is one of a series of TDOT grant projects that encourage private sector companies and government agencies to take voluntary actions to reduce emissions from older diesel engines. Grantees must implement a policy to reduce unnecessary engine idling. Grantees are also encouraged to use renewable fuels, such as biodiesel.
The deadline to submit applications is June 30, 2008. For a copy of the project application, go to: www.tn.gov/tdot/cmaq.
Arizona DEQ Receives $200,000 Grant to Retrofit School Buses - On April 7, 2008, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced that it has received a $200,000 grant from the U.S. EPA to help fund low-emission school buses in the state. ADEQ will use the funds to install DPFs on school buses in the Phoenix area. ADEQ will invite school districts to apply for grants this spring of up to $5,000 to cover the costs of the filters and the labor to install them. The funds are expected to cover new filters for about 40 buses. To receive the grant funds, schools must participate in ADEQ's School Bus Idling Program.
For more information, go to: www.azdeq.gov.
EPA Awards Clean School Bus Grant to Hampton Roads Clean Cities - On April 11, 2008, the U.S. EPA's Clean School Bus USA program awarded a $143,068 grant to the Hampton Roads Clean Cities program in Virginia to work with several Middle Peninsula school districts to retrofit over 100 school buses. The grant will be used by the school districts to install DOCs on 100 buses, switch to cleaner-burning fuel for 198 buses, promote reduced engine idling, and purchase one new propane-powered bus.
For more information on this grant announcement, go to: www.epa.gov/otaq/schoolbus/news.htm.
EPA Approves Tulsa Air Quality Plan, Includes Diesel Retrofit Project - On April 8, 2008, the U.S. EPA, in collaboration with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, announced that it has approved a new air quality plan for the Tulsa area under its 8-hour Ozone Flex (8-O3 Flex) program. The 8-O3 Flex program allows communities that are currently meeting the national standard for ozone to implement pro-active, voluntary measures that will reduce emissions of ozone-causing pollutants (e.g., VOCs and NOx) to improve air quality and stay within federal requirements. Tulsa's 8-O3 Flex agreement will involve implementing five projects over the next year, including the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority Clean Diesel Retrofit Project that will retrofit 26 transit buses. In addition to the retrofit project, a manufacturer of nitrogen fertilizer products will voluntarily install ultra-low NOx burners on one of its ammonia reformers and the City of Tulsa will implement an energy conservation project.
The Tulsa metropolitan area has been an ozone attainment area since 1990. EPA approved a more stringent 8-hour ozone standard of 0.075 ppm on March 12, 2008. The 8-O3 Flex plan will remain in effect until 2013, unless the area is re-classified under the new ozone standard. Oklahoma will recommend which areas should be classified as in nonattainment of the new standard in 2009, and EPA will finalize those designations in 2010.
For more information on the 8-hour Ozone Flex program in EPA Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas), go to: www.epa.gov/region6/6pd/air/pd-l/index.htm.
- April 18, 2008
Blue Skyways Collaborative Announces $5 Million Available under National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program - On April 2, 2008, EPA Regions 6 and 7, through the Blue Skyways Collaborative, announced the availability of approximately $5 million in grants to fund projects within the central U.S. (Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Minnesota) to demonstrate effective emission control technologies and strategies to reduce diesel emissions. EPA anticipates awarding 3 to 18 assistance agreements from this announcement, with awards ranging from $250,000 to $2,000,000. EPA Region 6 and 7's announcement follows similar clean diesel funding announcements by the other EPA regions over the past few weeks. Similar to the other EPA announcements, eligible entities are restricted to: state agencies and non-profit groups related to air quality and transportation, school districts, municipalities, etc. Eligible projects include: retrofit and idling technologies, engine upgrades, cleaner fuel use, engine repower, and vehicle/equipment replacement.
The closing date for submission of proposals is May 30, 2008. For a copy of the Request for Proposals (RFP), go to: www.blueskyways.org/pdf/clean-diesel-FY08.pdf.
EPA Awards $76,455 Grant to Minnesota Environmental Initiative for Clean Diesel Project - On April 10, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 5, through the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, awarded a $76,455 grant to the Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI) for a project to cut diesel emissions from loading equipment at four port facilities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. EPA said the project will retrofit four wheel loaders with emission control devices and provide an engine upgrade on another wheel loader. Idle-reduction equipment will be installed on all of the wheel loaders. The wheel loaders are used at four port terminals along the Mississippi River. The equipment is used to move sand, aggregates, crushed limestone, and stone.
MEI's Clean Air Minnesota program will run the project as part of Project Green Fleet, a partnership among businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to reduce pollution emitted from Minnesota school buses and other diesel fleets. For more information on MEI, go to: www.mn-ei.org.
- April 11, 2008
EPA Awards Arizona DEQ $200,000 to Retrofit School Buses - On April 7, 2008, the U.S. EPA awarded the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) $200,000 to help fund low-emission school buses in Arizona. ADEQ will use the funds to help school districts in the Phoenix area install DPFs on school buses. ADEQ will invite school districts to apply for grants this spring of up to $5,000 to cover the costs of the filters and the labor to install them. The funds are expected to cover DPFs for about 40 buses. To receive the grant funds, schools must participate in ADEQ's voluntary School Bus Idling Program. For more information, go to: www.azdeq.gov/function/news/2008/download/0407.pdf.
- April 4, 2008
West Coast Collaborative Announces $5.1 Million Available under National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program - On April 2, 2008, EPA Regions 9 and 10, through the West Coast Collaborative, announced the availability of approximately $5.1 million in grants to fund projects within the West Coast region (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the U.S. Pacific island territories) to demonstrate effective emission control technologies and strategies to reduce diesel emissions. EPA anticipates awarding six to nine assistance agreements from this announcement, with awards ranging from $500,000 to $1,000,000. EPA Region 9 and 10's announcement follows similar clean diesel funding announcements by the other EPA regions over the past few weeks. Similar to the other EPA announcements, eligible entities are restricted to: state agencies and non-profit groups related to air quality and transportation, school districts, municipalities, etc. Eligible projects include: retrofit and idling technologies, engine upgrades, cleaner fuel use, engine repower, and vehicle/equipment replacement.
The closing date for submission of proposals is July 1, 2008. For a copy of the Request for Proposals (RFP), go to: www.epa.gov/region10/cleandiesel.html. For more information, the West Coast Collaborative has prepared a fact sheet on the funding program: www.westcoastcollaborative.org/files/news/wcc_dera_fy08.pdf.
- March 28, 2008
SEDC Announces $3.6 Million Available under National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program - On March 26, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 4, through the Southeast Diesel Collaborative (SEDC), announced the availability of approximately $3.6 million in grants to fund projects within the Southeast (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) to demonstrate effective emission control technologies and strategies to reduce diesel emissions. EPA expects to fund 5-10 grants ranging from $250,000 and $750,000. (Note: EPA reserves the option to fund a project at an amount lower than $250,000 if the proposed project involves retrofitting or upgrading an applicant's entire fleet.) Eligible entities are restricted to: state agencies and non-profit groups related to air quality and transportation, school districts, municipalities, etc. Eligible projects include: retrofit and idling technologies, engine upgrades, cleaner fuel use, engine repower, and vehicle/equipment replacement.
The deadline for receipt of proposals is June 12, 2008. For a copy of the RFP, go to: www.epa.gov/region4/air/mobile/SEDC-RFP%20FY0809.pdf.
RMCDC Announces Up to $2 Million Available under National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program - On March 17, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 8, through the Rocky Mountain Clean Diesel Collaborative (RMCDC), announced the availability of $1.6 million to $2 million in grants to fund clean diesel projects in EPA Region 8 (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.) EPA anticipates awarding approximately 6-10 assistance agreements from this announcement, ranging from $100,000 to $750,000 per award. Eligible entities are restricted to: state agencies and non-profit groups related to air quality and transportation, school districts, municipalities, etc. Eligible projects include: retrofit and idling technologies, engine upgrades, cleaner fuel use, engine repower, and vehicle/equipment replacement.
The deadline for receipt of proposals is June 16, 2008. For a copy of the RFP, go to: www.epa.gov/region8/air/R8_DERA_RFP.pdf.
MCDI Announces $5 Million Available under National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program - On March 14, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 5, through the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative (MCDI), announced that it expects to award some $5 million in grants for diesel-emission reduction projects in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. EPA anticipates awarding 10-20 cooperative agreements for amounts ranging between $100,000 and $750,000. Eligible entities are restricted to: state agencies and non-profit groups related to air quality and transportation, school districts, municipalities, etc. Eligible projects include: retrofit and idling technologies, engine upgrades, cleaner fuel use, engine repower, and vehicle/equipment replacement.
The deadline for receipt of proposals is June 12, 2008. For a copy of the RFP, go to: www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel/grants/mcdirfp08.html.
EPA Awards $103,297 Grant to Cook County, IL, for Retrofit Project - On March 24, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 5 awarded a $103,297 grant to the Cook County Department of Environmental Control in Illinois for a project to cut diesel emissions from 30 of the county's heavy-duty vehicles. At least 26 vehicles will be retrofitted with DOCs and four vehicles will be retrofitted with DPFs. In addition, the county will seek to partner with various organizations to heighten public awareness of the issues surrounding vehicle emissions, and provide information and tools to aid them in becoming partners for clean air. This grant was provided under the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative. For more information on this grant announcement, go to: www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel.
EPA Announces $215,000 Grant for School Bus Retrofit Project in Puerto Rico - On March 27, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced that it has awarded nearly $215,000 to the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico to install DOCs on 61 school buses (the vast majority of school buses in Puerto Rico were built before 2004) in the Bayamon school region. Alianza Puertorriquena Guaguas Limpias, Aire Limpio, the Puerto Rico Clean School Bus USA Workgroup, led the effort to secure this grant. Puerto Rico joined the Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC) in May 2007. For more information on this grant announcement, go to: www.northeastdiesel.org.
- March 21, 2008
House Committee Approves Bill Allowing SEP Funds to Be Used for Retrofits - On March 13, 2008, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved a bill to allow the U.S. EPA to accept funds for diesel emissions reduction projects as part of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs). The bill was previously approved by the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee on February 13. The House Committee will now send the bill to the full House for a floor vote where it is expected to be passed. The Senate unanimously passed its version of the bill on February 29.
NEDC Announces Availability of $5.4 Million under 2008 National Clean Diesel Program - On March 17, 2008, EPA Regions 1 and 2, through the Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC), announced the availability of approximately $5.4 million in clean diesel funds as part of the 2008 National Clean Diesel Program. EPA Regions 1 and 2 anticipate awarding approximately 6-12 assistance agreements from this announcement. EPA Regions 1 and 2 will accept proposals between $50,000 and $750,000; however, they anticipate most awards will range from $100,000 to $500,000. Similar to previous RFPs for EPA clean diesel funding, eligible entities are restricted to: state agencies and non-profit groups related to air quality and transportation, school districts, municipalities, etc. Eligible projects include: retrofit and idling technologies, engine upgrades, cleaner fuel use, engine repower, and vehicle/equipment replacement.
The deadline for receipt of proposals is June 12, 2008. Regions 1 and 2 will host two Q&A sessions via teleconference on April 10 and May 7. For more detailed information on this funding announcement, including a copy of the RFP, go to: www.northeastdiesel.org/funding.htm.
South Carolina Department of Education Receives $241,500 Grant for Clean School Buses - On March 19, 2008, as part of the U.S. EPA's Clean School Bus USA program, the agency presented a grant for $241,500 to the South Carolina Department of Education. The Department of Education, with the cooperation of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, will install closed crankcase filtration systems and anti-idling devices on 500 school buses throughout the state. The grant is one of three being awarded in the Southeast this year, totaling $680,000. For more information on clean school bus efforts in the Southeast, go to the Southeast Diesel Collaborative website at: www.southeastdiesel.org.
Air Quality Settlement with Mirant Includes Funds for School Bus Retrofits - On March 11, 2008, in a court settlement between Atlanta-based Mirant Corp. and the Maryland Department of Environment over air pollution violations at three Maryland-based coal-fired power plants, Mirant agreed to pay a civil penalty of $175,000 and to donate $75,000 to Prince George's County in Maryland for the retrofit of school buses operated in that county with diesel oxidation catalysts. In addition, Mirant must comply with emission standards at the three Maryland power plants by July 1, 2009. The three Mirant power plants are located in Prince George's County, Montgomery County, and Charles County Maryland. For more details on this air quality settlement, go to: www.mde.state.md.us/PressReleases/1075.html.
Deere Wins Contract with Caltrans to Supply Motor Graders with Retrofits - John Deere has been awarded a contract to provide 33 motor graders to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and to retrofit these graders with ARB-verified retrofit technology to assist Caltrans in complying with ARB's recently adopted off-road fleet rule. Caltrans plans to use the Deere 872D graders for road grading, construction, shoulder maintenance, and snow removal activities. Deere plans to retrofit the motor graders with a verified lean NOx catalyst + diesel particulate filter technology.
- March 14, 2008
EPA Region 5 Announces Additional 2007 Clean School Bus Grants - On March 7, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 5 (the Midwest region) announced two more recipients of its 2007 Clean School Bus USA grants. The grants were provided under the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative.
The two grant recipients are:
For more information on these award announcements, go to: www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel/sectors/schoolbus/index.htm.
- A $86,353 grant to the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District in Ontario, Wisconsin, for a project to retrofit nine school buses with DOCs and crankcase filtration systems. In addition, the district will use idle reduction technologies on 10 buses, replace one older bus with a new, low-emission bus, and educate its staff and the public on the importance of clean-air practices.
- A $59,120 grant to the Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker School District in Huron County, Michigan, for a project to retrofit 12 school buses with DOCs and replace an older bus with a new, low-emission bus. In addition, the district will start using B20 fuel and hold a workshop for other Huron County school districts on the benefits of operating with B20 and installing DOCs on their buses.
Pittsburgh School Bus Fund Raises Rebate Amount for Retrofits - Effective March 4, 2008, the rebate amount for retrofitting a school bus under the Pittsburgh Healthy School Bus Fund has been raised from $5,000 to $6,850. In addition, as an incentive, a fleet owner who retrofits 50 or more eligible buses under this program may be eligible to receive a free DPF cleaning station. Announced in June 2007, the Pittsburgh Healthy School Bus Fund provides funds to retrofit pre-2007 model year school buses serving the Pittsburgh school district with both a DPF and a crankcase closed crankcase ventilation (CCV) system. The rebate helps defray the cost of the DPF/CCV and associated components, as well as installation and warranty. Pittsburgh public schools use approximately 350 full-size diesel school buses. The Heinz Endowments provided $500,000 in initial funds. For more information on these updates to the Pittsburgh Healthy School Bus Fund, go to: www.dieselretrofitrebate.org.
NYC Ferries Mandated to Use ULSD - The New York City Council has mandated that all city-run ferries switch to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) by July 1, 2008. The local law also requires the use of best available engine upgrades on ferry engines beginning with at least two ferries by July 1, 2008. Best available exhaust retrofits are also required based on a schedule that will be submitted to the Council by July 1, 2009. If a successful retrofit demonstration is completed on a city ferry, then this retrofit schedule will be revised to require retrofit of all ferries as soon as possible. New York City, along with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will provide the funds to pay for engine upgrades, retrofits, and any fueling infrastructure needs. A copy of the revised local law governing New York City ferries is available at: www.nyccouncil.info/html/legislation/legislation_details.cfm?ID=Int%200168-2006&TYPE=all&YEAR=2006&SPONSORS=YES&REPORTS=YES&HISTORY=YES.
- March 7, 2008
Texas Environmental Penalties Includes Funds for Retrofit - On February 27, 2008, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved penalties totaling $900,081 against 70 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations (15 entities were fined for air quality violations). Included in the total is a fine of $325,120 against ConocoPhillips for air violations at the Sweeney refinery in Brazoria County. Of that fine, $152,560 will be used to fund retrofitting of school buses with emission control devices through the Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles program in Brazoria County. The order indicates the company failed to prevent and/or properly report unauthorized emissions of numerous agents during eight emissions events and one failed stack test during 2006 and early 2007.
- February 29, 2008
EPA Region 5 Announces 2007 Clean School Bus Grants - On January 23, 2008, U.S. EPA Region 5 (the Midwest region) announced the recipients of its 2007 Clean School Bus USA grants. The grants were provided under the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative.
The grant recipients include:
- A $154,848 grant to the Canton Local School District in Canton, Ohio, for a project to cut diesel emissions from the district's school buses. EPA said the grant will be used to retrofit 24 school buses with emission control devices and to help replace two 1988 model year school buses with 2007 model year buses.
- A $118,000 grant to Hamilton County, Ohio, for a Southwest Ohio Clean Diesel Campaign project to cut diesel emissions from school buses in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. EPA said the grant will be used to retrofit 60 school buses in six area school districts with emission control devices and to help replace three pre-1990 school buses in the Forest Hills and Northwest Local school districts with 2007 or 2008 model year buses.
- A $67,923 grant to the American Lung Association of Illinois for a project to cut diesel emissions from school buses in Madison County in the St. Louis Metro-East area. EPA said the grant will be used to install idling reduction equipment to cut diesel emissions from 15 buses in the Roxana School District's fleet.
For more information on these award announcements, go to: www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel/sectors/schoolbus/index.htm.
MassDEP Awards Funding to Three Towns for Construction Retrofits - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has announced that three towns in the state have received a total of $5,135 in funding to retrofit three municipal construction vehicles. DOCs will be installed on three front-end loaders owned by the towns of Bernardston, North Andover, and Wakefield. The funding is part of the state-wide diesel retrofit initiative announced in December 2006, which includes a $22.5-million grant to retrofit all school and transit buses in Massachusetts, retrofit off-road engines used in state-funded construction projects, and enforce the state's anti-idling regulation.
- February 15, 2008
House Subcommittee Passes Bill to Allow SEP Funds to Be Used for Diesel Retrofit Projects - On February 13, 2008, the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee passed a bill to allow the U.S. EPA to accept funds for diesel emissions reduction projects as part of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs). (Background: Most federal actions against businesses for failure to comply with laws under the Clean Air Act (CAA) are resolved through settlement agreements. As part of a settlement, an alleged violator may voluntarily agree to undertake an environmentally beneficial project related to the violation - a SEP - in exchange for mitigation of the penalty to be paid.) Between 2001 and 2006, EPA received diesel emission reduction funds of more than $45 million from CAA lawsuit settlements. Without this bill, EPA would have been forced to stop accepting the funds. Representative Jim Costa (D-CA) sponsored the House version of the bill. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has already passed the companion legislation in the Senate. The House Subcommittee will now send the bill to the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce where it is expected to be unanimously passed.
- February 8, 2008
British Columbia to Retrofit All School Buses in Province - On January 23, 2008, British Columbia's Environment Minister Barry Penner announced a $1.1-million investment by the British Columbia government to reduce emissions from all diesel school buses in the province. There are an estimated 1,200 district-owned school buses in British Columbia. Of these, 345 have already been retrofitted with DOCs through an Environment Canada program. The B.C. government's program will complete the retrofitting of the remaining buses. The school bus retrofit program is expected to be completed by the end of 2009. Last June, the B.C. government was the first province in Canada to introduce mandatory measures requiring all older commercial diesel trucks to install a DOC by 2009. For more information on the school bus announcement, go to: www.env.gov.bc.ca/pac/airquality.htm.
Clean Air Initiative in Kansas City Includes Diesel Retrofit Project - On January 30, 2008, the U.S. EPA announced that it has chosen Kansas City as the second city (Dallas was the first city) to participate in a pilot program called the Sustainable Skylines Initiative, a public-private partnership designed to reduce air emissions and promote sustainability in urban environments. EPA gave $125,000 to its Region 7 office in Kansas City to finance the initiative, and Region 7 will contribute an additional $100,000. One of the projects under the three-year initiative is "Constructing" Clean Air, a diesel retrofit partnership with the heavy construction industry in the Kansas City area to reduce air pollution from construction equipment. The other air quality-related project identified under the initiative is KC Idle Free, an idle-reduction campaign involving public and private vehicle fleets to establish idle-free zones. The partners involved in the initiative are expected to start taking action on these projects in early 2008. Kansas City's recent violations of the national air-quality standard for ozone, plus efforts of local organizations and governments toward environmental awareness, contributed to EPA's choice of Kansas City for the program. For more information on the Sustainable Skylines Initiative, go to: www.epa.gov/region07/citizens/ssi.htm.
Massachusetts Issues Guide for Retrofitting Construction Equipment - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has issued a comprehensive guide for retrofitting diesel construction equipment with emission control technologies. The 56-page document, Diesel Engine Retrofits in the Construction Industry: A How To Guide, includes an overview of the health and air quality concerns associated with diesel pollution; Massachusetts' construction retrofit contract requirements; a summary of available retrofit technologies; information on how to choose, purchase, and install a retrofit device; and case studies of successful construction retrofit projects. For a copy of the guide, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/air/diesel/conretro.pdf.
- February 1, 2008
Minnesota Announces Retrofit Grants for School Buses, Municipal Vehicles - The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has awarded a $1.2 million grant to Project Green Fleet (PGF) for the retrofit of 650 school buses. PGF is a partnership between businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations with the goal of reducing pollution from school buses in Minnesota. Also, a $500,000 CMAQ grant will be used by MPCA to retrofit 200 on-road municipal vehicles in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. MPCA is expected to issue an RFP for retrofit vendors soon. For more information on either of these diesel retrofit opportunities, please contact MPCA's Fran Kurk at (651) 215-0242 or email@example.com.
- January 25, 2008
Ohio EPA Settlement with Food Company Includes Funds for School Bus Retrofits - On January 11, 2008, the Ohio EPA announced that Koch Foods has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty after failing to meet Ohio EPA's toxic release inventory reporting requirements. According to the state EPA, the poultry processing manufacturer did not file its reports or pay the required fees on time for 2004 and 2005. Of the $10,000 penalty, 80% will go to the Ohio EPA's Division of Air Pollution Control to administer air pollution control programs, with the remaining money to fund the department's Clean Diesel School Bus Fund.
Texas Clean School Bus Program Allocates Allotted Retrofit Funds - On January 22, 2008, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that all of the grant money allocated to the Texas Clean School Bus Program for this fiscal year has been reserved. In less than three months, $5,872,266 was reserved by 39 Texas school districts. This money will be used by the districts to retrofit approximately 2,000 school buses with emission control devices. For specific information on which districts will receive funds from this disbursement, go to: www.texascleanschoolbus.org. TCEQ says an additional $6,013,504 will be available in fiscal year 2009.
- January 18, 2008
EPA Settlement with Oil Refinery Includes Funds for Diesel Retrofits - On January 16, 2008, Sinclair Oil Corp. agreed to pay a $2.45 million civil penalty and spend more than $72 million for new and upgraded pollution controls to reduce air pollution by more than 11 million pounds annually from the company's three refineries. This settlement resolved alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at the company's facilities in Casper and Sinclair, Wyoming, and in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to new air pollution controls, Sinclair will spend $150,000 on supplemental environmental projects in Oklahoma, including $100,000 to install new retrofit devices to reduce emissions of particulate matter from the City of Tulsa's fleet of municipal trash trucks. More information on this settlement with Sinclair is available at: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/oil/index.html.
Funding Available for Diesel Retrofit Projects in North Carolina - The North Carolina Solar Center (NCSC) at NC State University and project partners are seeking proposals from governments, business, and/or non-profit fleet and fuel providers for transportation-related emission reduction projects. The Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project is a three-year, $2 million initiative of the NCSC funded by federal dollars from the NC Department of Transportation with state support from the State Energy Office and Division of Air Quality. This is the third round of funding under this project. In addition to providing assistance for emission reduction projects such as purchasing alternative fuel vehicles, installing refueling infrastructure for cleaner-burning alternative fuels, installing retrofits on existing diesel vehicles, and using idle reduction technology, the CFAT Project focuses on education and outreach to the 24 counties in North Carolina that do not meet the national ambient air quality standards for ozone. Project proposals must be submitted to the NCSC by March 28, 2008. For more information on this funding opportunity, go to: www.engr.ncsu.edu/ncsc/transportation/funding.htm#CFAT.
Deadline Extended for Ohio Clean Diesel RFP - The Ohio Department of Development is extending the deadline for applications for the Ohio Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG) program to Monday, February 11, 2008 (the original deadline was February 1). About $9.8 million in federal CMAQ funds is available for retrofit, vehicle replacement, repower, and anti-idle projects in Ohio. For more information on the DERG program, go to: www.odod.state.oh.us/diesel-emissions/.
- January 11, 2008
Ohio Clean Diesel RFP Released - On January 7, 2008, the Ohio Department of Development released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Ohio Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG) program. The total funding available for this funding opportunity is $9,817,105 in federal CMAQ funds through June 30, 2008. (Each application must contain a request for at least $20,000 to be considered.) The program is available for all public diesel engine fleets and private diesel engine fleets (with a public sponsor) that have at least 20% matching funds and who are committed to operating their equipment in ozone and PM2.5 nonattainment counties in Ohio at least 65% of the time. Public fleets include but are not limited to school buses, mass transit vehicles, trash trucks, and government fleets. Private fleets include but are not limited to long and short haul trucks, switcher locomotives, and non-road construction equipment. Eligible project types include retrofit, vehicle replacement, repower, and anti-idle.
The deadline to submit proposals is February 1, 2008. The announcement of awards is expected on March 21, 2008. Depending upon funding availability, a second round of funding may be available in the spring of 2008. For more information about the DERG program, including a copy of the RFP, go to: www.odod.state.oh.us/diesel-emissions/.
- January 4, 2008
Tennessee DOT Announces Second Round of Retrofit Grants - The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is now accepting applications for a second round of diesel retrofit grants using available CMAQ funds. TDOT plans to award up to $1 million in competitive grant funds for retrofit projects involving road construction equipment and switchyard locomotives ($500,000 in funding for each project classification). Road construction retrofit funds may be used to purchase and install retrofit emission control devices, rebuild older engines, or repower equipment with cleaner engines. Locomotive project funds can be used to install retrofit emission controls or install idling reduction/horsepower reduction technologies. Applicants chosen for funding must provide at least 20% of the total project cost. The deadline for road construction project funding applications is February 15, 2008. Applications are available on TDOT's website at: www.tennessee.gov/tdot/cmaq. TDOT used first round grant funding to fund three locomotive projects in Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga and to fund the retrofit of five pieces of construction equipment in Knoxville.
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