Diesel Retrofit News - 2012

2012

December

  • December 7, 2012

    EPA, DOJ Settle with Glass Container Manufacturer over CAA Violations, Includes Funds for Retrofit Project

     

    EPA, DOJ Settle with Glass Container Manufacturer over CAA Violations, Includes Funds for Retrofit Project - On December 3, 2012, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Ohio-based Owens-Brockway Glass Container Inc., the nation's largest glass container manufacturer, has agreed to install pollution control equipment to reduce emissions of NOx, SO2, and PM by nearly 2,500 tons per year and pay a $1.45 million penalty to resolve alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at five of the company's manufacturing plants. The facilities covered by the settlement are located in Atlanta, GA; Clarion, PA; Crenshaw, PA; Muskogee, OK; and Waco, TX.

    The complaint alleges that Owens-Brockway constructed or made modifications to furnaces at the company's facilities, resulting in increased emissions of NOx, SO2, and PM, without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing required pollution control equipment, in violation of the CAA. Owens-Brockway will spend an estimated $37.5 million on controls to reduce emissions of NOx, SO2, and PM and to install continuous emissions monitors. NOx controls of note include the installation of a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit on three furnaces located at the Waco facility. SO2 controls include the installation of a dry scrubber system on three furnaces located at the Waco facility. PM controls include the installation of an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) on three furnaces located at the Waco facility. (Owens-Brockway made an independent business decision to close the Clarion facility and two furnaces at the Atlanta facility.)

    Owens-Brockway will also spend an additional $200,000 to mitigate excess emissions at its plant in Atlanta by working with the Georgia Retrofit Program to retrofit diesel school buses and fleet vehicles with emission control devices, or it will assist with the purchase of new natural gas, propane, or hybrid vehicles.

    Reducing air pollution from the largest sources of emissions, including glass manufacturing plants, is one of EPA's National Enforcement Initiatives for 2011-2013. This is the fourth settlement under EPA's National Glass Manufacturing Plant Initiative.

    For more information on the settlement, go to: www.epa.gov/enforcement/air/cases/owensbrockway.html.

     


November

  • November 30, 2012

    EPA, DOJ Settle with Electric Company in LA over CAA Violations, Includes Funds for Retrofit

     

    EPA, DOJ Settle with Electric Company in LA over CAA Violations, Includes Funds for Retrofit - On November 21, 2012, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Louisiana Generating, an electric-generating company owned by NRG Energy, Inc., agreed to a settlement at its Big Cajun II coal-fired power plant in New Roads, LA, which will result in the elimination of over 27,300 tons of emissions per year. The settlement will require Louisiana Generating to spend approximately $250 million to reduce air pollution and also requires the company to pay a civil fine of $3.5 million and spend $10.5 million on supplemental environmental projects (SEPs), which could potentially include diesel retrofit projects. The state of Louisiana joined in the settlement and will receive $1.75 million, one-half of the $3.5 million civil penalty.

    Louisiana Generating will achieve the aforementioned reductions through a combination of new pollution controls (i.e., the installation of selective non-catalytic reduction systems), natural gas conversion, and annual emission caps at all three units at the Big Cajun II plant. Emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) will be reduced by approximately 20,000 tons and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by about 3,300 tons. Louisiana Generating will spend the estimated $250 million in capital costs to comply with the consent decree through the end of 2015. Louisiana Generating also has agreed to further air pollution reductions by 2025, which will reduce SO2 emissions by at least an additional 4,000 tons each year.

    The $10.5 million in SEP funding will be directed to further reduce emissions and benefit communities adversely affected by pollution from the Big Cajun II plant as follows:
     

    • Pay $1.5 million to the state of Louisiana to implement projects which could include the following: retrofitting vehicles with pollution controls, truck-stop electrification, purchase and installation of photovoltaic cells on buildings, building energy conservation and efficiency, buyback programs for dirty old motors, and removal or replacement of oil-fired home heaters with ultra-low sulfur oil and outdoor wood-fired boilers;
    • Install solar photovoltaic panels at local schools, government-owned facilities, or buildings owned by nonprofit groups;
    • Restore and protect land, watersheds, vegetation, and forests;
    • Fund creation of one or more charging stations for electric vehicles in the South Louisiana area that are supplied with zero-emission renewable energy sources;
    • Mitigate nitrogen loading in the False River, which will have the co-benefit of reducing phosphorus loading and preventing harmful algal blooms; and
    • Conduct energy-efficiency projects, which could include voltage optimization, residential energy efficiency, and assistance with commercial or industrial energy efficiency improvements.

    The settlement marks the federal government's 24th settlement under its national enforcement initiative to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act's New Source Review requirements.

    For more information on the settlement, go to: www.epa.gov/enforcement/air/cases/lagen.html.

     

  • November 21, 2012

    Ohio EPA Releases RFP for $11 Million in CMAQ Funding for Clean Diesel Projects

     

    Ohio EPA Releases RFP for $11 Million in CMAQ Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - Ohio EPA's Diesel Emission Reduction Grant (DERG) program has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for approximately $11 million in federal highway Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funding to support clean diesel transportation projects in select counties of Ohio. This is the second round of CMAQ funding made available this year (the previous application cycle was announced in March).

    Invited to apply are all public diesel engine fleets and private diesel engine fleets with a public sponsor (public-private partnerships). Project types eligible for funding include replacement, repower, retrofit, and/or installation of anti-idle technology. Equipment must be operated in PM2.5 and/or ozone nonattainment or maintenance areas of Ohio for at least 65% of the time. Applications must be submitted by January 16, 2013. Grant awards will be announced in March 2013.

    For more information, including links to the grant application materials, go to: www.epa.ohio.gov/oeef/derg.aspx.

    From the March 2012 application cycle, a review committee from the Ohio DOT and the Ohio EPA reviewed applications from 73 diesel fleets requesting $44.5 million in CMAQ funding. The committee recommended awarding 18 grants totaling $10,376,763. The Ohio EPA estimates that these projects will achieve annual emission reductions of more than 309 tons of air pollutants.

     

  • November 16, 2012

    Indiana Announces over $1 Million Available for Diesel Emission Reduction Projects

     

    Indiana Announces over $1 Million Available for Diesel Emission Reduction Projects - The Indiana Department of Environmental Management's (IDEM) DieselWise Indiana program is announcing grant opportunities for clean air projects that will significantly reduce diesel emissions across Indiana. Over $1 million in grants are available. The funding source for one grant opportunity (approximately $800,000) requires the grant money to be used to reduce vehicle emissions in Northern Indiana. The other grant opportunity (approximately $220,000) will provide funds to lower emissions from diesel equipment anywhere in the state. The grant awards are expected to range from $10,000 to $200,000, and the intended use of the grants may require a match from the entity receiving the grant.

    For the Northern Indiana grant, eligible projects include on-road or nonroad diesel-powered equipment that serve public needs. For the statewide grant, the funds can be used for either public or private on-road or nonroad vehicles/equipment. For both grants, eligible diesel emission reduction technologies include, but are not limited to, exhaust retrofit technologies, idle reduction technologies, diesel engine upgrades, diesel engine repowers, diesel vehicle replacements, aerodynamic technologies, and low-rolling resistance tires.

    The closing date for receipt of applications for both grants is December 14, 2012.

    Over the past seven years, IDEM's DieselWise Indiana initiative has administered over $4 million in grant monies to clean up emissions from over 2,600 vehicles.

    For more information on the two grant announcements, go to: www.in.gov/idem/5255.htm.

     

  • November 9, 2012

    Pennsylvania Announces Availability of FY 2012 DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects

     

    Pennsylvania Announces Availability of FY 2012 DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced an opportunity to apply for $177,611 in grant funding for projects that will improve air quality and protect public health and the environment by reducing emissions from diesel-powered vehicles. This funding was allocated to the state from FY 2012 DERA funds under the U.S. EPA State Clean Diesel Grant Program.

    DEP is seeking applications for projects that will replace, repower, or retrofit fleet diesel-powered highway and nonroad vehicles. Funding is available for public and private entities that operate diesel-powered fleets throughout the state. These entities may include school districts, municipal authorities, political subdivisions, other state agencies, nonprofit entities, corporations, limited liability companies, or partnerships incorporated or registered in the state.

    Eligible projects include: the purchase and installation of retrofit technologies certified or verified by EPA or ARB; the purchase and installation of EPA- or ARB-verified idle reduction technologies; the purchase of CNG- or LNG-powered vehicles or hybrid-electric vehicles that will replace existing diesel-powered vehicles; repowering vehicles with newer diesel or alternative fuel engines that will lower air emissions; and fleet purchases for the replacement of highway vehicles with lower diesel emissions than the diesel-powered vehicle being replaced.

    All applications must be received by December 19, 2012.

    For a copy of the grant application, go to: www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/aq/cars/retrofit/grant/2012_State_Clean_Diesel_Grant_Program_Guidelines_and_Application.pdf.

     

  • November 9, 2012

    EPA Announces Launch Date for DERA Rebate Program

     

    EPA Announces Launch Date for DERA Rebate Program - The U.S. EPA has announced that they will begin accepting applications for their new DERA Rebate Program on November 13, 2012. This is the first ever rebate program at EPA. For this inaugural program, the FY 2012 DERA funding opportunity will be a pilot program focusing specifically on school bus replacements. EPA has reserved $2 million for this funding opportunity. EPA anticipates targeting other fleets and clean diesel strategies under the rebate program in the future.

    Under the pilot rebate program, the existing school bus must be equipped with a MY 1994 to 2003 diesel engine, have accumulated at least 10,000 miles or have been in use for at least three days per week during the most recent school year, be operational at the time of application, and be used to transport 10 or more students. The replacement school bus must be a MY 2012 or newer engine powered by a conventional diesel engine or alternative fuel (e.g., battery-electric, hybrid diesel-electric, compressed natural gas) and operated in the same manner and over similar routes as the replaced bus. Replaced school buses must be scrapped. The current rebate amounts are: $20,000 for a Class 3-5 bus, $25,000 for a Class 6-7 bus, and $30,000 for a Class 8 bus.

    Applicants may submit only one application for up to five buses. The application period will close on December 14, 2012.

    EPA will host an informational webinar on this pilot rebate program on November 15 at 2:00 pm EST. To participate in the webinar, go to: epa.connectsolutions.com/schoolbusrebates/ (the call-in information is: 866-299-3188 / 3327333#).

    For more information about the DERA Rebate Program, including a copy of the rebate application form, go to: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/dera-rebate.htm.

     

  • November 9, 2012

    Michigan Announces RFP for 2013 State Clean Diesel Grant Program

     

    Michigan Announces RFP for 2013 State Clean Diesel Grant Program - The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is issuing a competitive request for proposals (RFP) for projects that qualify for funding under the Michigan Clean Diesel Initiative. Approximately $200,000 is available for the 2013 Michigan Clean Diesel Grant Program. Grant proposals should be between $50,000 and $200,000 (projects are funded as reimbursement grants). Funding for this grant program is provided from FY 2012 DERA funds under the U.S. EPA's State Clean Diesel Grant Program. The 2013 Michigan Clean Diesel Grant Program is primarily interested in projects from specified counties and surrounding areas in Michigan whose three-year average annual air monitoring levels are at between 60% to 100% of the PM2.5 federal 24-hour standard and/or are within areas affected by the upcoming new federal 8-hour ozone standard.

    Projects eligible for grant awards include: retrofit technologies, idle-reduction technologies, engine repowers, vehicle and equipment replacements, and aerodynamic technologies. Eligible vehicles and equipment include: medium- to heavy-duty diesel vehicles, engines, and ground installations used for either on-road or nonroad applications; marine engines; and on-road or nonroad applications that provide heat, air conditioning, or electricity service to vehicles and equipment that is stationary or temporarily parked (i.e., generator sets).

    Applications will be accepted through December 3, 2012.

    For more information, including a copy of the RFP, go to: www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3310-198413--,00.html.

    Clean Energy Coalition Offers Grant Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - Clean Energy Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting clean energy technologies as a way to create healthier, energy-independent communities, recently announced that it is authorized to offer up to $20,000 in grant funding to Michigan-based owners and operators of eligible diesel vehicles for emission reduction projects. The funding for this grant is provided under the terms of a federal matching grant from U.S. EPA Region 5. This is a reimbursement grant.

    Eligible diesel vehicles are buses, medium-duty or heavy-duty trucks, marine engines, locomotives, and nonroad engines, equipment, or vehicles used in construction, handling of cargo, agriculture, mining, or energy production (including stationary generators and pumps). The existing diesel engine must operational and not at the end of its useful life. Eligible projects include retrofit exhaust controls, certified engine repowers, and vehicle and equipment replacements. Preference will be given to projects that are ready to implement and can be completed quickly.

    Applications are due by November 9, 2012. Award decisions will be made by November 16, 2012.

    For a copy of the grant application, go to: docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEs5QlktYWVyeWFWRWZMOTlEYklCcGc6MQ.

     

  • November 9, 2012

    South Coast Approves $34.2 Million to Replace, Retrofit Diesel School Buses

     

    South Coast Approves $34.2 Million to Replace, Retrofit Diesel School Buses - On November 2, 2012, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) awarded $32.9 million to help school districts in the Southland purchase clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane buses to replace older diesel school buses in their fleets. AQMD also awarded an additional $1.3 million to help school districts retrofit diesel school buses with DPFs to reduce diesel emissions. Overall, AQMD's action provides funding to more than 30 public school districts and private school bus carriers in the Southland to replace 193 pre-1994 diesel school buses with cleaner-burning CNG or propane buses, install necessary fueling infrastructure, and retrofit 66 existing diesel buses with DPFs. Funding for the awards comes from the state's Carl Moyer Program and AQMD's Lower-Emission School Bus fund. Since 2001, AQMD has approved more than $210 million to replace more than 1,000 older diesel school buses with cleaner models and retrofit more than 3,000 newer diesel school buses with DPFs. For more information, including the complete list of funding awards by school district, go to: www.aqmd.gov/news1/2012/bs110212.htm.

     

  • November 2, 2012

    Small Construction Contractor Retrofit Fund in Pittsburgh Announces Second Round of Funding

     

    Small Construction Contractor Retrofit Fund in Pittsburgh Announces Second Round of Funding - The Small Construction Contractor Retrofit Fund, sponsored by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and the Heinz Endowments, is now accepting applications for its second round of grants for small construction companies in the Pittsburgh area (Allegheny County) to retrofit diesel-powered construction equipment. Under a regulation passed by the city council back in July 2011, contractors at city-subsidized developments are required to use low-emission construction equipment on projects of $2.5 million or more that involve at least $250,000 in city subsidies. ACHD, through its Clean Air Fund, and the Heinz Endowments have each contributed $920,000 to the Retrofit Fund. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 are available. The first round of grants earlier this year awarded more than $500,000 (of the $920,000) to six companies. The Retrofit Fund is being managed by Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA). Application information will be posted soon at: www.marama.org/diesel/index.htm.

     


October

  • October 26, 2012

    Wisconsin Announces Availability of FY 2012 DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects

     

    Wisconsin Announces Availability of FY 2012 DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has announced the availability of approximately $193,000 in FY 2012 DERA funding to help fund projects that reduce diesel emissions from on-road, off-road, and stationary sources in Wisconsin. WDNR received the funding through the U.S. EPA's State Clean Diesel Grant Program. Grants are capped at a maximum amount of $50,000 per applicant. Eligible technologies include exhaust control retrofits, engine emission upgrades, engine repower, vehicle replacement, and on-board idling reduction devices. Vehicles/equipment impacted with these funds must remain in the owner's fleet for the remaining useful life of the vehicles/equipment. Applications are due by November 9, 2012. For a copy of the grant application, go to: dnr.wi.gov/aid/cleandiesel.html.

     

  • October 26, 2012

    DOT Issues Interim Guidance for CMAQ Program, Includes Retrofit Projects

     

    DOT Issues Interim Guidance for CMAQ Program, Includes Retrofit Projects - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently published interim guidance regarding the implementation of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program included in the most recent Transportation Bill (MAP-21, signed in July). The CMAQ program was designed to help states and metropolitan areas meet their Clean Air Act obligations in nonattainment and maintenance areas and to prevent areas from falling into nonattainment. Additionally, MAP-21 puts an increased focus on addressing PM2.5. The interim guidance provides a list of eligible activities for CMAQ funding. One of the eligible activities is off-road diesel retrofit projects used in highway and transit construction projects. As noted in the guidance, while projects eligible under the CMAQ program prior to enactment of MAP-21 remain eligible with the new authorization, "there is some modification with new language placing considerable emphasis on select project types, including electric and natural gas vehicle infrastructure and diesel retrofits." To view the interim guidance, go to: www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/guidance/guidecmaq.cfm.

     

  • October 12, 2012

    EPA Announces Recipients of FY 2012 DERA Funds under National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program

     

    EPA Announces Recipients of FY 2012 DERA Funds under National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program - On October 11, 2012, the U.S. EPA announced the award recipients of the $20 million in FY 2012 DERA funds under the agency's National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. These clean diesel projects will repower, replace, or retrofit older school buses, trucks, construction equipment, locomotives, marine vessels, and other diesel-powered vehicles. EPA said this year's award recipients were selected based on, among other things, a proposal's potential for maximizing health and environmental benefits by targeting areas that have significant air quality issues. Also new this year was an increased funding availability per award that allowed EPA to target larger engines used in marine vessels and locomotives.

    The clean diesel projects receiving the most funding (mainly repower and/or replacement projects) include:

    • The South Carolina Department of Health and Environment received $2.07 million to repower 24 marine engines and five mining trucks, replace 15 yard tractors and three bulldozers, and install 30 spaces for truckstop electrification.
    • The Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission received $1.45 million to replace two engines on two Mississippi River pushboats with new Tier 3 engines.
    • The Maine Department of Environmental Protection received $1.39 million to replace four school buses with CNG buses and repower two marine vessels with two Tier 3 marine propulsion and four Tier 3 auxiliary engines.
    • The Alabama State Port Authority received $1.35 million to repower two locomotives.
    • The Port of Long Beach received $1.34 million to replace five yard tractors and retrofit 11 rubber-tired gantry cranes with DPFs.
    • The Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA) received $1.3 million to repower marine vessel engines and retrofit drayage trucks.

    In terms of retrofit projects, besides the projects mentioned above that involved retrofits, notable projects include:

    • The Aldine Independent School District in Texas received $1.04 million to retrofit 65 school buses with DPFs.
    • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment received $700,000 to retrofit an estimated 186 diesel school buses with DOCs, crankcase filtration systems, and fuel-operated heaters.
    • The American Lung Association received $600,000 to retrofit 58 engines with DPFs, repower nine engines to Tier 2 or 3, and equip 72 engines with anti-idling technologies.

    EPA was appropriated $30 million in DERA funding for FY 2012, of which $20 million went to the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, approximately $7 million went to the State Clean Diesel Grant Program (direct state allocations), and the new Rebate Program received $2 million. The Emerging Technologies Program and the SmartWay Program did not receive any DERA funding this year.

    For the complete list of FY 2012 grantees under the Funding Assistance Program, go to: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/prgnational.htm#awarded.

     

  • October 12, 2012

    Guam EPA Using FY 2012 State Clean Diesel DERA Funds to Retrofit School Buses

     

    Guam EPA Using FY 2012 State Clean Diesel DERA Funds to Retrofit School Buses - On September 24, 2012, the Guam EPA announced that it is using $29,060 in FY 2012 DERA funds under the U.S. EPA's State Clean Diesel Grant Program to retrofit the government of Guam's fleet of school buses. This is the first island-wide effort to reduce emissions from these buses. Retrofit technology to be used includes DOCs and crankcase filters. Guam EPA will be partnering with the Guam Department of Public Works (DPW) to complete the retrofits. DPW has a total of 129 buses in the fleet servicing tens of thousands of school children on the island. For more information, go to: epa.guam.gov/guam-epa-receives-grant-to-retrofit-school-buses/.

    Kentucky Announces RFP for Clean Diesel Projects - On October 3, 2012, the Kentucky Division for Air Quality (DAQ) announced that it is seeking proposals from public and private organizations for projects that will implement diesel emissions reduction strategies in Kentucky's diesel fleets. DAQ was awarded $134,809 in FY 2012 DERA funds to administer the 2012 Kentucky Clean Diesel Grant Program through the U.S. EPA's State Clean Diesel Grant Program.

    Eligible clean diesel strategies include the installation of retrofit devices and idle reduction technologies on vehicles, engine repowers, and vehicle replacement. Eligible vehicles include municipal vehicles, nonroad equipment, marine engines, and transit and school buses. (In the past, Kentucky's clean diesel funding has been primarily limited to on-road public fleets.) This competitive funding opportunity is open to any public or private entity located in Kentucky that owns and operates its own eligible diesel vehicles, engines, and/or equipment.

    Applicants located in poor air quality areas of the state and proposals that demonstrate the most cost-effective emission reduction strategies will be given priority in grant awards. DAQ is also particularly interested in proposals for engine repower and replacement projects, as well as projects that occur within the nonroad sector, utilize alternative fuels (such as electric or natural gas), and/or reduce unnecessary engine idling.

    The deadline to apply for funds is November 14, 2012.

    For a copy of the RFP, go to: air.ky.gov/Pages/KentuckyCleanDieselGrantProgram.aspx.

     


September

  • September 21, 2012

    EPA Announces NCDC Rebate Program, Pilot to Focus on School Bus Replacements

     

    EPA Announces NCDC Rebate Program, Pilot to Focus on School Bus Replacements - On September 13, 2012, the U.S. EPA announced the new National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) Rebate Program. This is the first ever rebate program at EPA. For this inaugural program, the FY 2012 DERA funding opportunity will be a pilot program focusing specifically on school bus replacements. EPA has reserved $2 million for this funding opportunity. EPA anticipates targeting other specific fleets/retrofit strategies under the rebate program in the future as additional DERA funding becomes available.

    Under the pilot program, the existing school bus must be equipped with a MY 1994 to 2003 diesel engine, have accumulated at least 10,000 miles or have been in use for at least three days per week during the most recent school year, be operational at the time of application, and be used to transport 10 or more students. The replacement school bus must be a MY 2011 or newer engine powered by a conventional diesel engine or alternative fuel (e.g., battery-electric, hybrid diesel-electric, compressed natural gas) and operated in the same manner and over similar routes as the replaced bus. Replaced school buses must be scrapped. The current rebate amounts are: $20,000 for a Class 3-5 bus, $25,000 for a Class 6-7 bus, and $30,000 for a Class 8 bus.

    EPA anticipates the acceptance of applications to start in November. EPA will make another announcement when the rebate application acceptance period officially opens.

    For more information on the NCDC Rebate Program, go to: epa.gov/cleandiesel/dera-rebate.htm.

    Texas Announces Availability of Clean Air Grants, Includes Funding for NOx Retrofit Projects - On September 13, 2012, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that applications are being accepted for the Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants (ERIG) program to help reduce emissions by cleaning up older vehicles and equipment. The grants, offered under the agency's Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), provide incentives to eligible individuals, businesses, and governments in the following areas: Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Dallas-Fort Worth, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tyler-Longview, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Victoria.

    A total of $40 million in funding is being made available to purchase, lease, replace, repower, or retrofit heavy-duty on-road vehicles, nonroad equipment, marine vessels, locomotives, and/or stationary equipment. Funding is also available for on-site and on-vehicle infrastructure to reduce idling. Funded projects must result in a reduction in NOx emissions of at least 25%.

    Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2012. For a copy of the grant application, go to: www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp/erig.html.

     

  • September 7, 2012

    Georgia School District to Retrofit School Buses with DOCs

     

    Georgia School District to Retrofit School Buses with DOCs - Gwinnett County Public Schools in metro Atlanta, GA, announced last week that it is retrofitting 45% of its fleet of school buses with DOCs using an $878,850 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. The 837 buses receiving the DOCs were manufactured between 1987 and 2002. School officials said the retrofits will reduce PM by 20%. The DOC installations are expected to be completed by Yancey Power Systems by the end of 2012. For more information, go to: www.stnonline.com/home/latest-news/4686-georgia-school-district-to-reduce-emissions-with-diesel-oxidation-catalyist-retrofit-project.

     


August

  • August 31, 2012

    Northeast Diesel Collaborative Releases Best Practices Document for Clean Construction

     

    Northeast Diesel Collaborative Releases Best Practices Document for Clean Construction - The Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC) recently announced the availability of a document that provides recommendations for successful implementation of specifications to minimize diesel pollution from construction equipment. The document, "Best Practices for Clean Diesel Construction: Successful Implementation of Equipment Specifications to Minimize Diesel Pollution," details the steps needed to ensure effective communication and engagement by all parties associated with the construction project, as well as provides links to resources and checklists for the project owner/sponsor, construction manager, and contractor. Specifications for operating cleaner diesel equipment have become more prevalent as states, local governments, public agencies, and private entities have begun to require that clean construction technologies and strategies be used on their sites. For a copy of the document, go to: www.northeastdiesel.org/pdf/BestPractices4CleanDieselConstructionAug2012.pdf.

     

  • August 24, 2012

    Texas Announces New Round of Funding for School Bus Retrofits

     

    Texas Announces New Round of Funding for School Bus Retrofits - On August 20, 2012, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that grant applications are now being accepted statewide to retrofit eligible diesel-powered school buses with emissions control devices. A total of up to $2 million is available. This grant opportunity is open to all public and charter schools in Texas that operate one or more diesel-powered school buses. All sizes of diesel school buses are eligible. A diesel school bus proposed for retrofit must be used on a regular, daily route to and from a school and have at least five years of useful life remaining. Eligible retrofit devices include verified DPFs, DOCs, and crankcase filtration systems. While a school district may apply for any amount of funding, TCEQ has limited funds and will review applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applications are due by November 30, 2012. For more information, including a link to the grant application, go to: www.texascleanschoolbus.org.

     

  • August 10, 2012

    EPA Submits Information Collection Documents under Upcoming DERA Rebate Program to OMB

     

    EPA Submits Information Collection Documents under Upcoming DERA Rebate Program to OMB - In the August 6, 2012 Federal Register, the U.S. EPA announced that it has forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval an Information Collection Request (ICR) for the agency's upcoming DERA rebate program. Back in March, EPA sought comments on its draft application form under the ICR for the DERA rebate program.

    Under the ICR for the DERA rebate program, EPA will collect information from applicants who wish to apply for a rebate under the program. Information collected from applicants will ensure that they are eligible to receive funds under DERA, that funds are provided for eligible activities, and to calculate estimated and actual emissions benefits that result from activities funded with the rebates as required in DERA's authorizing legislation. As noted in the August 6 Federal Register, the objective of the assistance under this program "is to achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced and reductions in diesel emissions exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the [EPA] Administrator as poor air quality areas."

    Comments on the ICR for the DERA rebate program are due to EPA by September 5, 2012. Copies of the Federal Register notice and supporting materials are available in the EPA docket (EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0103) at: www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR%252BPR%252BN%252BO%252BSR;rpp=25;po =0;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0103.

     


July

  • July 27, 2012

    Puget Sound Board Amends FY 2013 Budget to Provide Additional Funding for Retrofit Projects

     

    Puget Sound Board Amends FY 2013 Budget to Provide Additional Funding for Retrofit Projects - On July 26, 2012, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's Board of Directors adopted a resolution providing additional funding in the FY 2013 budget for two existing diesel retrofit projects. The resolution (Resolution No. 1252) amends the FY 2013 budget to add $180,000 to retrofit additional cargo-handling equipment at the Port of Seattle with Level 3 retrofit devices (i.e., DPFs) and $60,000 to clean Level 2 retrofit devices (i.e., flow-through filters) previously installed on school buses throughout the region.

    Below are more detailed summaries of the retrofit projects:

    • Port of Seattle Level 3 Retrofits on Cargo-Handling Equipment - Along with the Washington Department of Ecology and the Port of Seattle, Puget Sound staff identified an opportunity to retrofit additional cargo-handling equipment at Port of Seattle terminals with Level 3 retrofit devices. They have identified 21 potential retrofit candidates and estimate a total project cost of $480,000. Ecology has committed $300,000 towards the project directly. The remaining cost ($180,000) will be covered with the State Diesel Retrofit Fund Balance ($90,000) and the Port of Seattle's Diesel Emissions Reduction Projects Fund Balance ($90,000). All funds will be spent in FY 2013.
    • Retrofit Maintenance and Support for Fleets - Among the agency's first diesel emission reduction projects were exhaust retrofits installed on school buses throughout the region. One of the early retrofit campaigns installed flow-through filters on 297 buses. To support the school districts, who were the first adopters of these devices, the agency will provide one free cleaning for each flow-through filter retrofit. The agency will add $60,000 to the FY 2013 budget, drawn from the State Diesel Retrofit Fund Balance, to pay for these cleanings. A small portion of these funds may also be used to provide retrofit maintenance support to other fleets that have participated in the agency's retrofit programs. All funds will be spent in FY 2013.

    For more information, go to: www.pscleanair.org/announce/hearings/documents/0712_RES1252.pdf.

     

  • July 13, 2012

    New Jersey State Auditor Releases Review of State Diesel Retrofit Program

     

    New Jersey State Auditor Releases Review of State Diesel Retrofit Program - On July 2, 2012, the New Jersey Office of the State Auditor announced the completion of an audit of select New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection programs, including the state's diesel retrofit program, for the period July 1, 2009 to December 1, 2011. The eight-page audit found for the most part that the state's diesel retrofit program was working reasonably well; however, it suggested specific improvements to the installation of retrofit devices for off-road equipment and the filing of compliance inspection forms.

    New Jersey's Diesel Retrofit Law of 2005 requires that the following classes of diesel-powered vehicles be retrofitted: school buses, solid waste vehicles that are publicly-owned or used to perform solid waste services under a public contract, commercial buses, and publicly-owned on-road vehicles and off-road equipment. During the audit period, the department received $49.8 million from the Corporate Business Tax and expended $26.4 million to retrofit these designated vehicles. Owners are required to get the retrofitted device installed by an approved state-contracted installer. The vehicle owner is responsible for submitting a compliance form, a One-Time Compliance Inspection (OTCI), to the department. A licensed Diesel Emission Inspection Center (DEIC) certifies the installation for the solid waste and publicly owned vehicles, and the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Inspection Unit certifies for school and commercial buses. However, the owners of off-road equipment are exempt from the OTCI verification and are not required to have an emission test performed. The department estimates there are 500 off-road pieces of equipment and one has been retrofitted as of December 2011. The audit recommended the department have at least a one-time visual inspection performed for retrofitted off-road equipment to verify the installation.

    The audit also found that, because of limited staffing, the unit responsible for monitoring the submission of the OTCI has not been following up with the vehicle owners who have not submitted their forms, nor as the unit been forwarding the non-reporting vehicle owners the department's compliance and enforcement unit for further follow up. A December 2011 department report indicated the OTCI form with an inspector's signature had not been submitted to the department for 4,456 of 9,997 vehicles retrofitted. The audit recommended the diesel retrofit program unit refer those non-reporting vehicle owners to the compliance and enforcement unit for further follow-up to ensure the OTCI form signed by a DEIC or MVC inspection is submitted.

    The department concurred with the findings and recommendations of the audit.

    For a copy of the state auditor's report, go to: www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/auditor/420311.pdf.

     

  • July 6, 2012

    Louisville Using DERA Grant to Retrofit City Vehicles

     

    Louisville Using DERA Grant to Retrofit City Vehicles - On July 2, 2012, the Louisville Metro area announced that they are using $1,179,686 in DERA grant funds through the U.S. EPA's State Clean Diesel Grant Program (accumulated over time since FY 2008), as well as a $425,880 grant through the Kentucky Division for Air Quality's Clean Diesel Grant Program, to install retrofit devices (i.e., DPFs and DOCs) on about 90 diesel-powered city vehicles and equipment - from street sweepers to tractors to flood-control pumps. The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (APCD) secured the money and coordinated the project with Louisville Metro Public Works & Assets, the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), and the Louisville Regional Airport Authority.

    Louisville Metro is retrofitting approximately 70 pieces of equipment, including solid waste trucks, tractors, excavators, street sweepers, and wheeled loaders, with DPFs. This equipment is used in neighborhoods, parks, and at project sites throughout the city year-round and in close proximity to residential areas, schools, day care centers, elder care facilities, and other sensitive populations. MSD is installing DPFs on 14 mobile pumps that are deployed in flood-prone areas during periods of heavy rainfall. These pumps are used in close proximity to residential areas for extended periods of time. The Louisville Regional Airport Authority has already retrofitted six pieces of equipment with DOCs.

    For more information, go to: www.louisvilleky.gov/News/NewsItem.htm?PostingGuid={8BCD839A-7D8A-44E6-B1A8-CBE1915E8E09}.

     


June

  • June 29, 2012

    EPA Announces Settlement with BASF, Includes Clean Diesel Project in Michigan

     

    EPA Announces Settlement with BASF, Includes Clean Diesel Project in Michigan - On June 27, 2012, the U.S. EPA reached an agreement with BASF Corp. regarding alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its Wyandotte, MI, chemical manufacturing facility. Under a consent agreement and final order, BASF has agreed to pay a $788,048 penalty and spend at least $250,000 on a supplemental environmental project (SEP) to retrofit or replace municipal diesel engines in Wayne County (where the facility is located). BASF took a proactive role in ensuring that part of the money it was paying went to funding an environmental project that benefited the local community, said a BASF spokesperson. BASF will also improve leak detection and repair practices and has made changes to its processes to reduce VOCs and air toxics from the facility. The fines stem from a March 2008 inspection at the Wyandotte site for an audit period between 2003 and 2008. This agreement is part of an EPA national initiative to target and reduce illegal emissions of air toxics from leaks and reduce excess emissions from facilities that have a significant impact on air quality and health in residential areas. Additional details on this settlement will be available soon at: cfpub.epa.gov/compliance/cases/.

     

  • June 15, 2012

    Cook County, IL, Awarded Grant Funding to Retrofit Heavy-Duty Vehicles

     

    Cook County, IL, Awarded Grant Funding to Retrofit Heavy-Duty Vehicles - Cook County, IL, has been awarded $633,135 in grant funding to install emission control technology on some of its heavy-duty diesel vehicles. The county's Clean Diesel Program will use the funds to retrofit 43 vehicles with DPFs, DOCs, closed crankcase ventilation systems, and/or idle reduction technology. Targeted vehicles include dump trucks, flatbed trucks, and garbage trucks from the Highway Department and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Of the project's total funding, 80% ($530,508) was awarded from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. The other 20% ($132,627) was awarded to the county as a result of a legal settlement between the U.S. EPA and Allied Metal Company. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. Earlier grants from 2008 and 2010 helped retrofit 64 vehicles, including Highway Department vehicles and buses belonging to the Cook County Sheriff's Office. For more information, go to: blog.cookcountygov.com/2012/04/20/grant-helps-cook-county-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions/.

     


May

  • May 25, 2012

    EPA Announces CAA Settlement with BP, Includes Installation of SCR Controls, Funds for Retrofits

     

    EPA Announces CAA Settlement with BP, Includes Installation of SCR Controls, Funds for Retrofits - On May 23, 2012, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that BP North America Inc. has agreed to pay an $8 million penalty and invest more than $400 million to install state-of-the-art pollution controls and cut emissions from BP's petroleum refinery in Whiting, IN. The complaint alleges violations of Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements at the Whiting refinery in connection with construction and expansion of the Whiting refinery, as well as violations of a 2001 consent decree with the company that covered all of BP's refineries and was entered into as part of EPA's Petroleum Refinery Initiative. When fully implemented, the agreement is expected to reduce harmful air pollution by more than 4,000 tons per year. The Whiting refinery has a refining capacity of approximately 405,000 barrels per day and is the sixth largest refinery in the U.S. The state of Indiana, the Sierra Club, Save the Dunes, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Environmental Integrity Project, Susan Eleuterio, and Tom Tsourlis also joined in this settlement.

    The settlement will lead to the installation of innovative pollution controls on the largest sources of emissions at the Whiting refinery, including installation of SCR systems and ultra-low NOx burners on refinery heaters and boilers, and a sulfur limit of 70 ppm on any refinery fuel gas that is burned in heaters and boilers. In addition, BP will need to install extensive new controls on the refinery's flaring devices (flaring devices are used to burn off waste gases). The flaring requirements are part of EPA's national effort to reduce emissions from flares at refineries, petrochemical, and chemical plants. The settlement will also result in reduced emissions by imposing some of the lowest emission limits in refinery settlements to date, enhancing controls on wastewater containing benzene, and providing for an enhanced leak detection and repair program. The settlement also requires the Whiting refinery to spend $9.5 million on projects at the refinery to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

    BP will also perform a supplemental environmental project (SEP) in which they will install, operate, and maintain a $2 million fence-line emission monitoring system at the Whiting refinery and will make the data collected available to the public by posting the information on a publicly-accessible website. Fence-line monitors will continuously monitor benzene, toluene, pentane, hexane, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and all compounds containing reduced sulfur.

    Separate from the settlement, BP also made a side agreement with the environmental non-governmental organizations in the consent decree (the federal and state government entities are not a party to this side agreement) to establish a $500,000 fund which will be available to local public agencies to reduce diesel emissions through a diesel retrofit program.

    For more information about the settlement, go to: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/bp-whiting.html (EPA summary) and www.justice.gov/enrd/ConsentDecrees/r_DM2217841BP-Consent_Decree_FILEDFINAL.pdf

     

  • May 18, 2012

    School District in Georgia Awarded Grant to Retrofit Buses with Emission Control Devices

     

    School District in Georgia Awarded Grant to Retrofit Buses with Emission Control Devices - Parts of the Gordon County school bus fleet in northwest Georgia will be retrofitted with emission control devices, paid for by a grant from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) through a $131,778 DERA grant under the U.S. EPA's State Clean Diesel Grant Program. According to a Gordon County transportation official, out of 120 buses employed by Gordon County, 56 of those buses (MYs 1998 through 2004) will be fitted with either a DPF or a DOC (depending on the age of the bus). The grant will cover 100% of the cost for the new emissions control devices and are expected to be installed sometime in June. The grant money will also cover the cost of purchasing a DPF pulse cleaner and a thermal regenerator to remove ash from the filters that builds up over time. Installation of the new filters will be completed by Yancey Power Systems. Prior to this award, the Gordon County school system had applied unsuccessfully for EPD clean school bus funding for over five years as previous funding had been prioritized to go to counties in northwest Georgia with worse air quality. For more information, go to: www.calhountimes.com/view/full_story/18513627/article-Gordon-CountySchools-take-steps-to-cleaner-air-with-new-bus-filters.

     

  • May 11, 2012

    South Coast to Demonstrate DPF+SCR System on Marine Vessel

     

    South Coast to Demonstrate DPF+SCR System on Marine Vessel - The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has approved the use of $100,000 in U.S. EPA grant funds to co-sponsor a marine retrofit technology demonstration project. The project will retrofit a harbor tug with a combined diesel particulate filter (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system to reduce both diesel PM and NOx emissions from the vessel. In addition to the SCAQMD funding, other project co-sponsors include the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and Sause Brothers, a marine transportation company and owner of the harbor tug that will be used in this retrofit demonstration project. Commercial harbor craft are a significant emissions source of both PM and NOx in the South Coast air basin. The retrofit DPF+SCR system is expected to reduce PM and NOx emissions from the harbor tug by more than 80%. For more information on this project, go to: aqmd.gov/hb/attachments/2011- 2015/2012Apr/2012-Apr6-004.pdf.

    MARAD to Award up to $1.5 Million for Projects to Reduce Marine Vessel Emissions - The U.S. Maritime Administration's (MARAD) Office of Environment is soliciting proposals for up to $1.5 million in funding for projects that demonstrate criteria pollutant emission or carbon emission reductions from marine vessels through repowering, installation of other pollutant reduction technologies, or the use of alternative fuel/energy. The total amount of funding under the RFP will be $1,500,000; MARAD anticipates making three awards. MARAD is seeking to provide cost-share funding through cooperative agreements for U.S.-flagged vessels that operate on inland or coastal waterways. Eligible applicants include vessel owners, operators, or sponsors. Awardees must demonstrate a reduction of emissions of NOx, SOx, PM, or carbon through an approved emissions testing scheme. Projects that will be funded under the RFP include engine repowers, retrofits, the use of alternative fuels, or the use of alternative technologies such as hybrid engines and other emissions reduction technologies. MARAD will not fund more than 75% of the total cost of the project. Shore-side equipment upgrade or shore power projects are not eligible for funding.

    Data collected under the cooperative agreement, including that related to costs, emissions, and fuel consumption, must be made available to MARAD and can be used publicly. MARAD will use the results and data to support further air emissions reduction research and demonstration projects and to demonstrate the public benefit of future incentives to improve vessel-related environmental stewardship.

    The closing date for applications is July 9, 2012. More information on this solicitation is available at: www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&oppId=169653.

     

  • May 11, 2012

    Brownsville School District in Texas Receives $1.7 Million to Retrofit School Buses with DPFs

     

    Brownsville School District in Texas Receives $1.7 Million to Retrofit School Buses with DPFs - On May 7, 2012, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that it has awarded the Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) a $1.7 million grant through the Texas Clean School Bus Program to install DPFs on 129 school buses operating in the district. TCEQ officials and state legislators gathered at Kelley Elementary School in Brownsville on May 7 to officially present the check to the BISD Board. BISD has 57 schools serving approximately 50,000 children and operates 304 buses. For more information, go to: www.tceq.texas.gov/news/releases/5-12BrownsvilleBuses5-7.

     

  • May 4, 2012

    Wartsila to Retrofit Ship with World's Largest Marine Diesel Emissions Scrubber

     

    Wartsila to Retrofit Ship with World's Largest Marine Diesel Emissions Scrubber - On April 23, 2012, Wartsila Hamworthy announced a deal with Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA, a global cargo ship operator, to retrofit the vessel MV Tamesis with a "Krystallon" exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS). According to Wartsila, the multi-stream scrubber system will be the world's largest in order to manage the exhaust gases produced by the 38,486 dwt (deadweight tonnes) Mark IV RoRo (roll-on, roll-off) vessel's combined engine power of 28,000 kilowatts. Its installation will prepare Tamesis for the upcoming International Maritime Organization's sulfur emissions regulation that comes into force in January 2015, which mandates that vessels must burn fuel with a sulfur content of 0.1% when operating within IMO-sanctioned Emissions Control Areas (ECAs), or else install emissions scrubbing. By using a scrubber to reduce sulfur and PM emissions from its main engine, as well as its auxiliaries, Wartsila says the MV Tamesis will be able to avoid the expected US$300 to $400 price premium that standard vessels will have to pay for the marine distillate fuels they would need to burn to remain compliant.

    The EGCS installation will be carried out during the vessel's scheduled intermediate docking in the first quarter of 2013. Following the commissioning, a comprehensive third-party measurement and verification program will be carried out over two-and-a-half years, and is partly funded by the Research Council of Norway.

    More information on this is available at: www.ship-technology.com/news/newswrtsilhamworthy-to-install-krystallon-egcs-wilhelmsen-vessel.

     


April

  • April 27, 2012

    EPA Announces RFP for FY 2012 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program

     

    EPA Announces RFP for FY 2012 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program - On April 20, 2012, the U.S. EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) announced its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the FY 2012 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program funded through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program. This is the first funding opportunity since DERA was reauthorized by Congress in January 2011 ($100 million per year from FY 2012 to FY 2016). The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $20 million (out of the overall $30 million allocated to the DERA program for FY 2012; the remaining funds will go to the State Clean Diesel Grant Program). (Note: There will be no Emerging Technologies Program competition or SmartWay Finance Program competition in FY 2012.)

    Highlights from the RFP include:

    • Similar to previous DERA RFPs, eligible diesel emission reduction strategies include verified emission control technologies (such as retrofit devices, cleaner fuels, and engine upgrades), verified idle reduction technologies, verified aerodynamic technologies and low-rolling resistance tires, certified engine repowers, and/or vehicle or equipment replacement.
    • Eligible diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment may include buses, medium-duty or heavy-duty trucks, marine engines, locomotives and nonroad engines, equipment or vehicles used in construction, handling of cargo (including at a port or airport), agriculture, mining, or energy production (including stationary generators and pumps).
    • Eligible entities include regional, state, local, or tribal agencies or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality, and nonprofit organizations or institutions that: a) represent or provide pollution reduction or educational services to persons or organizations that own or operate diesel fleets or b) have as their principal purpose the promotion of transportation or air quality.
    • EPA will fund up to 100% of the cost (labor and equipment) of EPA- and/or ARB-verified retrofit technologies.
    • This year's RFP contains several changes compared to previous competitions. Some of the notable changes include:
      • The evaluation criteria for this RFP now includes a specific programmatic priority for "Diesel Reduction Effectiveness." Under this criterion, applicants will be evaluated on the extent to which the project effectively reduces diesel emissions, by maximizing the useful life and annual operating hours of any certified engine configuration or verified technology. These scores are based on the age and annual operating hours of the vehicle, and the effectiveness and cost of the control strategy. The scoring methodology, in general, favors the use of Level 3 retrofit devices (i.e., the score for using a DPF or an SCR system is equal to or higher than a repower or a replacement for all vehicle/equipment model years).
      • The evaluation criteria now includes a specific programmatic priority for "Project Location." Additional points will be given to projects located in counties and areas selected by EPA as priority areas for the DERA program based on data from a number of sources (see the FY12 Priority County and Area List here: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/documents/fy12-county-area-list.pdf).
      • No funds awarded under this RFP can be used to retrofit, repower, or replace a bus, medium-duty, or heavy-duty highway vehicle that is a MY 1988 vehicle or older.
      • No funds awarded under this RFP can be used to retrofit, repower, or replace a nonroad engine or equipment that has less than seven years of useful life remaining. (A table distinguishing which nonroad engine model years EPA has determined to have at least seven years of useful life remaining, based on the type and age of vehicle, can be found at: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/documents/fy12- nonroad-remaininguseful-life.pdf.)
      • DERA reauthorization removed the requirement that 50% of DERA funds be used for public fleets. It also removed the restriction on using DERA funds for programs mandated by state or local law (DERA funds still cannot be used for programs mandated by federal law).

    The closing date for receipt of proposals is June 4, 2012. Award winners will be announced in October 2012.

    For more information, including a copy of the RFP and all supporting documents, go to: epa.gov/cleandiesel/prgnational.htm.

     

  • April 27, 2012

    Delaware Valley Makes Available CMAQ Funds for Air Quality Improvement Projects, Including Retrofits

     

    Delaware Valley Makes Available CMAQ Funds for Air Quality Improvement Projects, Including Retrofits - In March, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) opened a competitive funding round for their Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). DVRPC will make available $8 million in the DVRPC Pennsylvania counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia) and $2.6 million in the DVRPC New Jersey counties (Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer) for projects that will improve air quality and/or reduce traffic congestion. Examples of eligible CMAQ projects include diesel retrofit projects, transit improvement programs, congestion reduction and traffic flow improvements, pedestrian and bicycle projects, and funding of transportation demand management programs, among others. Public agencies and private-public partnerships with a public agency sponsor are eligible to apply for the CMAQ funds. DVRPC will accept applications through Monday, May 14, 2012. CMAQ application forms and program guidance are available at: www.dvrpc.org/cmaq.

     

  • April 20, 2012

    Northeast Diesel Collaborative Honors Groups for Reducing Diesel Emissions

     

    Northeast Diesel Collaborative Honors Groups for Reducing Diesel Emissions - On April 12, 2012, the Northeast Diesel Collaborative recognized four organizations for their outstanding leadership and efforts in reducing diesel emissions as part of its second annual Northeast Diesel Collaborative Breathe Easy Leadership Awards Program. The Northeast Diesel Collaborative Breathe Easy awards are given for outstanding service in reducing air pollution to protect human health and the environment. The winners achieve these goals by taking actions such as retrofitting and replacing older diesel engines, reducing idling from diesel engines, developing education and outreach campaigns to promote diesel emissions reduction, and promoting cleaner fuels.

    The 2011 Northeast Diesel Collaborative Breathe Easy Leadership Awardees are:

    • Port Commerce Department, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is being recognized for efforts under its 2009 "Clean Air Strategy for the Port of NY & NJ," which is designed to reduce pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions from all port-related sources. Current initiatives underway include the Truck Replacement Program, the Truck Phase-Out Plan, and the Ocean-Going Vessel Low-Sulfur Fuel Program. For more information on the PANYNJ Clean Air Strategy, go to: www.panynj.gov/about/portinitiatives.html.
    • Transportation Clean Air Measures Program, North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (Honorable Mention) - To further reduce transportation-related air pollutants, the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) has proactively advanced an innovative Transportation Clean Air Measures program. This ongoing NJTPA program was developed to identify clean air efforts not being generated through existing programs. In addition to reducing emissions such as PM, NOx, and greenhouse gases, secondary benefits include reduced vehicle miles traveled, reduced congestion and fuel consumption, a targeted response to environmental justice issues, and increased community awareness regarding noise and air quality. For more information on the NJTPA Transportation Clean Air Measures Program, go to: www.njtpa.org/Plan/Element/AQ/TCAM.aspx.
    • Green Space and Recreation Committee, Chelsea Collaborative, Inc. - For the past 16 years, Chelsea Collaborative's Green Space and Recreation Committee has formed public and private sector partnerships in a collaborative effort to protect and restore Chelsea's natural resources. In 2010, the Collaborative, partnering with the New England Produce Center, replaced 98 diesel-powered transport refrigeration units (TRUs) used for extra cold storage with electrically-powered units at one of the largest produce distribution centers in the country. An additional project partnership installed diesel emission control devices on fleet equipment at the Chelsea Fire Department, the Chelsea Public Works Department, and the Eastern Mineral Salt Dock. For more information on the Chelsea Collaborative's Green Space & Recreation Committee, go to: chelseacollab.org/program/greenspace.
    • Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Honorable Mention) - In 2010, Casella Waste Systems (CWS), partnering with Chittenden Solid Waste District and with funding from the U.S. EPA's National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, replaced three diesel refuse trucks, introducing the first of its CNG-powered fleet of collection vehicles serving Chittenden County, VT. To accommodate the new technology, CWS refurbished its maintenance garage and constructed a CNG fueling station at its transfer station in Williston, VT. For more information on the Chittenden Solid Waste District's CNG fleet, go to: www.cswd.net.

     


March

  • March 30, 2012

    AGC of Greater Milwaukee Announces Availability of Funds to Clean Up Construction Equipment

     

    AGC of Greater Milwaukee Announces Availability of Funds to Clean Up Construction Equipment - The Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee has announced that they have funds remaining from a previous grant that can be used to clean up existing construction equipment. There is no maximum dollar amount per applicant. Any interested party may apply for funding for U.S. EPA- or ARB-verified exhaust retrofit devices (DOCs, DPFs, etc.), which are funded at 100%, and/or EPA-verified engine repowers, which are funded at 75% (repowered engines must meet a more stringent emission standard than the previous engine and the old engine must be disposed/permanently disabled). All projects must be completed and reimbursed by September 2012. AGC of Greater Milwaukee is only interested in ready-to-go projects that can have the technology installed in the next few months. For more information and/or to apply, please contact AGC's Gert Grohmann at: (414) 778-4104 or ggrohmann@agc-gm.org.

     

  • March 16, 2012

    Bay Area, Alameda County Approve $3.3 Million to Clean Up Trucks at Port of Oakland

     

    Bay Area, Alameda County Approve $3.3 Million to Clean Up Trucks at Port of Oakland - On March 8, 2012, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) announced that it has approved up to $1.9 million in funding to continue retrofitting and replacing older, higher-emitting trucks to reduce PM emissions at the Port of Oakland. This action follows the commitment of $1.43 million by Alameda County to the same project earlier this month.

    Since 2008, BAAQMD has received and awarded $25.8 million to port drayage truck owners from a variety of sources, including state and federal funding. These monies were used to assist in the retrofit of 1,319 trucks and the replacement of 203 trucks, for a total of 1,552 truck upgrades. BAAQMD funding for this new program comes from the Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA). TFCA funds are provided through a $4 surcharge on motor vehicles registered within the San Francisco Bay Area, as authorized by the California State Legislature to reduce roadway emissions. The combined new funding should provide for upgrades of an additional 330 port trucks equipped with MY 2005-2006 engines registered in the Bay Area. Grants of $10,000 will be available to eligible Bay Area truck owners toward the purchase of a truck with a MY 2007 engine or newer.

    For more information, go to: www.baaqmd.gov/~/media/Files/Communications%20and%20Outreach/Publications/News%20Releases/2012/port_120307.ashx?la=en.

     

  • March 16, 2012

    Oregon Announces Availability of Grant Funding for Nonroad Diesel Engine Repowers

     

    Oregon Announces Availability of Grant Funding for Nonroad Diesel Engine Repowers - On March 5, 2012, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced that they have approximately $300,000 in funding remaining from previous grants that they have directed to be used for nonroad diesel engine repower projects. DEQ is soliciting project ideas to repower older diesel engines from interested Oregon vehicle owners. The financial assistance from these unexpended funds may cover up to 25% of eligible repower costs and will require scrapping the older engine. The updated equipment must operate in the state at least 50% of the time for three years following the repower. If there are more requests than the available funding, awarded projects will be based on selection criteria outlined in the application materials. Applications must be submitted by March 29, 2012. For more information, including a copy of the application form, go to: www.deq.state.or.us/aq/diesel/clean.htm.

     

  • March 9, 2012

    DOJ Reaches Settlement with ConocoPhillips over NESHAP Violations, Includes Diesel Retrofit Project

     

    DOJ Reaches Settlement with ConocoPhillips over NESHAP Violations, Includes Diesel Retrofit Project - On March 5, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with ConocoPhillips Company (COPC) to resolve alleged Benzene Waste Operations NESHAP (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants) violations at its Borger (TX), Trainer (PA), and Wood River (IL) refineries. Under the original Consent Decree (December 2005), COPC agreed to implement innovative pollution control technologies to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter from refinery process units at nine refineries owned and operated by COPC. COPC also agreed to adopt facility-wide enhanced benzene waste monitoring and fugitive emission control programs. Subsequently, the Court entered First and Second Amendments to the Consent Decree and a new owner (WRB Refining) of two of the refineries, the Wood River and Borger refineries, was added as a defendant. COPC remained a defendant with respect to those two refineries because it continued to operate them.

    Under the Third Amendment, COPC will undertake a demonstration project and emissions tests at a recently installed delayed coking unit at its Wood River Refinery in order to enable the parties to establish new limits and controls for the coke drum steam vents and coker quench water tank. COPC also will pay civil penalties of $249,000, $98,500, and $21,000 to resolve the alleged BWON violations at its Borger, Trainer, and Wood River refineries, respectively. In addition, for the resolution of the BWON claims at its Wood River Refinery, COPC will perform a supplemental environmental project (SEP) valued at $77,000 to retrofit diesel school buses with emission control devices.

    More information on this is available at: www.justice.gov/enrd/ConsentDecrees/r_ConocoPhillips_Third_Amendment_ConsentDecreeFINAL.pdf.

     

  • March 2, 2012

    New Jersey FY 2013 Proposed Budget Boosts DEP Funding, Includes Funding for Clean Diesel Program

     

    New Jersey FY 2013 Proposed Budget Boosts DEP Funding, Includes Funding for Clean Diesel Program - On February 21, 2012, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) presented his proposed state budget for FY 2012-13. Including increased tax projections and debt service, appropriations for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would rise 9.4%, or about $31 million. (Excluding those items, the budget would rise 3.2%, or about $6.6 million.) Christie's total proposed budget is $32.15 billion, about $2 billion more than the spending plan Christie signed last June and the highest since FY 2009. Christie expects revenues to increase 7.5%, to $31.9 billion, in FY 2013, including a 13.5% increase in corporation business tax revenue, a 6.3% increase in income tax revenue (including the first phase of a 10% income tax cut), and a 3.6% increase in sales tax revenue.

    DEP expects about $13 million more in corporation business tax money in FY 2013, which is dedicated under the state Constitution to various DEP programs:

    • $2.25 million to retrofit diesel vehicles to reduce emissions (i.e., the state's Diesel Risk Reduction Program);
    • $2 million for park capital projects;
    • $3.7 million for cleaning up polluted properties;
    • $3.3 million for grants to help cities and towns clean up polluted properties, and to help homeowners clean up and remove leaky underground storage tanks; and
    • $2 million for watersheds.

    Christie's proposal would also restore $4.4 million for parks and $2 million for forestry out of the general fund. DEP also anticipates a $1.55 million increase for Sustainability and Green Energy (formerly the Office of Economic Growth and Green Energy). The state legislature cut the money last year.

    Despite the increases, however, DEP anticipates 48 fewer staffers next fiscal year. In addition, Christie plans to divert $10 million intended to pay for pollution and other damages caused by improper operations or closure of sanitary landfills. Christie also plans to take the remaining $473,000 from the Global Warming Solutions Fund (this is money generated from a regional program intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions). In 2011, the governor used more than $65 million from the fund to balance his budget. DEP also anticipates $394,000 less for its public records request program and $590,000 less for its pollution prevention program.

    For a copy of the Budget Summary of the governor's FY 2012-13 proposed budget, go to: www.state.nj.us/treasury/omb/publications/13bib/BIB.pdf.

     


February

  • February 24, 2012

    Ohio EPA Releases RFP for $10 Million in CMAQ Funding for Clean Diesel Projects

     

    Ohio EPA Releases RFP for $10 Million in CMAQ Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - On February 17, 2012, Ohio EPA's Diesel Emission Reduction Grant (DERG) program released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for $10 million in federal highway Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funding to support clean diesel transportation projects in select counties of Ohio. Invited to apply are all public diesel engine fleets and private diesel engine fleets with a public sponsor (public-private partnerships). Project types eligible for funding include replacement, repower, retrofit, and/or installation of anti-idle technology. Equipment must be operated in PM2.5 and/or ozone nonattainment or maintenance areas of Ohio for at least 65% of the time. In addition, projects funded under this program must affect surface transportation system travel consistent with the Federal Highway Administration's October 20, 2008 CMAQ Program Guidance (www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/cmaq/policy_and_guidance/cmaq08gd.pdf).

    Applications must be submitted by March 30, 2012. Grant awards will be announced in May. Another RFP is expected to be released later this year, with an application deadline in September. For more information, including links to the grant application materials, go to: www.epa.ohio.gov/oeef/derg.aspx.

     

  • February 17, 2012

    GAO Report Says Federal Grant Programs to Reduce Diesel Emissions Could Be Improved

     

    GAO Report Says Federal Grant Programs to Reduce Diesel Emissions Could Be Improved - In a report released on February 7, 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is calling for a new coordinated federal strategy to address fragmented federal programs aimed at reducing mobile source diesel emissions, saying the 14 programs split across agencies (U.S. DOE, U.S. DOT, and U.S. EPA) may be wasting scarce funds and limiting their effectiveness. From FY 2007 through FY 2011, the programs, including EPA's DERA program, obligated at least $1.4 billion for activities that have the effect of reducing mobile source diesel emissions. The report, "Diesel Pollution: Fragmented Federal Programs That Reduce Mobile Source Emissions Could Be Improved," was required in a provision of last year's DERA re-authorization, which authorized $500 million in DERA funds from FY 2012 to FY 2016.

    All of the 14 programs identified by GAO generally target air pollution, but only EPA's DERA program has a specific purpose of reducing mobile source diesel emissions. The remaining 13 programs focus on other goals or purposes, such as supporting energy efficiency projects or reducing petroleum use. The report says that each of the 14 programs overlaps with at least one other program in the specific activities they fund, the program goals, or the eligible recipients of funding. GAO also identified several instances of duplication where more than one program provided grant funding to the same recipient for the same type of activities.

    The report says the overall effectiveness of federal funding for activities that reduce mobile source diesel emissions is unknown because agencies vary in the extent to which they have established performance measures. As noted above, 13 of the 14 programs have purposes other than decreasing diesel emissions (diesel reductions are a side benefit of efforts to achieve these other goals). As a result, few programs collect diesel-related performance information. Incomplete performance information may limit the ability of agencies to assess the effectiveness of their programs and activities that reduce diesel emissions, says the report. According to senior DOE, DOT, and EPA officials, the programs that fund activities that reduce diesel emissions generally do not collaborate because of the differing purposes and goals of each program.

    GAO recommends that DOT's Federal Transit Administration develop performance measures for its two relevant strategic goals and that DOE, DOT, and EPA establish a strategy for collaboration among their programs that fund activities that reduce diesel emissions.

    For a copy of the report, go to: www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-261.

     

  • February 17, 2012

    EPA FY 2013 Budget Proposal Announced, Includes $15 Million for DERA

     

    EPA FY 2013 Budget Proposal Announced, Includes $15 Million for DERA - On February 13, 2012, President Obama released his FY 2013 federal budget proposal. The President's $3.8 trillion federal spending plan includes a proposed U.S. EPA budget of $8.34 billion, a reduction of $105 million versus EPA's enacted budget level for FY 2012 and about $2 billion lower than EPA's FY 2010 enacted budget. The proposed EPA budget includes a mix of funding increases and decreases. Programs with proposed higher funding levels include state air grants, EPA greenhouse gas programs, Chesapeake Bay clean-up programs, and EPA's enforcement activities. Programs with proposed lower funding levels include cuts to Superfund clean-up programs, state clean water revolving infrastructure funds, and DERA clean diesel projects.

    DERA funding is proposed to be cut in half for FY 2013 to $15 million (compared to $30 million enacted for DERA projects in FY 2012). In the justification for the proposed reduction in DERA funds, EPA indicates that it proposes to eliminate DERA and replace the current funding strategy with a program designed to transition away from ongoing federal support. The new funding strategy will provide rebates on the purchase of pollution control technology and grants for revolving loan programs, and target these funds to communities with the greatest need, such as a limited set of low-income and high exposure areas near ports and freight distribution hubs. Establishing a rebate mechanism will allow EPA to more precisely and efficiently address pollution from the dirtiest, most-polluting engines. Providing grants for revolving loan programs will subsidize retrofits and replacements of older engines without the need for additional infusions of federal grant dollars.

    Details of the President's FY 2013 budget proposal for EPA are available at: www.epa.gov/planandbudget/annualplan/fy2013.html#FY13budget.

     

  • February 10, 2012

    NYSERDA Seeks Contractor to Help Implement CMAQ Programs, Includes NYC Private Fleet Diesel Emission Reduction Program

     

    NYSERDA Seeks Contractor to Help Implement CMAQ Programs, Includes NYC Private Fleet Diesel Emission Reduction Program - The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) is developing several Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) programs for transportation in New York State. These include incentive programs for installing diesel emission control device (DECD) equipment on medium- and heavy-duty trucks and offering voucher-style incentives for the purchase of hybrid-electric, compressed natural gas (CNG), and battery electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Through this Program Opportunity Notice (PON 2441), NYSERDA seeks to select an implementation contractor to assist NYSERDA in addressing program issues in developing, implementing, tracking, and reporting for these efforts and integrating them into a single program.

    Specifically, the contractor will be responsible for assisting NYSERDA with the following three upcoming initiatives: 1) the New York City Private Fleet Diesel Emission Reduction Program, 2) the New York City Private Fleet AFV Voucher Incentive Program (NYCAFV-VIP), and 3) the New York State Electric Vehicle Voucher Incentive Program (NYSEV-VIP). It is estimated that $850,000 in funding will be available to support this PON; however, this funding has not yet been fully committed. NYSERDA is currently negotiating the exact level of funding for this solicitation with a specific amount to be announced by the end of the first quarter 2012. Proposals for this PON are due to NYSERDA by March 20, 2012.

    For a copy of the PON, go to: www.nyserda.ny.gov/Funding-Opportunities/Current-Funding-Opportunities/PON-2441-Implementation-Contractor-for-Federal-CMAQ-Vehicle-Program.aspx.

     

  • February 3, 2012

    House Committee Unveils Transportation Bill, Cuts Priority for Retrofits under CMAQ

     

    House Committee Unveils Transportation Bill, Cuts Priority for Retrofits under CMAQ - On January 31, 2012, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL) unveiled the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act. House Republicans say the infrastructure bill reforms transportation programs and promotes increased domestic energy production to create American jobs. House Republicans are proposing to spend about $260 billion over the next four-and-a-half years on transportation programs. Mica noted that the new legislation contains no earmarks. The previous long-term law authorizing federal surface transportation programs (SAFETEA-LU) contained over 6,300 earmarks. SAFETEA-LU expired in September 2009. Since then, Congress has passed eight short-term extensions. The current extension expires on March 31, 2012.

    There is one notable change from SAFETEA-LU in the House transportation bill relevant to diesel retrofits. The section of the bill under CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program) that instructed states and metropolitan planning organizations to give priority to clean diesel strategies (e.g., retrofit, repower, replacement) in distributing CMAQ funds has been cut. However, an amendment could still be introduced later on to preserve this language.

    Significant policy changes in the House bill include giving states more power over how federal transportation aid is spent. The bill also consolidates many existing transportation programs, and makes it easier and quicker for road construction and other transportation projects to meet the requirements of federal environmental laws. States could permit trucks weighing up to 97,000 lbs. (and, in some cases, as much as 126,000 lbs.) on interstate highways under the bill. The current limit is 80,000 lbs. in most states. Increased weight limits are supported by the trucking industry, but opposed by safety advocates.

    The bill would maintain current spending on transportation despite declining gasoline and diesel fuel taxes, which historically have paid for highway and transit programs. A separate committee will decide how to cover the gap between gas-tax revenues and the spending levels proposed in the bill. GOP leaders have said they plan to use revenue from expanded oil and natural gas drilling. The bill is expected to save jobs in construction, bus manufacturing, and other transportation-related industries in part because it allows state transportation departments to make long-term commitments of funds.

    The Senate is working on its own transportation bill, which would spend $109 billion over two years. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), a co-author of the Senate bill, says the bill's sponsors have a plan to pay for the measure, but they haven't detailed yet how that would happen.

    To view a summary of the House bill, go to: republicans.transportation.house.gov/Media/file/112th/Highways/2012-01-31-Final_Rollout.pdf. To view the bill text, go to: thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:hr7:.

     


January

  • January 27, 2012

    EPA Announces $21 Million in DERA Grant Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in California

     

    EPA Announces $21 Million in DERA Grant Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in California - On January 24, 2012, the U.S. EPA announced that it has awarded a total of $21 million in FY 2011 DERA grants to fund clean diesel projects across California. Of the total, $5 million will go towards cleaner locomotives in the San Joaquin Valley.

    The clean diesel projects include:

    • California ARB: $14,000,000 to replace 18 older locomotives with ultra-low emitting genset locomotives in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California and install an SCR system (with a DOC) capable of meeting Tier 4 emission levels on a line-haul locomotive.
    • San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District: $2,000,000 to repower two older locomotives with newer, cleaner engines.
    • Bay Area Air Quality Management District: $1,557,987 to replace 43 heavy-duty drayage trucks that operate at ports around the San Francisco Bay Area.
    • Sacramento Air Quality Management District: $1,097,032 to establish a voucher program to replace 200 existing diesel agricultural irrigation pump engines with new electric agricultural pump motors to power agricultural irrigation pumps.

    EPA says these clean diesel projects will eliminate approximately 210 tons of PM, 4,500 tons of NOx, and 130,000 tons of CO emissions for the lifetime of these projects.

    For more information, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/4f34cca988039ba28525798f005a68ac!OpenDocument.

     

  • January 20, 2012

    NY DEC Proposes Amendments to State Retrofit Regulation

     

    NY DEC Proposes Amendments to State Retrofit Regulation - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that they propose to amend their state diesel retrofit regulation (Part 248, Use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel and Best Available Retrofit Technology for Heavy Duty Vehicles) to conform with recent court decisions and recent amendments to state law. Notably, the amendments change the definition of a "contractor" that does work for a state agency to no longer include sub-contractors, meaning the only heavy-duty trucks now included under the program's retrofit requirements are those trucks owned by prime contractors.

    In 2006, former Governor George Pataki (R) enacted the "Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2006" (DERA). The legislation charged DEC with implementing a regulatory program that would require the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel and Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) for any diesel-powered heavy-duty vehicle that is "owned by, operated by or on behalf of, or leased by" a state agency and state and regional public authority. DEC subsequently promulgated Part 248, effective as of July 30, 2009, to implement DERA. DEC's initial Part 248 regulation included within the program requirements trucks owned by sub-contractors (to contractors) that provided services to state agencies. This aspect of the regulation was subsequently challenged by two contractor groups in two separate court proceedings (N.Y. Constr. Material Ass'n v. DEC and Riccelli Enterprises, Inc. v. Grannis). Although the state Supreme Court initially upheld the regulations, the Appellate Division reversed, finding that the state legislature "did not intend to impose DERA's requirements on vehicles other than those used by prime contractors under direct contract with state agencies and public authorities."

    Regarding the recent amendments to state law, the state legislature amended New York Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) (section 19-0323 in 2010 and 2011) in three ways: 1) to provide an extended time frame until December 31, 2012, for all applicable vehicles to comply with the DERA BART requirement; 2) to allow for a waiver of the DERA requirements to otherwise applicable vehicles that are permanently taken out of service in the state on or before December 31, 2013; and 3) to eliminate the 33% and 66% phase-in deadlines for BART compliance of December 31, 2008, and December 31, 2009, respectively. Although the state legislature extended the BART compliance date and added the waiver provision, DEC emphasizes that the state legislature nevertheless has maintained the retrofit requirement for existing vehicles, making clear its continued interest in reducing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles owned by or operated on behalf of the state.

    Written comments on the proposed amendments will be accepted until January 26, 2012. For more information, go to: www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/78625.html.

     

  • January 13, 2012

    Small Construction Contractor Retrofit Fund in Pittsburgh Now Accepting Applications

     

    Small Construction Contractor Retrofit Fund in Pittsburgh Now Accepting Applications - The Small Construction Contractor Retrofit Fund, sponsored by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and the Heinz Endowments, is now accepting applications for grants for small construction companies in the Pittsburgh area to retrofit diesel-powered construction equipment under a new regulation passed by the city council back in July 2011. The regulation requires contractors at city-subsidized developments to use low-emission construction equipment on projects of $2.5 million or more that involve at least $250,000 in city subsidies and start after September 1, 2011.

    ACHD, through its Clean Air Fund, and the Heinz Endowments have each contributed $920,000 to the Retrofit Fund. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 will be available for approximately 16 to 30 diesel emission reduction projects. The Retrofit Fund is being managed by Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA). Applications for the first round of funding are due by February 15, 2012.

    For a copy of the program application, go to: www.marama.org/diesel/allegheny-pbgh-retrofit.htm.

    Boston Considering Clean Construction Ordinance - Two Boston City Councilors are considering filing a proposed ordinance that would curb diesel emissions from construction projects throughout the city. Councilors Felix Arroyo and Stephen Murphy have said they intend to file a clean construction ordinance in early 2012. Specific details haven't been announced yet, but the bill would most likely require contractors at city-subsidized development projects to install emission control equipment (i.e., DPFs) on all on-road and off-road vehicles used on the work site. Boston City Council's Special Committee on Asthma held a hearing on December 20, 2011, to receive comments from the public on the issue.

    Environmental groups, such as Clean Water Action, the Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project, and Alternatives for Community & Environment, have been in discussions with Arroyo and Murphy regarding the need for a city-wide solution to the problem of diesel emissions from in-use vehicles. They believe passage of a clean construction ordinance in Boston would lend significant support to similar efforts in other cities and towns, as well as at the state level. However, some city officials have reservations, saying the ordinance could hurt small, local contractors.

    For more information, go to: www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2011/12/19/boston-urged-order-limits-diesel-fumes/KwthdYqs7JtZEIB16v8EVK/story.html.

     

  • January 13, 2012

    NJ DEP Announces Completion of Work to Retrofit 760 Transit Buses

     

    NJ DEP Announces Completion of Work to Retrofit 760 Transit Buses - On January 11, 2012, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) announced that it has completed the retrofit of 760 older, diesel NJ TRANSIT buses under its mandatory diesel retrofit program. The retrofit work was financed by the state's Diesel Risk Mitigation Fund, a program created under a 2005 law that requires installation of emission control devices on older diesel-powered on-road vehicles. In addition to the 760 NJ TRANSIT buses, more than 1,200 solid waste collection trucks have had diesel emission control equipment installed in the past several years in New Jersey. These retrofits and other scheduled retrofits for commercial passenger buses and publicly-owned on-road and nonroad vehicles are expected to reduce PM emissions by more than 100 tons per year statewide, say NJ DEP officials.

    New Jersey's mandatory diesel retrofit program is one of several strategies NJ DEP is employing to reduce diesel emissions. Other programs include the mandatory inspection and maintenance of diesel on-road vehicles, enforcement of the state's anti-idling law, and Governor Chris Christie's Executive Order Number 60 (announced in April 2011), which established a three-year pilot program that requires best available retrofit technology to be installed on nonroad diesel equipment used at select NJ DOT construction sites.

    For more information on this announcement, go to: www.state.nj.us/dep/newsrel/2012/12_0006.htm.

    Texas Approves Environmental Fines Totaling $849,429, Includes Funds for Retrofitting School Buses - On January 11, 2012, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved penalties totaling $849,429 against 44 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations. Included in the total are fines of $145,211 against Diamond Shamrock Refining Company, L.P., in Moore County, for air quality violations stemming from an investigation on February 7, 2011. Of that total, $58,084 will be used by the Texas PTA to retrofit or replace older, diesel school buses. Also included in the total are fines of $103,800 against Micro Dirt, Inc. (doing business as Texas Organic Recovery), in Travis County, for violations stemming from unauthorized composting of grease trap waste in July and August 2008. For more information, go to: www.tceq.texas.gov/news/releases/011112CommissionersAgenda.