Diesel Retrofit News - 2011
December 23, 2011
EPA FY 2012 Budget Approved by Congress, Includes $30 Million for DERA - Both the House and Senate late last week approved an omnibus federal spending bill that includes EPA's FY 2012 budget. President Obama signed the funding legislation this week. The bill funds EPA at $8.46 billion for FY 2012, a cut of $233 million over FY 2011. The legislation included only one rider concerning EPA's regulatory authority. This rider, inserted by House Republicans, transfers authority for issuing air permits for drilling operations in the Arctic from EPA to the Department of Interior. The air permit requirements remain unchanged. The budget bill also includes non-binding language that directs EPA to institute National Academy of Science (NAS) recommendations for EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), to contract with NAS to review the EPA assessments of arsenic and other chemicals, to integrate recent NAS recommendations into forthcoming IRIS assessments, and to explain how this was done in a report to Congress.
The budget package provides EPA with $30 million to fund diesel emission reduction projects through its DERA program. President Obama's original FY 2012 budget request contained no funding for DERA projects. DERA projects received $50 million from EPA during FY 2011. State and local air quality management grants (EPA's so-called STAG account) received $236.1 million for FY 2012, down from the $305 million that was in the original FY 2012 budget request.
December 2, 2011
NYSERDA Soliciting Applications for Private Fleet Diesel Retrofit Program - The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), has announced the New York City Private Fleet Diesel Retrofit Program. This public-private partnership is designed to encourage the use of diesel emission control devices by private-sector companies and non-profit entities operating diesel vehicles in the five boroughs of New York City. Approximately $1 million is available through this Program Opportunity Notice (PON) to be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The maximum award per applicant is $250,000. The program is funded utilizing federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. Applicants must be a private-sector (non-governmental) company or organization, or a non-profit entity. Applicants must own or lease a diesel fleet that is primarily operated in New York City.
NYSERDA will fund up to 80% of the cost of purchasing and installing U.S. EPA or California ARB verified/certified emission reduction equipment on medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles (gross vehicle weight >14,000 lbs.). Eligible diesel emission control devices and technologies include, but are not limited to, diesel particulate filters and catalyst technologies that decrease the emissions of PM, HCs, NOx, CO, and/or toxic air pollutants, and are not part of a standard or required engine configuration. The program will fund projects to install a crank-case ventilation filter (CCV) on a vehicle that does not yet have one even if the vehicle already has a DPF or DOC installed.
Applications will be accepted through March 1, 2012. For a copy of the notice (PON 2058-A), go to: www.nyserda.ny.gov/Funding-Opportunities/Current-Funding-Opportunities/PON-2058A-New-York-City-Private-Fleet-Diesel-Retrofit-Program.aspx.
Heinz Endowments Give Nearly $1 Million to Construction Retrofit Fund in Pittsburgh - On November 30, 2011, The Heinz Endowments announced that it was giving nearly $1 million to the Clean Diesel Construction Equipment Retrofit Fund. The fund was started through the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) in September to provide grants for small construction companies in the Pittsburgh area to retrofit diesel-powered construction equipment under a new regulation passed by the city council in July. 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 has already allocated a total of $920,000 from the Allegheny County Clean Air Fund to provide grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 to successful applicants.
To be eligible for funding, a company must be a federally-registered small business with an Allegheny County business address or document that a majority of its work is done in the county. ACHD is currently defining the language for the grant, but the language will be broad enough to allow funding for EPA- and ARB-verified diesel retrofit devices, including DPFs, DOCs, rebuild kits, and repower kits. The solicitation for the grants will be released on January 1, 2012, and the grants will be awarded four to six months after, on a rolling basis, depending on the volume of the applications ACHD receives.
For more information, go to: www.heinz.org/about_news_detail.aspx?NewsID=193.
Ohio EPA Reaches Settlement with Power Company, Includes Funds for State Clean School Bus Program - On November 18, 2011, the Ohio EPA announced that it has reached an agreement with Dayton Power and Light Company (DP&L) to address violations of air pollution control requirements at its J.M. Stuart electric power generating station in Aberdeen, OH. During a risk management plan (RMP) compliance inspection in February 2011, Ohio EPA discovered eight violations of the RMP regulations. Under the agreement, the company has agreed, among other violation corrections, to respond to emergency release plan violations within 60 days and pay a civil penalty of $20,468. In addition, DP&L has agreed to pay a portion of the civil penalty ($4,094) to Ohio EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Program Fund. The remaining $16,374 will be deposited into a Risk Management Plan fund. For more information, go to: www.epa.state.oh.us/portals/47/nr/2011/november/DP&L-Orders.pdf.
November 18, 2011
North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Approves Funding for NJ Clean Construction Program - On November 14, 2011, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees unanimously approved $800,000 in federal CMAQ funds to support Phase 1 of New Jersey's Clean Construction Program. Implemented jointly by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), New Jersey Department of the Environment (NJDEP), and NJTPA, the program will allocate a total of $2.5 million to retrofit 175 pieces of construction equipment being used on state-financed projects in urban environments. NJDEP has committed the remaining $1.7 million toward the program. Governor Chris Christie (R) signed an executive order in April establishing the program.
The program, which is to be completed within three years, will require diesel retrofit technology (i.e., Best Available Retrofit Technology) to be installed on nonroad diesel equipment (such as bulldozers, graders, and pavers) used in one or more projects in urban areas (projects to be selected by NJDEP and NJDOT). Upon completion of the pilot program in 2014, NJDEP and NJDOT will determine if the diesel retrofit program should continue and if it should expand. A report and recommendation will be submitted to the governor, who will make the final decision.
For more information, including a copy of the Board resolution and a summary of the program, go to: www.njtpa.org/Involved/Cal/Documents/111411%20Board%20Agenda%20Package.pdf.
EPA Releases Guidance Document for DERA-Funded Clean Diesel Projects - The U.S. EPA has released a guidance document to help DERA grant recipients manage their clean diesel projects. The guidance document, "Diesel Emissions Reduction Program (DERA): Technologies, Fleets and Projects Information," contains helpful information about what grantees need to be aware of when undertaking the different kinds of clean diesel projects.
This document is divided into sections based on the typical types of clean diesel projects included in DERA grants: Exhaust Controls, Crankcase Controls, Idle Reduction Technologies, Engine Repowers, Vehicle and Equipment Replacements, Engine Upgrades, Aerodynamic Technologies & Low Rolling Resistance Tires, and Cleaner Fuels Use. Each section gives general information about that specific technology or activity, points out specific items to look for concerning that technology or activity, and provides checklists that detail the type of documentation that should be kept on file.
For a copy of the guidance document, go to: epa.gov/cleandiesel/documents/420p11001.pdf.
November 11, 2011
EPA Announces Over $1.3 Million in FY 2011 DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in New England - On November 7, 2011, the U.S. EPA announced that it is awarding over $1.3 million in FY 2011 DERA funding to the six New England states through the agency's State Clean Diesel Grant Program. This DERA funding is part of the $12.6 million made available this year by EPA to all of the states through the State Clean Diesel Grant Program. The state grant program allocates funds to participating states to implement grant and loan programs for clean diesel projects. The direct state allocation amounts for the six New England states are as follows: Connecticut - $190,493, Maine - $283,676, Massachusetts - $288,633, New Hampshire - $189,124, Rhode Island - $188,959, Vermont - $188,689. In addition to the DERA funding, the six states were able to leverage an additional $381,450 in state funding. All six states plan retrofit or replacement projects that cover all transportation categories, from school bus replacements to marine repower and construction engine upgrades.
Since the program's inception four years ago, EPA's State Clean Diesel grants have brought a total of almost $6.2 million in federal funds and $2.3 million in state funds to New England for clean diesel projects. In addition to the direct state allocations, nearly $2 million in FY 2011 DERA funds were awarded to New England organizations through the National Funding Assistance Grant Program.
For more information on this announcement, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/7e85c58d409515f485257941006d52c6!OpenDocument. For the complete list of DERA state allocation amounts for FY 2011, go to: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/projects/proj-state.htm.
November 4, 2011
Missouri Announces RFP for Clean Diesel Projects in Kansas City Area - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded a grant to the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) to fund clean diesel grant projects in the Kansas City area through a request for proposals (RFP). Funding for this DERA grant comes from the U.S. EPA under the agency's FY 2011 State Grant Program.
The RFP solicits projects to purchase and install diesel emission control devices, idle reduction equipment, SmartWay technologies, engine upgrade kits, and/or engine repowers. Any diesel fleet owner or operator with on-road or off-road heavy- or medium-duty diesel vehicles or equipment that operate in the Kansas City area may apply for this grant. Both public and private fleets are eligible for funding. The minimum amount of funding that may be requested is $3,500 and the maximum amount is $17,000. The matching requirements differ between public and private fleets and between project types (i.e., public fleet projects are 100% funded, except for engine repowers, which require a 25% match; private fleet projects all require a 25% match).
Proposals are due by December 16, 2011. For a copy of the RFP, go to: marc.org/environment/airq/cleandieselrfp.asp.
October 21, 2011
EPA Announces Recipients of FY 2011 DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - On October 20, 2011, the U.S. EPA announced the award recipients of the $50 million in FY 2011 DERA funding (funding distributed through National Funding Assistance Program grants, Emerging Technologies grants, SmartWay Finance Program grants, and direct state allocations). EPA says these clean diesel projects will replace, retrofit, or repower more than 8,000 older school buses, trucks, construction equipment, locomotives, vessels, and other diesel-powered vehicles. For the complete list of grantees, go to: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/projects/awards-2011.htm.
EPA Adds Information on Clean Diesel Projects to Environmental Mapping Tool - The U.S. EPA has added a new feature to its MyEnvironment search application on its website that shows the benefits of DERA-funded clean diesel projects at the local level. MyEnvironment provides a cross-section of environmental information (i.e., air, water, energy, etc.) based on a user's location. The MyAir section within MyEnvironment now includes a sub-section called "Cleaning Your Air: Reducing Diesel Pollution," which displays a list of clean diesel projects in the selected area and the amount of pollution reduced for each project (shown in terms of exhaust eliminated from a given number of older diesel trucks annually). The MyEnvironment search application is available at: www.epa.gov/myenvironment. A link to the application has also been posted on the MECA website (www.meca.org/cs/root/resources/links) and the MECA diesel retrofit website (www.meca.org/cs/root/diesel_retrofit_subsite/links/related_links). (Note: When entering a location, you get more useful results entering the name of the city instead of the zip code.)
Texas Approves Environmental Fines Totaling $1,177,565, Includes Funds for Clean School Bus Program - On October 18, 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved penalties totaling $1,177,565 against 66 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations. Included in the total was a fine of $591,798 against Valero Refining-Texas LP, Nueces and Galveston counties, for air violations noted in a May 27-September 3, 2008 emissions event. Of that penalty amount, $295,899 will be contributed to a supplemental environmental project (SEP) for the Texas PTA Clean School Bus program. Also included in the total was a fine of $141,925 against ConocoPhillips Company, Hutchinson County, for air quality violations. Of that penalty amount, $70,962 will also be contributed to a SEP for the Texas PTA Clean School Bus program. For more information, go to: www.tceq.texas.gov/news/releases/10-11Agenda10-18.
October 7, 2011
Indiana Announces Availability of FY 2011 DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - The Indiana Department of Environmental Management's (IDEM's) DieselWise Indiana program has announced that it is now offering FY 2011 DERA grant funding for eligible clean diesel projects. Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. The total estimated funding is $350,000. Applicants volunteering to provide financial or in-kind matches will be given preference. This is a competitive grant program open to private and public entities. Eligible vehicles include on-road diesel vehicles and nonroad diesel equipment. Eligible 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.
All projects implemented as a result of grant awards under this program must be completed by September 30, 2012, to qualify for reimbursement. Grant applications are due by October 31, 2011. For more information, including a link to the solicitation, go to: www.in.gov/idem/5255.htm.
Railroad Research Foundation Receives FY 2011 DERA Grant to Install Idle Reduction Technology on Locomotives - On September 27, 2011, the Railroad Research Foundation (RRF) and the Kansas City Southern Railroad (KCS) announced that they have been awarded an FY 2011 DERA grant under the U.S. EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) to conduct a research project designed to reduce emissions from diesel engines in rail yards in and around Shreveport, LA. The RRF project allows for the installation of EPA-verified idle reduction technology to reduce unnecessary idling of the main drive engine of diesel locomotives. The project targets 40 switcher locomotives that operate in railroad yards in and around Shreveport. EPA funding covers 50% of the cost of labor and equipment and KCS is providing the remaining labor and equipment costs. This project will reduce engine idle time anywhere from an estimated 50% to as much as 90% depending on locomotive usage patterns. This reduction in idling will conserve diesel fuel and decrease emissions. Based on EPA's estimates, the public benefits of this project - mainly improved air quality - are estimated at $8.7 million. For more information, go to: www.aar.org/NewsAndEvents/Press-Releases/2011/09/27-RRF.aspx.
Oregon DEQ Provides Update on Refuse Truck Retrofit Project in Portland - At a Portland Metro Council meeting on September 29, 2011, officials from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) gave an update on the region's Solid Waste Fleet Diesel Emissions Project. Metro and DEQ, in cooperation with government partners and participating haulers, have teamed to install DPFs on up to 160 of the region's diesel garbage trucks. In 2009, Metro and local government staff, in consultation with haulers, began to develop and implement a plan for reducing PM emissions from solid waste collection vehicles. This plan incorporated a range of techniques, including exhaust retrofits, alternative fuels, and retirement of older vehicles.
The first phase is focused on installation of DPFs on approximately 160 regional refuse collection vehicles. The project is jointly funded by the U.S. EPA (through DERA funding), DEQ, and Metro. Total Phase I funding is approximately $1.1 million. To date, 20 trash trucks have been retrofitted, work orders have been issued for the testing and installation of 60 more trucks, and the remaining 80 trucks are pending. The trash trucks being retrofitted are located throughout the region: City of Portland fleet = 80, Washington County fleet = 41, Clackamas County fleet = 27, and East Multnomah County fleet = 12. DEQ says the retrofitting of the region's refuse trucks will result in an overall benefit of approximately $4.6 to 6.2 million.
The second phase of Metro's work, also to be done in collaboration with the solid waste industry and local governments, will be to facilitate the transition of the solid waste fleet to alternative fuels. The most likely near-term alternative is compressed natural gas (CNG). The Phase II work is expected to focus on development of the CNG infrastructure. DEQ says the development of a viable natural gas fueling infrastructure may prompt approximately 30% of the 900 trucks in the refuse fleet to switch from diesel to natural gas as a fleet fuel.
For more information, go to: news.oregonmetro.gov/1/post.cfm/clean-fleet-project-offers-chance-to-kick-the-tires.
Pacific Harbor Line Upgrading to Cleaner Locomotives at Ports of LB, LA - On September 29, 2011, Pacific Harbor Line (PHL), which provides rail transportation, maintenance, and dispatching services to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, announced that it has begun repowering its older locomotives at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles with new ultra-low emission "Tier 3-plus" engines. The new Tier 3-plus engines emit 85% less PM and 38% less NOx than the previous generation engines they are replacing. The older engines, which came on-line three years ago, had already reduced pollution dramatically compared to previous generations. Overall, the Tier 3-plus engines represent a reduction of PM by 95.6% and NOx by 67% compared to engines that were servicing the ports just five years ago. The new engines are being installed in Tacoma, WA, by Progress Rail Services Corporation (a subsidiary of Caterpillar). The engines are paired with an actively regenerated DPF that has been successfully used on locomotive applications in Europe.
PHL expects to retrofit all 16 of its older locomotives by early 2012; the company has a total of 23 locomotives servicing the post complex. The Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles facilitated this project by entering into agreements with PHL that made it possible for the railroad company to commit to the long-term use of ultra-low emission locomotives. The repower project was partially funded with a $12 million grant from the Carl Moyer Program.
For more information, go to: www.polb.com/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=913&TargetID=1.
September 30, 2011
EPA Issues Air Quality Permits to Shell for Arctic Oil Exploration, Emission Control Technology Required - On September 19, 2011, U.S. EPA Region 10 issued final air quality permits to Shell for oil and gas exploration drilling in the Alaska Arctic. The permits will allow Shell to operate the Discoverer drillship and a support fleet of icebreakers, oil spill response vessels, and supply ships for up to 120 days each year in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea Outer Continental Shelf starting in 2012. Shell's exploration drilling fleet will emit more than 250 tons of air pollutants a year and, therefore, must have federal Clean Air Act Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits. EPA Region 10 issued similar OCS/PSD air permits to Shell in 2010. Those permits were challenged by North Slope communities and environmental groups to the Environmental Appeals Board, which sent the permits back to EPA Region 10 in December 2010. EPA Region 10 revised the permits to address the issues raised by the Board.
Under the new permits, Shell will reduce its fleet emissions of most key air pollutants, including fine particulate and nitrogen dioxide, by more than 50% from the levels allowed in their 2010 permits. EPA Region 10's approval of these revised OCS/PSD air permits is based in part on installation of state-of-the-art pollution reduction controls on the Discoverer drillship to meet Best Available Control Technology (BACT) requirements and to comply with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The permits also require Shell to reduce air emissions by using SCR and oxidation catalyst controls on two icebreakers, catalytic DPFs on the Nanuq oil spill response vessel, and ULSD fuel in the Discoverer drillship and all vessels in the support fleet.
The final permits and EPA Region 10's responses to public comments are available at: yosemite.epa.gov/R10/AIRPAGE.NSF/Permits/ocsap/.
September 23, 2011
EPA Awards FY 2011 DERA Grant for Four Clean Diesel Projects in Massachusetts - On September 19, 2011, the U.S. EPA announced that it is providing over $1.5 million for four projects in Massachusetts to improve air quality through deployment of clean diesel technologies. The DERA grant was awarded under EPA's FY 2011 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program.
The projects are as follows:
- Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) - EPA is providing a $500,000 grant to Massport to replace 20 trucks, which are 15-25 years old, operating at the Conley Container Terminal in the Port of Boston with new trucks that comply with EPA's 2007 heavy-duty highway emission standards.
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) - EPA is providing $373,750 to MassDEP. This project will install DPFs on heavy-duty wheel loaders owned and operated by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), reducing PM by 0.18 tons per year, VOCs by 0.21 tons per year, and CO by 0.75 tons per year. The retrofitted equipment will reduce emissions on or near roadways spanning several communities across the state.
- Chelsea Collaborative, Inc. - EPA is providing $280,000 to the Chelsea Collaborative's Green Space and Recreation Committee to repower transport refrigeration units (TRUs) on 11 produce delivery trucks operating in Everett and Chelsea, MA. The diesel-operated TRU engines will be replaced with all-electric TRUs powered by main engine-driven onboard electric generation/battery storage systems. The TRUs will also be able to plug-in directly to docking stations at the owner's (Don Shapiro Produce) shipping dock in Everett. Eliminating the need to idle, the project directly benefits the densely populated communities of Everett and Chelsea, both considered environmental justice communities. This project follows a DERA-funded economic stimulus project back in 2009 through which the Chelsea Collaborative replaced 90 TRUs at the New England Produce Center.
- CLF Ventures, Inc. - EPA is providing $391,500 to CLF Ventures. This project will repower four pre-regulated marine engines in two marine vessels: the Atlantic Queen II, an 80-foot marine fishing/excursion vessel operating out of Rye, NH, and the Captain's Lady II, a 90-foot charter fishing/excursion vessel out of Newburyport, MA. The project demonstrates a cost-effective approach to removing NOx emissions while also achieving an estimated 14% reduction in fuel consumption.
For more information, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/1db205f558da2ac7852579100053a2da!OpenDocument.
Michigan Announces Availability of Funding under FY 2011-2012 State Clean Diesel Grant Program - The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has announced a Request for Projects (RFP) grant application process for clean diesel engine activities under the Michigan Clean Diesel Grant Program's 2011-2012 RFP Competition. Approximately $775,000 in DERA funding is available. The DERA funding comes from EPA's FY 2011 State Clean Diesel Program. All grant project activities and costs must be between $50,000 and $250,000 to be accepted for further evaluation.
MDEQ is encouraging schools, municipalities, organizations, and businesses in Michigan to apply. Vehicles eligible for funding include: school buses; medium- and heavy-duty trucks; municipal buses; and marine, agricultural, energy production, mining, and construction vehicles and equipment. Eligible applicants may propose a variety of projects that include retrofit technologies, repowers, and certified vehicle and equipment replacements. This solicitation highly encourages projects that focus on non-road, high-use, continuously-operated, or location-specific diesel engines (such as stationary equipment).
Grant applications are due to MDEQ by November 16, 2011. For a copy of the RFP, go to: www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3310-198413--,00.html.
EPA Signs MOU with Hospital in New Jersey, Includes Commitment to Reduce Diesel Emissions - On September 16, 2011, the U.S. EPA announced that it has entered into an agreement with Bayonne Medical Center in New Jersey to work together to achieve a number of environmentally-beneficial goals, the first such agreement between EPA and a New Jersey hospital. The agreement commits Bayonne Medical Center to participate in various EPA environmental stewardship programs and for EPA to provide technical assistance and support.
As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the hospital has agreed to, among other things:
- Reduce air pollution from vehicles and other internal combustion engines used in construction and operation of its facilities (i.e., implement clean construction practices).
- Install solar photovoltaic systems on the roof of its parking garage.
- Achieve at least a 10% reduction in energy consumption and become an EPA Energy Star partner.
- Improve its sustainable landscaping, water conservation, and stormwater management programs, with the assistance of WaterSense products and through consultation with EPA's Greenscapes program.
- Use environmentally-friendly construction materials and energy efficient lighting fixtures.
The medical center will submit an annual status report to EPA. EPA will use this report to determine the environmental benefits associated with the hospital's "green" activities and provide feedback on ways to improve its environmental performance.
EPA has similar agreements in place with a number of major sports organizations, universities, and real estate firms in New York and New Jersey. For more information, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/DB74F5E680FF4AD78525790D006B9C83.
Report Says Progress Being Made in Cleaning Up Air Pollution at Ports in Pacific Northwest - Port Metro Vancouver in Vancouver, British Columbia, and two Washington state ports continue to make significant progress in the cross-border effort to reduce port-related emissions in the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound air shed, according to the "Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy 2010 Implementation Report." Through the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, Port Metro Vancouver and the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are collaborating on ways to improve air quality and reduce contributions to climate change in all aspects of port operations. The three Pacific Northwest ports have made significant improvement in the first three years of the strategy by focusing on clean air goals for ships, cargo-handling equipment, rail, trucks, harbor craft, and port administration through cooperative relationships with customers, tenants, and regulatory agencies.
Highlights from the report:
- Ships: 44% of ships calling frequently used low-sulfur fuels or electrical shore power to meet the performance measure.
- Cargo-handling equipment: 62% of diesel-powered equipment met the performance measure through retrofits, replacements, and use of low-sulfur fuels.
- Trucks: 98% of drayage trucks met the measure through retrofits, incentive programs, or outreach.
- Rail: Partner agencies replaced engines, added idle- and friction-reduction technologies, and used low-sulfur fuels.
- Harbor craft: Despite technical challenges, made progress through replaced engines, shore power connections, resurfaced hulls, and low-sulfur fuels.
- Administration: Made progress through conservation programs, hybrid vehicle fleets, and commute-trip reductions.
For a copy of the report, go to: portmetrovancouver.com/Libraries/ENVIRONMENT/44007-9022_01_-_NWPCAS_2010_Implementation_Report_FINAL_SECURED.sflb.ashx.
September 16, 2011
Texas Announces New Round of Funding under Clean School Bus Program - On September 13, 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that grant applications are now being accepted statewide to retrofit eligible diesel-powered school buses with emission control devices. A total of about $2 million is available. This grant opportunity is open to all public and charter schools in Texas that operate one or more diesel 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 will review applications on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Applications are due by November 30, 2011. For more information, including a link to the grant application, go to: www.texascleanschoolbus.org.
Kansas Announces $500,000 in Funding for School Bus Retrofits - On September 12, 2011, Kansas Green Schools announced the availability of funding to retrofit diesel school buses in the state. Up to $500,000 in funding has been made available from Westar Energy; school districts may apply for grants of $20,000 to $250,000. The funding comes from a January 25, 2010 settlement between Westar Energy, a coal-fired utility in Kansas, and the U.S. EPA for Clean Air Act violations. As part of the settlement, Westar Energy was required to spend $6 million on supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) to mitigate the adverse effects of the alleged violations.
School districts must be public school districts located in the Westar Energy service territory (the eastern half of the state) to be eligible for funding. Eligible school buses must be MY 1994 or newer, must travel at least 10,000 miles per year, and must be in service at least four days per week during the school year. Eligible retrofit devices include verified DPFs, DOCs, and crankcase filtration systems.
Applications need to be submitted no later than January 16, 2012. For more information, including a link to the on-line application, go to: www.kansasgreenschools.org/westar-diesel-bus-retrofit-grants.
September 9, 2011
Allegheny County to Offer Diesel Retrofit Grants for Small Construction Companies - On September 2, 2011, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) announced that, starting later this year, grants will be available for small construction companies to retrofit diesel-powered construction equipment to reduce air pollution. A total of $920,000 has been allocated from the Allegheny County Clean Air Fund to provide grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 to successful applicants. To be eligible for funding, a company must be a federally-registered small business with an Allegheny County business address or document that a majority of its work is done in the County. ACHD is currently defining the language for the grant, but the language will be broad enough to allow funding for EPA- and ARB-verified diesel retrofit devices, including DPFs, DOCs, rebuild kits, and repower kits. It is estimated that solicitation for the grants will be released this fall or early winter, and the grants will be awarded four to six months after, on a rolling basis, depending on the volume of the applications ACHD receives. More information on this is available at: www.achd.net/pr/pubs/2011release/090211_diesel.html.
Massachusetts Announces Completion of State Clean School Bus Program - On September 6, 2011, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) celebrated the successful completion of the MassCleanDiesel "Clean Air for Kids" school bus retrofit program. MassCleanDiesel is the nation's first fully-funded statewide voluntary program to reduce air pollution from existing school buses. With $16.5 million in state and federal funding provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the MassCleanDiesel program installed retrofit devices on 2,114 diesel-powered school buses that serve nearly 310,000 students in 300 local communities across the state. Overall, there were 4,598 buses in school systems across the state that signed up for the program; 2,114 buses received retrofit devices, while 2,484 buses were deemed ineligible because the buses already came with factory-installed emission reduction technology or would not remain in service for at least three years. By participating in the program, the eligible school buses received a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), a crankcase ventilation (CCV) system, or both. The school bus retrofits installations were performed by New England Transit Sales of Tyngsboro, Shuster Corporation of New Bedford, and Tri State Truck Center of Shrewsbury.
MassDEP says the MassCleanDiesel program is responsible for reducing emissions of harmful air pollutants by more than 27.2 tons per year. PM emissions are reduced by approximately 1.5 tons per year or by approximately 8.9 tons over the next six years (the average expected life of the emission control devices installed before the buses are replaced). HC emissions are reduced by approximately 5.4 tons per year or 32.5 tons over the life of the equipment, while CO emissions are reduced by 20.3 tons per year or 121.9 tons over the life of the equipment.
For more information about the celebration event, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/0911mcdiesel.htm. For more information about the MassCleanDiesel program, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/air/diesel/masscleandiesel.htm..
EPA Signs Environmental Agreement with Naval Facility, Includes Commitment to Reduce Diesel Emissions - On September 7, 2011, the U.S. EPA announced that it has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey that commits the naval facility to participate in various EPA environmental stewardship programs, and promises technical assistance and support from EPA. As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the station has agreed to promote and implement measures to effectively reduce emissions from vehicles and other internal combustion engines used in the operation of its facilities through participation in EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign (including implementing clean construction practices). The station has also agreed to: become an EPA Energy Star partner; join EPA's WasteWise program and increase solid waste recycling and the re-use of industrial materials; use water-saving WaterSense products, and consult with EPA's Greenscapes program to further improve its sustainable landscaping, water conservation, and stormwater management programs; and purchase environmentally preferable products to the maximum extent possible. In addition, the base will continue to assess the feasibility of installing solar, wind, and geothermal power sources for on-site renewable energy.
The station will submit a status report to EPA every six months. EPA will use this report to determine the environmental benefits associated with "green" activities on the base and provide feedback on ways to improve its environmental performance. EPA has similar agreements in place with a number of major sports organizations, universities, hospital systems, and real estate firms in New York and New Jersey.
For more information, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/653e8eb2a5c2fa748525790400606ff5!OpenDocument.
September 2, 2011
Pennsylvania DEP Awards $516,637 in Clean Diesel Grants - On August 25, 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that it has awarded $516,637 in clean diesel grants to four organizations - Bucks County Transport, Holicong; Jennings Transportation Corp., Nazareth; Kuhn Transportation LLC, Jim Thorpe; and Berks County Intermediate Unit, Reading. DEP is funding the grants through a combination of the state's Clean Air Fund, which is financed by permitting fees and enforcement penalties, and FY 2009-2010 DERA funding from the U.S. EPA. Each of the four recipients will match a percentage of the grant amount with their own funds.
Below are descriptions of each organization's project:
- Bucks County Transport (BCT) - With a $120,000 grant and a $280,000 match, BCT's goal is to purchase four 2011 heavy-duty CNG-fueled buses to replace diesel-powered buses. BCT anticipates the new CNG buses will displace 8,800 gallons of diesel fuel each year.
- Jennings Transportation Corp. - With a $315,036 grant and a $15,550 match for "Clean Air for Kids in the Lehigh Valley," Jennings will retrofit 50 school buses from its 65-bus fleet. Jennings will install DPFs in 24 of the buses; the remaining 26 buses will be fitted with DOCs.
- Kuhn Transportation LLC - With a $21,614 grant and a $64,850 match, Kuhn Transportation plans to purchase a new 2011 Thomas diesel bus. The new bus is rated for 10 miles per gallon (the old school bus averaged six miles per gallon).
- Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU): With a $59,987 grant and a $59,394 match for "Lean, Green, and Seen: BCIU eBus Goes to School," BCIU's goal is to purchase a new 2011 heavy-duty, hybrid-electric bus to replace a diesel-powered bus and displace approximately 996 gallons of diesel fuel each year.
For more information, go to: www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/14287?id=18428&typeid=1.
Cascade Sierra Solutions Announces New Funding for Clean Diesel Truck Financing - On August 24, 2011, Cascade Sierra Solutions (CSS), an Oregon-based firm that backs emissions-reduction investments for heavy-duty trucks, announced that they have $20 million in funding available to lend for the purchase of clean diesel trucks, trailers, and/or SmartWay equipment. The $20 million includes $18.2 million from private investors and $1.8 million from the U.S. EPA. The financing program is the first step in a planned expansion that will make $80 million available for equipment purchases.
The finance program is a revolving lease-to-own finance program, focusing on heavy-duty diesel trucks in long-haul, short-haul, and drayage applications. Funding can be used to replace older trucks with newer, cleaner trucks, as well as to retrofit existing vehicles with verified emission control devices (e.g., DPFs) and idle reduction technologies. CSS can finance nationwide at rates of 11.25% to 15%. In most cases, CSS requires a 20% down payment, but the company can help truck drivers secure grants to cover the down payment (e.g., Carl Moyer grants and Prop. 1B grants in California, Port of Tacoma grants in Washington, Port of Charleston grants in South Carolina, etc.).
For more information, go to the CSS website at: www.cascadesierrasolutions.org, or interested parties can visit one of the CSS offices located around the country (see list of office locations here: www.cascadesierrasolutions.org/default.aspx?pg=28ae20b4-85e1-44ff-a55d-d133c450bbaf).
August 26, 2011
Arizona Ends Cross-Border Drayage Truck Retrofit Program - As reported in the August 15, 2011 issue of Transport Topics magazine, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has terminated its U.S. EPA-funded program retrofitting drayage trucks that cross the Arizona-Mexico border in Nogales, AZ, after public uproar that some of the money was being spent on Mexican carriers. Introduced in November 2008 by Governor Jan Brewer (R) with an initial grant of $145,000, the program was initiated to improve air quality along the Arizona-Mexico border by retrofitting with DOCs the large cargo trucks that make regular runs hauling produce between Nogales, Sonora (Mexico) and Nogales, AZ. Additional funding ($105,000) was provided to the program in November 2010. The public displeasure began in April shortly after ADEQ officials held a news conference announcing the additional funding for the program. Some U.S. truckers, state legislators, and members of Congress are opposed to the notion of Mexican carriers being allowed to make freight deliveries in the U.S. interior. Before being terminated, the program had retrofit 76 drayage trucks with DOCs and funding was available for 34 more retrofits. Of the 76 trucks that were retrofit, 25 are U.S.-owned trucks, 19 are Mexican-owned, and 32 are owned by motor carriers with offices in both countries.
The drayage truck retrofit program was part of the "Border 2012" program, a collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico to improve the environment and protect the health of the nearly 12 million people living along the border. The bi-national, 10-year program focuses on cleaning the air, providing safe drinking water, reducing the risk of exposure to hazardous waste, and ensuring emergency preparedness along the U.S.-Mexico border.
August 12, 2011
Washington State Announces Availability of $7 Million in Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - The Washington State Department of Ecology recently announced that it is seeking applications for $7 million in grant funding through its Washington State Clean Diesel Grant Program to assist with purchasing and installing various clean diesel technologies on publicly- and privately-owned heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment. Clean diesel projects eligible for grant funding include: exhaust retrofits, idle reduction, engine rebuilds/repowers, and vehicle/equipment replacements. Ecology encourages cities, counties, state agencies, public utility districts/coops, regulated utilities, port and transit authorities, and private fleets operating mainly in Washington to apply. For this round of funding (Phase II), Ecology specifically requests applications for projects in the following categories: school bus replacements, idle reduction for school buses, fire district projects, and construction equipment retrofits; port and marine projects (including Columbia River); and other projects that provide significant diesel emission reductions.
Applications for Phase II projects should be submitted no later than October 17, 2011. For more information, including a copy of the grant application, go to: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/cars/DieselGrantPage.htm.
August 5, 2011
EPA Signs Agreement with SUNY-Buffalo to Improve Environmental Sustainability, Includes Commitment to Clean Diesel Strategies - On August 2, 2011, the U.S. EPA signed an agreement with the The State University of New York's University at Buffalo that will expand the school's environmental commitments. Under the agreement, the university has agreed to enhance energy and water efficiency, reduce waste, and use green landscaping practices. In addition, the university will pursue emission reduction strategies for its vehicle fleet (i.e., clean construction practices), in line with EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign. The university will submit a status report to EPA annually beginning on September 1, 2011. The report will include an update on the various activities identified in the agreement. EPA has similar agreements in place with the New York Jets and New York Giants for the new Meadowlands Stadium, the New York Mets for Citi Field stadium, the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ, Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, St. John's University in Queens, NY, and Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, NY. For more information, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/d8a281bba283a50a852578e0005373ae?OpenDocument.
July 29, 2011
Massachusetts Announces Additional Retrofit Installations under State Clean School Bus Program - On July 19, 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that 15 more school bus owners have joined the MassCleanDiesel program, the state's fully funded clean school bus program. Collectively, the four public and 11 private bus owners have installed retrofit devices on 302 diesel school buses that serve more than 63,000 students across 67 municipalities in the state. Firms based in New Bedford, Shrewsbury, and Tyngsboro installed the retrofit devices. Overall, there are now 65 participating bus owners who have retrofitted 1,464 school buses that serve more than 201,000 students across 283 municipalities.
With $16.5 million in state and federal funding provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), under an agreement associated with the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, MassCleanDiesel aims to install retrofit devices on thousands of diesel-powered school buses across the state. By participating in the program, the bus owners can install a DOC, a closed crankcase ventilation (CCV) system, or both.
For more information, including the complete list of the 15 school bus owners, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/0711budi.htm.
July 22, 2011
Kansas Announces Availability of DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - On July 5, 2011, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) announced that it is now accepting applications for a new round (third year) of DERA grant funding for clean diesel projects. KDHE will be awarding more than $250,000 to Kansas diesel fleet owners. The Kansas Clean Diesel Program addresses diesel vehicles and equipment currently used for either on-road or nonroad applications. Funding is available for public and private fleet owners whose facility and vehicles are stationed in the state. Types of acceptable emission reduction strategies include retrofit, engine repower, and/or idling reduction (vehicle replacement is ineligible). For retrofits, grant funds will pay up to 100% of the cost of retrofit technologies and installation, and no match is required from the applicant. The deadline for submitting an application is August 15, 2011. For more information, including a copy of the grant application, go to: www.kdheks.gov/bar/air-monitor/dieselgrant.html.
Study Evaluates PM Reduction Benefits of DOC and Crankcase Filter Retrofits on School Buses - The results of a recent study published in the ACS publication Environmental Science & Technology evaluated the performance of retrofit systems - a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and a crankcase filtration system (CFS) - on removing particulate matter from the cabin and tailpipe of school buses. Researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles performed PM measurements before and after retrofitting eleven school buses with a DOC, a CFS, or both. For comparison, an in-cabin air purifier was also tested. Testing evaluated emissions during idling, on the road, and in a controlled environment at different wind directions. The pre- and post-retrofit data was collected on the same bus.
The tailpipe emission results showed that the DOC reduced total PM by 3-55% and PM2.5 by 33%. The CFS achieved total PM reductions ranging from 7-74% with a PM2.5 reduction of 36%. The combined (DOC + CFS) removal efficiency was 47%. The combined efficiency for black carbon (BC) reduction was 64%. The reduction of in-cabin PM, during idling, by the retrofits was more variable with only one bus showing large reductions. Statistical analysis of the data suggests that tailpipe emissions might not be the predominant source of in-cabin air pollutants. The results showed that ventilation conditions and surrounding air quality were the significant contributors to in-cabin PM concentrations. In the buses studied (MY 2005), the researchers found that crankcase emissions resulted in a negligible increase in ultrafine particles (UFPs) inside the cabins. Although up to a 50% reduction of UFPs were observed from tailpipe emissions as a result of the retrofits, less visible benefits were observed inside the cabins. The in-cabin air quality benefits were compared with air purifiers containing HEPA filters located inside the cabins of four of the studied school buses; the HEPA filters were found to reduce in-cabin PM by up to 50%. The authors suggest that retrofitting school buses was important to eliminating the exposure to diesel exhaust at bus stops and school parking lots.
The complete paper reference is: Q. Zhang and Y. Zhu, "Performance of School Bus Retrofit Systems: Ultrafine Particles and Other Vehicular Pollutants," Environ. Sci. & Technol., June 28, 2011 (Web), pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es201070t.
July 15, 2011
Pittsburgh City Council Advances Bill to Reduce Diesel Emissions from Construction Vehicles - On July 12, 2011, the Pittsburgh City Council approved a bill to reduce emissions from in-use diesel vehicles used in construction projects. The bill would require contractors at city-subsidized developments to install pollution control equipment on all on-road diesel vehicles by January 1, 2012, and on off-road diesel vehicles by January 1, 2013. The requirement applies to projects of $2.5 million or more that involve at least $250,000 in city subsidies and start after September 1, 2011. Council approved the bill by an 8-0 vote. The legislation was supported by a coalition of city officials, unions, environmentalists, and community groups. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office said it was reviewing the bill and didn't know whether the mayor would sign it. The city council also approved a bill that requires the city to install pollution-control equipment on all of its diesel vehicles within 10 years, work that the city finance department said is already under way. More information on this is available at: www.post-gazette.com/pg/11194/1160007-53.stm.
July 8, 2011
New York State Uses DERA Economic Stimulus Funds to Repower Locomotive - On June 30, 2011, the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. EPA unveiled upstate New York's first ultra-low emission locomotive at a CSX railroad yard in Selkirk, NY (near Albany). The project repowered one switch locomotive by replacing the existing pre-regulation engine with three smaller, cleaner engines (GenSet technology). The new engines (EPA Tier III off-road-compliant) will reduce emissions of NOx and PM by 80% using advanced technologies that monitor engine idling and switch to "sleep" mode after a period of inactivity. Funding for the project came from $1,050,000 in DERA funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awarded to DOT in July 2009. CSX contributed an additional $400,000. EPA Region Administrator Judith Enck said the project helped preserve 12 jobs. For more information, go to: yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/1e5ab1124055f3b28525781f0042ed40/c0d83919e2372f9e852578bf00588259!OpenDocument.
July 1, 2011
EPA Launches SmartWay Drayage Program - On June 28, 2011, the U.S. EPA, the Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT), and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced the launch of the EPA SmartWay Drayage Program, a new goods movement initiative designed to clean up the air in and around U.S. ports. The announcement came at a press conference held at the Port of Charleston in South Carolina. Based on EPA's SmartWay Program, the SmartWay Drayage Program builds a partnership between numerous goods movement stakeholders, including major national retailers, trucking companies, port communities, environmental groups, and the U.S. EPA, to reduce harmful air emissions from port drayage trucks. The program was designed to specifically address the environmental issues associated with port trucking, to incentivize the deployment of newer, cleaner port trucks across the nation, and to recognize SmartWay Drayage Partners for reducing diesel emissions from those trucks.
Through the SmartWay Drayage program, port trucking companies and independent owner-operators sign a partnership agreement and commit to track diesel emissions, replace older trucks with cleaner, newer ones (or retrofit existing trucks with emission control devices), and achieve at least a 50% reduction in PM emissions and 25% reduction in NOx emissions, below the national industry average, within three years. Similarly, SmartWay retailers sign a partnership agreement where they commit to ship at least 75% of their port cargo with SmartWay trucking carriers within three years. By giving priority to SmartWay drayage carriers, the program creates a market-driven approach to incentivize emissions reductions at port communities across the country.
For more information, including a copy of the press release, fact sheet, and partnership agreement form, go to: www.epa.gov/smartway/newsroom/index.htm (see "June 28, 2011: EPA Announces SmartWay Drayage Program").
June 24, 2011
Senators Request $50 Million for DERA in FY 2012 - On June 8, 2011, a bipartisan group of Senators sent a letter to Appropriations Committee leaders requesting $50 million in funding for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) in FY 2012. Recognizing the fiscal crisis facing Congress, the letter called for a return to the FY 2008 (and FY 2011) funding level of $50 million. A total of 19 Senators signed the letter, which was initiated by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and John Boozman (R-AR). The next action on DERA appropriations will take place in the House of Representatives during a subcommittee mark-up of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill on July 6. President Obama's FY 2012 budget request in February did not include any funding for DERA. For a copy of the Senate letter, go to: www.dieselforum.org/news-center/pdfs/DERA%20FY12.pdf/.
June 17, 2011
EPA Proposes Settlement with Allied Metal for CAA Violations, Includes Funds for Retrofit of School Buses - On May 16, 2011 (published in the Federal Register on June 10, 2011), the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lodged a proposed Consent Decree against Allied Metal, an aluminum scrap handling business, for violations of the Clean Air Act. These violations are alleged to have occurred at Allied's facility located in Chicago, IL. On numerous occasions since March 24, 2003, and continuing through at least February 2006, Allied discharged to the atmosphere from its thermal chip dryer emissions of dioxins and furans (D/F) in excess of the federal emission limit requirement (2.5 micrograms of D/F TEQ per megagram of feed/charge to the dryer).
Under the proposed settlement, Allied will be required to permanently shut down its thermal chip dryer and remove it as an emission source from its permit, and pay a civil penalty of $92,210. In addition, Allied will be required to perform two supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) by spending: $132,627 to retrofit diesel municipal buses and/or school buses within Cook County by installing emission control devices (i.e., DPFs, DOCs, closed crankcase ventilation systems, and/or idle reduction technology) to reduce the emissions of PM and HCs; and $132,627 to restore, cleanup, rebuild, and re-vegetate with plants, which have high adsorption capacity for dioxins and furans, the river edge of Allied's property located along the Chicago River.
For more information on the proposed Consent Decree, go to: www.justice.gov/enrd/5283.htm.
Massachusetts Announces Additional Construction Retrofits under State Clean Diesel Program - On June 14, 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that retrofit devices were installed on five pieces of construction equipment in the towns of Bourne, Norton, and Somerville. The $50,000 grant program, the first municipally-based construction engine retrofit grant program in the state, was funded by the U.S. EPA under the Northeast Diesel Collaborative's Voluntary Diesel Retrofit Program. In Bourne, DOCs were installed on a 2001 Diamond Z tub grinder (a stationary 1,000 hp construction engine that grinds up tree stumps, logs, railroad ties, and other large waste items) and a 2004 Bobcat skid steer loader used at the municipal landfill; in Norton, a DOC was installed on a 1998 Caterpillar 928G front-end loader used for snow removal and sand piles; and, in Somerville, DOCs were installed on a 2005 Volvo 60E loader and a 2007 John Deere 310SG backhoe used for loading trucks, snow removal, and other heavy-duty tasks. Shuster Corporation, New Bedford, installed the DOCs on the five engines.
These five retrofits supplement EPA-funded retrofits that were previously installed on 18 off-road engines in Bernardston, Buckland, Fairhaven, Framingham, Greenfield, Lowell, North Andover, Orange, and Wakefield in the past three years. Overall, all of these off-road retrofits represent a significant component of MassDEP's MassCleanDiesel strategy to reduce fine PM in Massachusetts. From on-road heavy-duty diesel engines, such as waste collection vehicles and school buses, to off-road engines, such as marine engines and construction engines, MassDEP has developed and instituted a wide variety of measures that are designed to reduce in-use diesel emissions.
For more information, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/0611ordi.htm.
Funding Available for Replacement Drayage Trucks Serving Mid-Atlantic Ports - In May, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA) issued a call for applications for funding that will provide up to $15,000 towards the replacement of an older drayage truck with a newer, cleaner truck for operation at one of four ports in the Mid-Atlantic region. The $3.3 million allocated to the Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Replacement Program comes from FY 2009-2010 DERA funding awarded to MARAMA under EPA's SmartWay Finance Program.
To be eligible for funding, owner-operators must currently provide drayage truck services to the Port of Baltimore, Port of Philadelphia, Port of Virginia, or Port of Wilmington (DE). Independent contractors as well as fleet owners may apply. The program requires owner-operators to purchase a truck with a MY 2007 or newer engine (a list of approved truck vendors will be supplied to each owner-operator after acceptance into the program). The model year of the truck engine being replaced must be 2003 or older (preference will be given to trucks with 1997 and older engines; if funds are still available, trucks with MY 2003 engines and older will be eligible for funding). Trucks must be Class 8 vehicles and must have been owned for at least one year. Old trucks will be required to be scrapped. Any proceeds from the scrap metal will be applied toward the purchase of the truck.
In addition, the program also offers a sponsorship program in which those who contribute as a sponsor get priority in obtaining funding (e.g., a $30,000 contribution earns the sponsor 10 priority spots in the award process). The program also offers low-interest financing options through select lenders to help owner-operators pay for the rest of the cost of the new truck.
The Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Replacement Program developed from a Virginia Port Authority pilot program that provided trucking companies operating at the Port of Virginia with low-cost financing to purchase diesel trucks with cleaner engines or funding assistance to retrofit older models with emission control devices. The Port of Virginia has already taken 214 of the oldest drayage trucks off the road through grants of $15,000 for a newer truck or $6,000 for a retrofit device.
The Environmental Finance Center in College Park, MD, has been selected to handle the application process. For more information, including links to the application for each port, go to: www.efc.umd.edu/cleandiesel.html.
June 10, 2011
Highway Project in Rhode Island to Serve as Pilot for Clean Construction Regulation - On June 9, 2011, Governor Lincoln Chafee and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) broke ground on the Waterfront Drive project in East Providence. Construction of this project, which includes about 1.1 miles of new roadway, will open up approximately 285 acres of undeveloped and underdeveloped industrially zoned land, improve access and connections to other modes of transportation for future businesses, and divert truck traffic from nearby residential streets. The project will also serve as a pilot for the state's clean construction regulation passed last year. The law requires heavy-duty diesel vehicles contracted on behalf of the state with federal funds to be equipped with emission control devices, reimbursable through federal project funds, starting in 2013; to comply with the state anti-idling law, limiting idling to 5 minutes; and to be fueled with ULSD. Funding for the $6.6 million Waterfront Drive project will be provided by the Federal Highway Administration, the state of Rhode Island, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and the city of East Providence.
Under the law, starting on January 1, 2013, on-road and off-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles contracted with the state using federal money must be powered by engines with best available emission control technology (i.e., Level 3 emission control devices). In addition, contractors must establish staging zones so that the diesel vehicles are away from the general public or sensitive receptors, such as hospitals, schools, and residential neighborhoods. All costs from the purchase and installation of the emission control technologies for a specific project will be fully reimbursed from the project funds.
The phase-in implementation gives RIDOT a chance to test out the program and make recommendations with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management before full state agency implementation in 2013. The pilot will be conducted in conjunction with the University of Rhode Island.
For more information, go to: www.ri.gov/press/view/14029.
Ohio EPA Announces Recipients of Latest Round of School Bus Retrofit Funding - The Ohio EPA has awarded grants totaling $750,875 to 27 school districts in Ohio during the Spring 2011 grant cycle (grant cycle ending March 1, 2011) under the Ohio EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Fund Retrofit Grants Program. These grants are supported with a combination of DERA funds awarded to the Ohio EPA from the U.S. EPA and civil penalties collected by the Ohio EPA for violations of Ohio's environmental protection laws. These grants will retrofit 267 buses and achieve an estimated annual emission reduction of 7,857 lbs. of PM, 6,346 lbs. of NOx, 131,087 lbs. of CO, and 27,544 lbs. of HCs. Emission control devices to be installed include DPFs, DOCs, closed crankcase filter systems, and/or idle reduction equipment.
Since this grant program began in 2006, the Ohio EPA has awarded nearly $7 million to install emission control devices on 2,305 school buses statewide and removed nearly 116 tons of pollutants from the air. The next grant application deadline will be on September 1, 2011.
For the complete list of school districts who received funding during this latest cycle, go to: www.epa.ohio.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=XpJycb0FZs8%3d&tabid=2250. For more information on the Ohio EPA's school bus retrofit program, including a link to the grant application for 2011, go to: www.epa.ohio.gov/oeef/schoolbus.aspx.
May 27, 2011
Arizona Announces $200,000 DERA Grant to Retrofit School Buses - On May 23, 2011, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced a $200,000 DERA grant to install retrofit devices (i.e., DPFs and DOCs) on 90 school buses in Yuma County. The funds will be used to retrofit 47 school buses in Yuma School District #1, 23 buses in Crane Elementary School District in Yuma, and 10 buses each in Somerton Elementary School District and in the fleet of Harvest Preparatory Academy in Yuma. The retrofits will be completed by December 2011. Last year, 39 school buses in Arizona's other border counties, Cochise and Santa Cruz, were retrofitted and ADEQ and EPA also partnered in a 2008 project to retrofit 32 school buses in the Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District #35. For more information, go to: www.azdeq.gov/function/news/2011/download/052311.pdf.
Massachusetts Announces Additional Retrofit Installations under State Clean School Bus Program - On May 24, 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that five more school bus owners have joined the MassCleanDiesel program, the state's fully funded clean school bus program. The five new bus owners who have joined the program are: Lecrenski Bros., Inc., Five Star Transportation, Inc., Braga Transportation, Inc., the city of Pittsfield, and Healey Bus, Inc. Collectively, the one public and four private bus owners have installed retrofit devices on 185 diesel school buses that serve 15,950 students across 20 municipalities in the state. Two firms based in Tyngsboro and Shrewsbury installed the retrofit devices. Overall, there are now 50 participating bus owners who have retrofitted 1,162 school buses that serve more than 138,000 students across 216 municipalities.
With $16.5 million in state and federal funding provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), under an agreement associated with the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, MassCleanDiesel aims to install retrofit devices on thousands of diesel-powered school buses across the state. By participating in the program, the bus owners can install a DOC, a closed crankcase ventilation (CCV) system, or both.
For more information, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/0511madi.htm.
May 20, 2011
Carper Introduces Clean Construction Act of 2011 - On May 12, 2011, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced the Clean Construction Act of 2011 (S.972). The bill incorporates the use of cleaner construction equipment on federally-funded transportation projects in PM2.5 nonattainment or maintenance areas in the U.S. The bill provides existing federal transportation funding (e.g., CMAQ) to retrofit, repower, and/or upgrade equipment to provide the maximum-achievable reduction of diesel PM emissions. The bill requires that states and public transportation agencies allocate no more than 1% of a transportation project cost to upgrade construction equipment. The bill is supported by the Clean Air Task Force and The Associated General Contractors of America (see joint CATF/AGC letter at: www.catf.us/newsroom/releases/2011/20110512-Clean_Construction_Act.pdf).
Eligible entities are contractors that have entered into a prime contract with a recipient of federal public transportation funds to complete a highway construction project or public transportation construction project. The bill lists eligible equipment as any off-road and on-road diesel equipment operated on a highway construction project or public transportation construction projects that receives federal funding for greater than 80 hours during the life of the project, excluding: 1) equipment that meets standards for new diesel engines, 2) equipment that has been recently upgraded, 3) lift cranes that could be adversely impacted by emission control technology, and 4) equipment brought onto a site to address an emergency situation.
Within a year of enactment, the U.S. Department of Transportation shall issue a Report to Congress on the progress of the program, including the number of covered equipment that have been upgraded and the associated costs.
For Carper's press announcement, go to: carper.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=782107f2-c82a-4328-aac6-4fc9e1d4c113
Subsequent to the introduction of the bill, the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, chaired by Carper, held a hearing in the afternoon entitled "Federal Efforts to Improve Public Health by Reducing Diesel Emissions." The hearing focused mainly on the importance of maintaining funding for DERA (Obama cut funding for the program in his proposed budget for FY 2012). Panelists included: Robert O'Keefe, Vice President, Health Effects Institute; Todd Parfitt, Deputy Director, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality; Robert Lanham, Vice President, Williams Brothers Construction Co.; Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director, Diesel Technology Forum; and Conrad Schneider, Advocacy Director, Clean Air Task Force. For copies of the statements from the panelists, go to: epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=c5955198-802a-23ad-46ea-9a3ed759bb3f.
May 13, 2011
Massachusetts Announces Additional Waste Hauler Retrofits under State Clean Diesel Program - On April 26, 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that seven private waste haulers and nine municipalities recently installed diesel retrofit devices on 107 garbage trucks and recycling vehicles to reduce emissions under its MassCleanDiesel grant program. MassCleanDiesel is funded by DERA through the U.S. EPA and an October 2007 environmental enforcement settlement between American Electric Power and EPA. Two retrofit equipment vendors under state contract with MassDEP, Shuster Corporation of New Bedford and Southworth-Milton, Inc., of Milford, installed the retrofit devices. In addition to grant funds for retrofitting garbage trucks, MassCleanDiesel includes $22 million in funding to retrofit all eligible Massachusetts school and transit buses, contract requirements to retrofit off-road engines used in state-funded construction projects, and enforcement of the state's anti-idling regulation. For more information, including a complete list of the municipalities and private waste haulers who received retrofits under this announcement, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/0411jube.htm.
May 6, 2011
NYSERDA Announces New Round of Funding for State Clean School Bus Program - The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeking applications for the New York State Clean Air School Bus Program, Round 3. Approximately $2.6 million of environmental settlement funds and 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act funds are currently available on an open-enrollment basis for the program. Applicants can apply for a project grant to have their currently operating school buses retrofitted with U.S. EPA- or California ARB-verified technology (or New York State Department of Transportation-approved diesel fuel-fired coolant heaters that provide supplemental heat for preheating the engine coolant and passenger compartment). Included in these emission-reducing technologies are: diesel oxidation catalysts, closed crankcase ventilation filters, flow-through filters, and diesel particulate filters, as well as NOx controls. Eligible applicants include municipalities, school districts, private contractors, and state agencies, departments, and public authorities.
NYSERDA will reimburse applicants up to the following amounts per device per bus: Level 1-verified devices (i.e., DOCs): $2,150; Level 3-verified devices (i.e., DPFs): $10,500; CCVs: $1,000; and diesel fuel-fired coolant heaters: $3,400. Funds for the program will not be used to fund federal, state, or local mandated school bus emission reduction or anti-idling projects. School buses with engine model years of 2007 or newer are not eligible to receive funding for emission control devices.
Applications will be accepted through December 30, 2011. For a copy of the Program Opportunity Notice (PON 1896), go to: www.nyserda.org/funding/1896pon.asp.
Massachusetts Announces Additional Retrofit Installations under State Clean School Bus Program - On March 29, 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that seven new bus owners have joined the MassCleanDiesel program, the state's fully funded clean school bus program. The seven new bus owners who have joined the program are: Millis Public Schools; Massini Bus Co., Inc., and Gregg S. Massini Bus Co., Inc., of Sheffield; Concord Public Schools; Haverhill Public Schools; Grybko of South Deerfield; and Cape Cod Collaborative of Osterville. Firms based in Tyngsboro and Milford installed the retrofit devices. Collectively, these four public and three private bus owners have installed retrofit devices on 76 diesel school buses that serve approximately 8,077 students across 18 municipalities in the state. Overall, there are now 45 participating bus owners who have retrofitted 977 school buses that serve more than 122,000 students across 196 municipalities.
With $16.5 million in state and federal funding provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), under an agreement associated with the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, MassCleanDiesel aims to install retrofit devices on thousands of diesel-powered school buses across the state. By participating in the program, the bus owners can install a DOC, a closed crankcase ventilation (CCV) system, or both.
For more information, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/0311dzlr.htm.
April 29, 2011
EPA Announces Settlement with Wood Product Manufacturer, Includes Potential School Bus Retrofit Projects - On April 27, 2011, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with JELD-WEN, Inc., a manufacturer of wood products, for violations of the regulations and requirements applicable to the emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), to air operating permits, and to new sources of air pollution. The violations alleged in the complaint occurred at four door skin manufacturing plants in Iowa, North Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia. During the course of manufacturing these door skins, JELD-WEN's facilities emitted hazardous air pollutants, including, but not limited to, formaldehyde and methanol. Under the settlement, JELD-WEN will install and operate add-on control systems and/or undertake process changes that result in a reduction of 90% of HAPs emitted from each process unit at each facility (compared to baseline numbers established in the Consent Decree). The settlement will also require JELD-WEN to pay a civil penalty of $850,000 ($531,250 to DOJ; the rest will be divided among the states).
The settlement also requires JELD-WEN to undertake several supplemental environmental projects, of which the company may elect to retrofit in-use public school buses with emission control devices (i.e., DPFs or DOCs with closed crankcase filters). The school bus fleets must be located in the affected states, with priority given to fleets in the school districts in which the manufacturing plants are located. Any such project may be implemented directly by JELD-WEN, through a state program, or by a non-profit with whom JELD-WEN partners to implement the project.
For more information on this settlement, go to: www.justice.gov/enrd/5244.htm.
April 22, 2011
NJ Governor Christie Signs Executive Order for Pilot Program to Clean Up Construction Equipment - On April 20, 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed an Executive Order that targets air pollution caused by diesel engines used in major transportation construction projects in the state. Under the Executive Order, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will establish a pilot program to reduce emissions from nonroad diesel-powered equipment used in select publicly-funded state construction contracts. The pilot program, which is to be completed within three years, will require diesel retrofit technology (i.e., Best Available Retrofit Technology) to be installed on nonroad diesel equipment (such as bulldozers, graders, and pavers) used in one or more projects in urban areas (projects to be selected by NJDEP and NJDOT). The first phase of the new diesel retrofit program will start later this year. The program expects to retrofit about 175 pieces of equipment within the three years. Funding will be provided by $2.5 million in NJDEP grants from state and federal air quality mitigation (CMAQ) funds. Upon completion of the pilot program in 2014, NJDEP and NJDOT will determine if the diesel retrofit program should continue and if it should expand. A report and recommendation will be submitted to the governor, who will make the final decision. For a copy of the Executive Order, go to: nj.gov/infobank/circular/eocc60.pdf.
(Note: This pilot program is different from New Jersey's existing mandatory diesel retrofit program in that it allows for the retrofit of privately-owned nonroad equipment used in publicly-funded construction projects whereas the current law covers publicly-owned nonroad equipment.)
Texas Approves Environmental Fines Totaling $1,347,522, Includes Funds for Clean School Bus Program - On April 20, 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved penalties totaling $1,347,522 against 90 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations. Included in the total was a fine of $130,575 against TOTAL Petrochemicals USA, Inc., Jefferson County, for various air violations, as a result of investigations conducted in September 2008 and January 2009. Of that amount, $32,644 will be contributed to a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) for the Texas Association of Resource Conservation and Development's Clean School Bus Program. Also, $32,643 will be contributed to a SEP to the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission's West Port Arthur Home Energy-Efficiency Program. Also included in the total was a fine of $242,900 against BP Products North America Inc., Galveston County, for a routine records review and investigation conducted on March 17 and 24, 2010, and on October 11, 2010. For more information, go to: www.tceq.texas.gov/news/releases/4-11Agenda4-20.
April 15, 2011
FY 2011 Budget Deal Gives EPA $8.8 Billion, DERA Cut by $10 Million - The recently announced bipartisan agreement to fund the government for the remainder of FY 2011 sets the U.S. EPA's budget at approximately $8.8 billion, the midpoint between the initial House proposal, H.R. 1 ($7.3 billion), and the agency's FY 2010 budget ($10.3 billion) and less than what the Obama administration requested for FY 2012 ($9 billion). Notably, the bill cuts DERA funding for FY 2011 by $10 million to $50 million. The bill also cuts $49 billion from various climate change programs. The bulk of EPA's cuts - $997 million compared to FY 2010 - come from its clean water and drinking water state revolving funds (SRF), which provides grants and loans for water infrastructure projects carried out by states.
Along with the SRF cuts in EPA's State & Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account, the bill also cuts $7 million from a water infrastructure program along the U.S.-Mexico border, deducts $3 million from an Alaska drinking water account, and zeroes out various earmark programs. Overall, STAG funds drop from $4.97 billion to $3.76 billion, a $1.2 billion cut.
The legislation does not include any limits on the agency's regulatory authorities. Democrats prevailed in their push to strip from the compromise spending bill the 10 or so riders Republicans attached to H.R. 1 that would have blocked EPA from enforcing various air, climate, water, and waste regulations, including its new greenhouse gas limits, stricter scrutiny of mountaintop mining, its Chesapeake Bay clean-up plan, and its proposal to regulate disposal of coal ash. Those riders remained a sticking point throughout the negotiations in recent weeks, and Republicans have said they will return when Congress begins crafting the agency's FY 2012 appropriations bill. A proposal that was floated late last week to require EPA to conduct a study of its rules' cumulative impacts also was not included in the final deal.
Overall, the bill cuts about $38.5 billion in non-defense discretionary spending compared to FY 2010. The House of Representatives and the Senate signed the bill on April 14. The measure is expected to be signed by President Obama on April 15 before a final stopgap continuing resolution (CR) expires at midnight.
EPA Announces Settlement with Tennessee Valley Authority, Includes Funding for Clean Diesel Projects - On April 14, 2011, the U.S. EPA announced a settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to resolve alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at 11 of its coal-fired plants in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The settlement will require TVA to invest an estimated $3-5 billion on new and upgraded state-of-the-art pollution controls that will prevent approximately 1,200 to 3,000 premature deaths, 2,000 heart attacks, and 21,000 cases of asthma attacks each year, resulting in up to $27 billion in annual health benefits. Once fully implemented, the pollution controls - SCR to control NOx and FGD (flue gas desulfurization) to control SO2 - will address 92% of TVA's coal-fired power plant capacity, reducing emissions of NOx by 69% and SO2 by 67% from TVA's 2008 emissions levels. The settlement will also significantly reduce PM and CO2 emissions.
TVA will also invest $350 million on projects that will reduce pollution, save energy, and protect public health and the environment. These investments include $8 million for a Clean Diesel Retrofit and Electric Vehicle Project that requires TVA to either retrofit in-service, public diesel engines with emission control equipment designed to reduce emissions of NOx and VOCs or to replace such vehicles with electric or hybrid-electric vehicles. TVA will also spend $40 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through renewable projects such as hybrid electric charging stations.
TVA will also provide $1 million to the National Park Service and the National Forest Service to improve, protect, or rehabilitate forest and park lands that have been impacted by emissions from TVA's plants, including Mammoth Cave National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The settlement also requires TVA to pay a civil penalty of $10 million, with Alabama and Kentucky receiving $500,000 each and Tennessee receiving $1 million.
For more information on this settlement, go to: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/tvacoal-fired.html.
April 8, 2011
Port of NY/NJ to Retrofit Ferry with SCR - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York City Department of Transportation will install an SCR emission control system on one of their Staten Island ferries. The project is part of ongoing efforts to reduce NOx emissions in the New York City metropolitan area as an offset to the emissions associated with a harbor deepening and dredging project, which will occur over the next decade. In operation since 1986, the 500-ton, 196-foot John A. Noble Staten Island ferry is capable of carrying nearly 1,300 passengers and is powered by two Caterpillar 3516 diesel engines. The ferry was built by Derecktor Shipyards, from Bridgeport, CT, who will install the new SCR system during routine maintenance scheduled to be finished in May 2011. Using urea as the reducing agent, the SCR system includes an oxidation catalyst, SCR injection system, piping, and urea ammonia grid. Two large urea holding tanks will be mounted on either side of the boat for better balance and the SCR system was designed to physically fit into the ferry's extremely tight quarters. The SCR system is capable of reducing NOx and CO emissions by better than 90%.
The Staten Island Ferry makes over 35,000 trips annually and provides 20 million people a year with ferry service between Staten Island and lower Manhattan. A typical weekday schedule involves the use of five boats to transport approximately 60,000 passengers daily (109 daily trips). The port previously installed an SCR system on another Staten Island ferry, the Alice Austen, in 2006 as a demonstration of proof-of-concept on older vessels.
For more information, go to: www.dieselnet.com/news/2011/04jm.php.
Texas Accepting Applications for TERP Rebate Grants Program - The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is again accepting applications for the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Rebate Grants program. The Rebate Grants program is focused on projects that reduce NOx in nonattainment and near-nonattainment areas in Texas, and is limited to on-road and select nonroad repower and replacement projects only. The amount of funding currently available is $12 million. A portion of the funding allocated to this program will be set aside for applications from applicants that qualify as a small business (per TERP guidelines). This program is non-competitive and funding is issued on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible applicants.
On-road vehicles must have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 8,500 lbs. Nonroad equipment must be equipped with at least a 25 hp engine but less than 750 hp. Applicants much purchase a 2008 MY or later vehicle or piece of equipment for replacement projects. For repowers, the new engine must be certified to emit 25% less NOx than the engine being replaced. Grant-funded vehicles and equipment must be operated at least 75% of their annual usage within the following eligible areas: Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, San Antonio, and Tyler-Longview.
Applications will be accepted until July 29, 2011, or until all funding is distributed. A copy of the Notice of Rebate Grants (NRG), as well as the necessary application forms, is available on the TERP website at: www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp/rebate.html.
April 1, 2011
Compliance Date for New York State Retrofit Regulation Extended through 2012 - As part of the $132.5 billion budget just adopted by the state of New York on March 31, 2011, the budget bill for transportation includes an amendment that extends the compliance date for the New York State Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) through December 31, 2012 (the original compliance date was December 31, 2010). The change is effective immediately. All other provisions of the existing DERA regulation remain the same. The budget bill does not address on-going concerns regarding who is required to comply with the regulations. A decision is still pending on a court case - New York Construction Materials Association, Inc. vs. NYSDEC - in which NY Materials challenged the Department of Environmental Conservation's interpretation that the law applied to both prime and sub-contractors on state construction jobs.
The state legislature passed DERA in June 2006 (former Governor George Pataki signed the bill that August). The bill specifically requires that all state-owned heavy-duty vehicles (used in on-road and off-road applications) and owners of vehicles working "on behalf of" the state use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and requires these vehicles to be fitted with "best available retrofit technologies" to reduce tailpipe emissions. Subsequently, in June 2009, NYSDEC approved a regulation (6 NYCRR Part 248) requiring application of best available retrofit technology (BART) to both on-road and off-road diesel vehicles (on-road heavy-duty vehicles defined as vehicles over 8,500 lbs. GVW).
For more information, including a copy of a letter to the Governor and state legislature signed by 11 organizations asking them to repeal DERA, go to: www.agcnys.org/news.
March 25, 2011
British Columbia Announces Continuation of Exemption of Retrofit Requirement for Older Trucks - On March 16, 2011, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said it will further extend the exemption for owners of older trucks to meet the province's diesel retrofit requirement from March 31, 2011, to September 30, 2011. This is the second six-month delay of the regulation. The regulation originally took effect on October 1, 2010. It was subsequently suspended for six months because many of the required emission control components were unavailable for delivery or were on back order. The ministry says many of the emission control components are still unavailable, hence the continuation of the exemption until the end of September (or longer depending on component availability).
The diesel retrofit requirement, part of the province's Air Action Plan released in June 2008, requires MY 1989-1993 on-road, commercial heavy-duty diesel vehicles registered in B.C. that have a licensed gross vehicle weight of more than 8,200 kg to be retrofit with a verified DOC (or equivalent). Based on motor vehicle registrations, B.C. Ministry of Environment officials say approximately 4,200 on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles will be affected.
For more information, go to: cvse.ca/diesel_retrofit/faq.htm.
Kean University Signs Agreement with EPA, Includes Commitment to Retrofit Construction Equipment - On March 18, 2011, Kean University, in Union, NJ, announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. EPA to enhance environmental practices at the school. As part of the agreement, the school will join EPA's Clean Construction USA program to cooperatively promote and implement measures to reduce emissions from vehicles and equipment used in the construction and operation of its facilities, including working with contractors to ensure that emission-reduction technologies, such as DPFs and DOCs, are utilized on projects. The university has also pledged to reduce its energy, water, and fuel use, increase recycling, and use more environmentally-friendly landscaping practices. For a copy of the MOU between Kean University and EPA, go to: www.epa.gov/region02/greenteam/pdf/Kean-U-MOU.pdf.
EPA has similar agreements in place with a number of major sports organizations, universities, hospital systems, and real estate firms in New York and New Jersey. For more information on these green agreements, go to: www.epa.gov/region02/greenteam/.
University of Houston Provides Additional Details on $1 Million FY 2009/2010 Emerging Technologies Grant - The University of Houston's Texas Diesel Testing and Research Center has released additional details on the $1 million grant it received last summer through the U.S. EPA's FY 2009/F2010 National Emerging Technologies Program. The grant money is being used to retrofit 10 school buses (operated by the Houston Independent School District) with urea-SCR systems and then to evaluate the performance of the devices over the next two years in the laboratory and on the road. UH researchers will conduct at least two on-road tests using their portable emission measurement system, as well as attach the buses to the center's chassis dynamometer to measure emissions in-house but under simulated realistic conditions. The buses will be tested with and without the retrofit devices to determine the actual reductions in emissions that are being obtained. The urea-SCR systems are designed to reduce NOx emissions by about 65%. For more information, go to: www.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2011articles/March2011/31711HISDbuses.php.
Parker Hannifin Announces Hydraulic Hybrid Technology Placed on EPA Emerging Technologies List - On March 21, 2011, Parker Hannifin Corporation, a manufacturer of motion and control technologies, announced that it has received acknowledgement from the U.S. EPA that Parker's RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive has been placed on the National Clean Diesel Campaign's Emerging Technologies List (see acceptance letter from EPA here: epa.gov/cleandiesel/documents/et-letter-parker-hannifin-run-wise.pdf). Parker's RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive is currently the only drivetrain technology on the list. Developed and tested with support from the EPA at its laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI, the technology is already in use on refuse vehicles in communities in South Florida (11 trucks have been purchased by Hialeah, Miami, and Miami Dade County) and several cities across the country are considering the new system.
Parker says its RunWise Advanced Series Hybrid Drive can recover as much as 70% of the energy typically lost during braking and can reuse it to power the vehicle. It uses a two-speed hydrostatic drive combined with a mechanical direct drive that allows the vehicle to optimize performance at low and high speeds. Parker says the system is capable of reducing fuel use and emissions by as much as 50% depending upon the application and duty cycle. Parker is developing further advancements in this technology on advanced bus and terminal tractor platforms.
For more information on the RunWise advanced series hybrid drive system, go to: parkerhybrid.parker.com.
March 18, 2011
Utah Clean School Bus Retrofit Initiative Nears Completion - Utah's Clean School Bus Retrofit Initiative is nearly complete. As of December 31, 2010, the program has retrofitted 1,037 school buses throughout Utah. Buses from Canyons, Granite, Jordan, and Salt Lake City school districts are currently being retrofitted in the second to last phase of the project. Approximately 293 buses will be retrofitted during this phase, which began in March 2010 and is scheduled to be completed in June 2011. The final phase will include buses from Grand, North Sanpete, Juab, San Juan, Tooele, Uintah, Weber, and Wasatch school districts. Approximately 200 buses will be retrofitted during this phase, which began during the summer of 2010 and will be completed by June 2011. The buses are being retrofitted with DOCs and closed-crankcase ventilation systems.
In 2007, the Utah Division of Air Quality started the Utah Clean School Bus Retrofit Initiative in conjunction with the Utah Office of Education, local school districts, county and municipal governments, as well as community and non-profit organizations. The overall program is divided up into several phases, with each phase focusing on a particular geographic area of the state. The total projected statewide cost for the project is $3.5 million. Sources of funding for the project include: the U.S. EPA's Clean School Bus USA Program and Clean Fuel Vehicles Grant and Loan Program, funds from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, and money from the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) fund.
For more information, go to: www.cleandiesel.utah.gov/schoolbus/sbintro.html.
March 11, 2011
EPA Internal Report Finds DERA Projects Need More Guidance, Oversight - A report released on March 1, 2001, by the U.S. EPA's Office of Inspector General (IG) finds that documentation of DERA grant activities did not always demonstrate that funded projects achieved the desired emission reductions. The IG concludes that these documentation errors could result in EPA overestimating emissions reductions from these projects. The IG's findings are are based on activity (a total of 323 retrofits, repowers, and/or replacements were reviewed) under two grants awarded by EPA using ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) DERA funding through the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program - one national grant (American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest) and one state grant (New Hampshire).
The main issues found by the IG involved engine repower/replacement projects. For two subgrants involving 13 completed engine replacements costing $343,753, supporting documentation did not clearly indicate the emissions certification level of the new engines. Also, for three subgrants to replace six vehicles costing $268,000 in DERA funds, the engine model year was different from the vehicle model year. The one retrofit issue found by the IG involved two subgrantees who installed unverified technology (DOCs) costing $15,900 on 15 buses.
The IG recommends that EPA: 1) develop oversight procedures to provide reasonable assurance that grantee progress reports are accurate and that emissions certification levels are verified, 2) require that DERA grant and subgrant agreements specify the emissions certification level or year of new engines installed as part of vehicle replacement and engine repower projects, 3) issue guidance clearly defining eligible costs for early replacements of vehicles and engines for state grants, and 4) recoup unsupported expenditures of funds. EPA's Office of Air and Radiation agreed with the recommendations and said they are already taking actions to implement them.
It remains to be seen how the findings in this report may affect final funding for DERA in FY 2012 (President Obama's FY 2012 budget request zeroed-out funding for the program). Supporters of the DERA program are downplaying the IG's findings as "minor."
For a copy of the IG report, "EPA Should Improve Guidance and Oversight to Ensure Effective Recovery Act-Funding Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Activities," go to: www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2011/20110301-11-R-0141.pdf.
NYC DEP Releases 2009 Annual Report for Local Law 77 - The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently released their 2009 fiscal year Local Law Air Report that summarizes the progress and issues with implementation of Local Law 77 (LL77). This annual report covers the time frame from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009. The DEP is required by the statute to issue this annual report, which documents the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) in diesel-powered nonroad vehicles owned by the city and its public works contractors, and the use of best available technology (BAT) for reducing emissions from these vehicles.
The summary of the 2009 report shows that the city owned, leased, or contracted 999 nonoad vehicles and all were using ULSD over the subject time period. There were 193 vehicles retrofitted with BAT and zero vehicles retrofitted with other technology. There were two waivers issued due to insufficient funds and delay in BAT installation, and no waivers were issued related to safety concerns regarding retrofit installations.
For comparison, the 2008 annual summary, which covered the period between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, reported that 1,140 vehicles were either owned, leased, or contracted on behalf of a city agency and all but five were operated on ULSD. There were 432 of these nonroad vehicles that were retrofitted with BAT and zero that were modified with other technology. There was one waiver issued for three cranes to allow the installation of a DOC/FTF due to size constraints with installing a DPF. A second waiver was issued for the installation of DOCs on four asphalt milling machines where the size of a DPF was not suitable.
Metro Vancouver Approves Regulatory Requirements for In-Use Non-Road Diesel Engines - On February 25, 2011, Metro Vancouver's Board of Directors adopted a bylaw that promotes the reduction of diesel emissions from in-use non-road diesel engines. Non-road diesel engines include construction, commercial, and industrial equipment (e.g., excavators, backhoes, cranes, forklifts, rail switch locomotives, etc.) and stationary diesel engines (e.g. generators, pumps, compressors, etc.).
The final bylaw includes the following regulatory requirements, which will apply to non-road diesel engines and equipment 25 hp or greater that operate in Metro Vancouver (including private and public sector engines):
- Beginning in 2012, an owner or operator of a "Tier 0" non-road diesel engine must register, label, and pay a fee prior to operation of the engine. The period of registration can vary from daily to monthly to annual.
- Beginning in 2014, an owner or operator of a "Tier 1" non-road diesel engine must register, label, and pay a fee prior to operation of the engine.
- Beginning in 2012, there will be general operational requirements limiting the opacity of emissions and the amount of idling.
- Owners or operators of Tier 0 and Tier 1 engines may reduce or eliminate fees by reducing their emissions. If emissions are substantially reduced by retrofitting, rebuilding, replacing, or retiring an engine such that "Tier 2" emission standards are achieved, then an owner or operator would be eligible for a refund of 80% of fees paid over the previous three years.
For more information on Metro Vancouver's non-road diesel engine initiative, go to: www.metrovancouver.org/services/permits/DieselEmissions/Pages/default.aspx.
March 4, 2011
Shipping Industry Group Announces Clean Air Partnerships with Three U.S. Ports - On February 28, 2011, the Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT) announced that three of the nation's largest ports - the Georgia Ports Authority, the South Carolina State Ports Authority, and the Virginia Port Authority - have joined CRT as Charter Port Members. This announcement marks the first time that CRT's membership has expanded to include public sector representatives, and will allow CRT to serve as a forum for ports around the country to collaborate with cargo owners, trucking companies, ocean carriers, and CRT's partner organizations to implement best practices to reduce port-related diesel emissions. CRT is a national coalition of importers, exporters, trucking companies, and ocean carriers "who share the belief that, by partnering together, ports and their customers can improve the environmental quality of port communities while ensuring that the ports remain an engine for job creation and a thriving economy."
Innovative programs that have been implemented at the ports to reduce diesel emissions include:
- Through the Georgia Ports Authority's crane electrification, use of refrigerated container racks, rubber-tired gantry crane repower project, and use of fuel additives, the Port of Savannah avoids use of more than 4.5 million gallons of fuel annually.
- The South Carolina Ports Authority's air projects range from crane electrifications and energy efficiency projects to more than $5 million in public-private, voluntary initiatives that include using cleaner fuels, installing cleaner engines, and reducing emissions from four tug boats, 57 port stacking cranes, a dredge, and more than 170 trucks.
- The Virginia Port Authority launched its Green Operator (GO) program in 2007, which is one of the first voluntary clean truck programs at a U.S. port. The program has led to the replacement and/or retrofit of over 200 trucks within the last 18 months. Currently, 120 additional trucks are awaiting funding for replacement and the program is serving as a model for a larger regional program currently under development in the Mid-Atlantic region.
For more information on CRT, go to: www.responsibletrans.org.
February 25, 2011
Texas Approves Environmental Fines Totaling $1,976,497, Includes Funds for Clean School Bus Program - On February 23, 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved penalties totaling $1,976,497 against 91 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations. Included in the total are two fines totaling $1,046,315 against DCP Midstream, a natural gas company, in Crockett and Ector counties stemming from a records review conducted in June 2009 and March 2010. Of that total, $523,157 will be used as a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) contribution to the Texas Clean School Bus Program in the Midland-Odessa-San Angelo area. Also included in the total was a fine of $303,294 against Citgo Refining in Nueces County stemming from a records review and an emergency discharge event. Of that total, $151,647 will be used as a SEP contribution to the Texas Association of Resource Conservation and Development Areas Abandoned Tire Cleanup in Nueces County. For more information, go to: www.tceq.texas.gov/news/releases/2-11Agenda2-23.
February 18, 2011
House Republicans Issue Revised FY 2011 Continuing Resolution, Further Slashes EPA Budget, DERA - House Republicans issued a revised version of their draft continuing resolution bill on funding the federal government from early March through the end of September (the balance of FY 2011) late last week. This bill, H.R. 1, slashes federal programs even further than earlier reports that circulated in Washington before last Friday. EPA's budget is a prime target of the House Republicans with this bill proposing to slash EPA's FY 2011 budget by about $3 billion relative to EPA's enacted FY 2010 budget, a much steeper cut than the President's FY 2012 budget request for EPA. Included in the Republican's proposed FY 2011 EPA budget cuts are a $10 million reduction for DERA programs (from $60 million down to $50 million). House Republicans have also proposed steep cuts to EPA climate change programs and funding for state clean water projects for FY 2011. The bill language also prohibits EPA from any further regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources for the balance of FY 2011.
President Obama has vowed to veto the spending plan proposed by the House Republicans if it is presented to him for signature. The bill must pass by March 4 to keep the federal government open.
To view the list of proposed FY 2011 continuing resolution reductions, go to: appropriations.house.gov/_files/ProgramCutsFY2011ContinuingResolution.pdf.
President's FY 2012 Budget Request Cuts EPA Budget by $1.3 Billion; No Funding for DERA - On February 14, 2011, President Obama released his administration's budget proposal for FY 2012. The proposal requests $9 billion in funding for EPA, a decrease of $1.3 billion relative to funding authorized for EPA in FY 2010. The significant "losers" in the President's budget request are funding for state clean water projects, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and funding for clean diesel projects through the agency's DERA program. EPA's popular DERA incentive funds did not receive a budget request in this proposal for FY 2012. EPA's FY 2010 budget included $60 million for DERA projects and an additional $20 million in competitive funds for diesel clean-up projects in nonattainment areas across the U.S. The proposed EPA budget continues to support EPA implementation of greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and trucks, provides a small increase in funding for enforcement and compliance activities, includes $306 million in state grant funding for clean air programs, requests $115 million for grant programs targeted for tribal lands, adds $16 million in new funding to support additional chemical hazard assessments, and funds a new research program (Air, Climate & Energy, or ACE) that will investigate the impacts of climate change on air quality.
In its DERA termination justification, EPA indicated that Congress has appropriated $469 million for clean diesel projects in 2008-2010. EPA claims success in using DERA funds to remove or retrofit the oldest and dirtiest diesel engines that operate in the legacy fleet but acknowledges that the cost-effectiveness of these grants will decrease as the program attempts to clean up newer engines. EPA expects engine/vehicle turnover to continue without funding due to fleet turnover to new, cleaner models. EPA also points out that funding for diesel clean-up projects continues to be available from other sources, such as CMAQ funding through DOT (about $45 million annually directed at clean diesel projects), supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) associated with EPA enforcement actions (EPA claims $7.1 million is currently being provided for diesel projects through SEPs), and state programs like California's Proposition 1B freight transportation mitigation program.
For more information on Obama's FY 2012 budget, go to: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview/.
Pennsylvania DEP Seeks Applications for Clean Diesel Bus Projects - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is seeking applications for $588,235 in grants to reduce emissions from diesel-powered school or transit buses operating in the state. The PA State Clean Diesel Grant Program may be funded through one of several funding sources that could include the U.S. EPA's FY 2011 State Clean Diesel Grant Program or other sources of state funding. Eligible entities are public and private entities that operate diesel-powered fleets of school and/or transit buses throughout the state. The program will support projects that retrofit, repower, or replace diesel-powered fleet vehicles; purchase and install idle reduction technology; or purchase clean alternative-fueled fleet vehicles. Applications are due by April 14, 2011. For a copy of the application, go to: www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/aq/cars/retrofit/grant/2010_State_Clean_Diesel_Grant_Program_Guidelines_and_Application.pdf.
Cement Manufacturer in Ohio to Pay $1.4 Million for CAA Violations, Includes Funds for School Bus Retrofit - On February 10, 2011, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Justice Department announced that Cemex, Inc., one of the largest producers of Portland cement in the U.S., has agreed to pay a $1.4 million penalty for Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at its cement plant in Fairborn, OH. The settlement addresses modifications Cemex made to its cement plant without obtaining the proper permit, as required by the CAA. The $1.4 million penalty will be distributed between the federal government ($932,400), the state of Ohio ($233,800), and the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency serving Ohio's Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, and Preble counties ($233,800). The state will contribute 20% of its share of the settlement ($46,760) to Ohio EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Program Fund. In addition to the penalty, Cemex will spend an estimated $2 million on pollution controls (i.e., SNCR to reduce NOx and a lime spray absorber to reduce SO2) that will reduce emissions of NOx by approximately 2,300 tons and SO2 by approximately 288 tons.
Cemex, a global building materials company based in Houston, TX, provides cement and concrete products to construction projects in the industrial, commercial, residential, and municipal sectors, with more than 100 aggregate quarries and hundreds of ready-mix concrete plants in the U.S. Cemex owns and operates 14 Portland cement kiln plants in the U.S. In January 2009, Cemex agreed to reduce emissions and pay $2 million fine to settle CAA violations at another one of its cement plants located in Victorville, CA.
For more information, go to: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/cemexfairborn.html.
February 11, 2011
Massachusetts Announces Additional Retrofit Installations under State Clean School Bus Program - On February 8, 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that four new bus owners have joined the MassCleanDiesel program, the state's fully funded clean school bus program. The four new bus owners who have joined the program are: Dee Bus Service of Shirley; E.H. Merrifield Bus Co., Inc. of Athol; Christianson Bus LLC of Chelmsford; and H&W Transportation, Inc. of Winchendon. Firms based in New Bedford and Tyngsboro installed the retrofit devices. Collectively, these four private bus owners have installed retrofit devices on 149 diesel school buses that serve approximately 21,750 students across 22 municipalities in the state. Overall, there are now 38 participating bus owners who have retrofitted 901 school buses that serve more than 114,000 students across 178 municipalities.
For more information, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/0211mbus.htm.
January 28, 2011
San Joaquin Valley Announces Additional Funding for Clean Diesel Trucks - On January 26, 2011, the San Joaquin Valley Air District announced new funding for 2011 that will make an additional $62 million available for more diesel truck replacement and retrofit projects. The District will begin accepting applications for new truck replacements and retrofits in March. In 2010, the District funded the replacement of 548 diesel trucks. The District has aggressively pursued state and federal funding for clean air projects throughout the Valley. These efforts have resulted in a 10-fold increase in available funding over the past five years. Additionally, the District expects any new funding generated from the recently enacted DMV fees to be used for these grants and other programs targeted at reducing emissions from mobile sources. For more information, go to: www.valleyair.org/recent_news/Media_releases/2011/PRDistrictputscleantruckonroad1-11.pdf.
CMAQ Funding Available for Transportation Emission Reduction Projects in Baltimore, Retrofits Eligible - The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) is now accepting project applications for CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program) funding through the FY 2011 BRTB CMAQ Competitive Selection Process. The Maryland Department of Transportation has provided CMAQ project selection authority to the BRTB in the amount of $800,000 in FY 2011. The nine project categories are: school bus diesel retrofits, transit bus retrofits, heavy-duty diesel truck retrofits, clean fuel/hybrid transit buses, clean fuel/hybrid non-transit vehicles, idle reduction devices, Emergency Ride Home Programs, Transportation Management Associations, and other projects (i.e., traffic signal synchronization, bicycle/pedestrian facilities and storage, etc.). These project categories were chosen based on their ability to effectively reduce emissions from the on-road transportation system in the Baltimore region. The deadline for submitting applications is February 22, 2011. For more information, including links to the necessary application forms, go to: www.baltometro.org/transportation-planning/request-for-project-applications-fy2011-cmaq-funding.
January 21, 2011
EPA Announces Settlement with Power Company in Indiana, Includes Funds for Retrofit Project - On January 13, 2011, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Justice Department announced a Clean Air Act (CAA) settlement with Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) that will cover all of NIPSCO's coal-fired power plants located in Chesterton, Michigan City, Wheatfield, and Gary, IN. NIPSCO has agreed to invest approximately $600 million in pollution control technology that will protect public health and resolve violations of the CAA. The settlement will require that NIPSCO spend $9.5 million on environmental mitigation projects and pay a civil penalty of $3.5 million.
Under the settlement, NIPSCO will install SCR technology at three of its four coal-fired power plants to comply with stringent emission rates and annual tonnage limitations. These actions will result in annual reductions of NOx emissions by 18,000 tons and SO2 emissions by 46,000 tons in addition to significant reductions of PM emissions. The settlement also requires NIPSCO to permanently retire its fourth facility, the Dean H. Mitchell facility in Gary, IN. The facility has been out of operation since 2002 and its permanent retirement will ensure that the facility does not restart without proper permitting under the CAA.
The settlement also calls for NIPSCO to spend $9.5 million on projects that will benefit the environment and human health in communities located near the NIPSCO facilities. The projects include a clean diesel retrofit project for public vehicles, woodstove and outdoor boiler change-out projects, and land restoration projects to restore lands adjacent to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
For more information, go to: www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/nipsco.html.
January 14, 2011
Obama Signs DERA Reauthorization Bill - On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed into the law the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010 (H.R. 5809). The bill, passed by the Senate on December 16 and the House of Representatives on December 21, authorizes $500 million in diesel clean-up funds over the next five years ($100 million per year from FY 2012 to FY 2016). The bill makes several changes to the original DERA program (FY 2007 to FY 2011), including: improving transparency; providing greater flexibility; ensuring that the highest priority is given to projects that maximize public health benefits, are the most cost-effective, and serve areas with the highest population densities and that face the greatest air quality challenges; and helping streamline the application process. (Note: This bill only provides the authorization for funding DERA at the specified annual amounts; actual dollar amounts will depend on the appropriations process each year in Congress.). To view the text of the final bill, go to: thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.5809:.
January 7, 2011
New York Supreme Court Blocks State Retrofit Regulation - On December 15, 2010, the New York State Supreme Court blocked implementation of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (NYSDEC) regulation that would have required all heavy-duty diesel vehicles owned by state agencies and by contractors working on behalf of the state be retrofitted or replaced starting after December 31, 2010. New York Supreme Court Justice Donald A. Greenwood ruled on behalf of the plaintiff, Riccelli Enterprises, Inc. (a family-owned trucking company based in upstate New York), saying that the state legislature did not grant NYSDEC the statutory authority to require diesel retrofits on vehicles that were not owned, leased, or operated by the state or a limited number of private companies that contract with the state. Greenwood stated that the court believed the state legislature's intent was not to retrofit every vehicle that was doing business with the state.
The state legislature passed the New York State Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2006 in June 2006 (former Governor George Pataki signed the bill that August). The bill specifically requires that all state-owned heavy-duty vehicles (used in on-road and off-road applications) and owners of vehicles working "on behalf of" the state use ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel and requires these vehicles to be fitted with "best available retrofit technologies" to reduce tailpipe emissions. The bill also requires NYSDEC to enact rules to govern which technologies shall be considered best available retrofit technologies. Subsequently, in June 2009, NYSDEC approved a regulation (6 NYCRR Part 248) requiring application of best available retrofit technology (BART) to both on-road and off-road diesel vehicles (on-road heavy-duty vehicles defined as vehicles over 8,500 lbs. GVW). The state is able to use federal DERA money to pay for the retrofits.
Riccelli challenged NYSDEC's interpretation of the 2006 Act, arguing that NYSDEC overstepped its authority when it required all contractors, both prime and sub-contractors, working for the state to retrofit their vehicles. In his decision, Greenwood wrote, "The defendants have failed to establish that there is a rational basis for expanding the definition of the phrase 'on behalf of' beyond its well established meaning. The plaintiff on the other hand, has established its entitlement to judgment on its claim that the regulations are ultra vires, in excess of the DEC's jurisdiction and beyond the statutory delegation of its authority set forth by the Legislature due to the improper expansion of the meaning of the term 'on behalf of' in the regulations."
William J. Gilberti, lead counsel for Riccelli, said "a significant victory for industry and commerce was handed down the other day" and that these "unlawful regulations would have cost billions of dollars to an already damaged economy." Colleen McCarthy, Associate Attorney, Office of the General Counsel of NYSDEC, said the agency is "considering our options at this point, which includes an appeal." If the case is appealed, it will head to the New York Court of Appeals. (In New York, the Supreme Court is a trial court. New York's highest court is the Court of Appeals.)
For more information, go to: fleetowner.com/green/archive/ny-judge-retrofit-ruling-0104/.
Connecticut Awards DERA Funding for Ferry Repower Project - On December 21, 2010, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that Cross Sound Ferry Services, Inc., has received $1 million in federal DERA funding to reduce diesel emissions from one of its vessels, the MV Susan Anne. The DERA funds come from two sources: $750,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and $250,000 from the FY 2009/2010 State Clean Diesel Grant Program. Cross Sound Ferry is contributing an additional $250,000 in matching funds, bringing the total project value to $1,250,000. The project will provide a state-of-the-art upgrade to the two main engines on the vessel that will bring them to the cleanest level available for these engines. It is projected that these engine upgrades will reduce diesel PM emissions from the MV Susan Anne by up to 3.1 tons annually. In addition, the upgraded engines will use electronic injection systems that improve fuel efficiency. The engine upgrade kits are manufactured by EMD. The upgrade will take place in the spring of 2011 and the project is scheduled to be complete by July 1, 2011.
The MV Susan Anne is the third vessel in the Cross Found Ferry fleet to receive an engine upgrade. Cross Sound Ferry's operations already significantly decrease air pollution around Long Island Sound by eliminating up to 11.5 million vehicle miles traveled on roadways between Connecticut and New York City. The MV Susan Anne moves an average of 166 vehicles and 411 passengers daily.
For more information, go to: www.ct.gov/DEP/cwp/view.asp?A=3847&Q=470362.
Ohio Announces Fall 2010 Grant Recipients under Clean Diesel School Bus Fund - During the Fall 2010 grant cycle under the state's Clean Diesel School Bus Fund, the Ohio EPA awarded 14 grants to school districts and county developmental disability programs for a total of $604,553. These grants are supported with a combination of funds from federal DERA grants awarded to the Ohio EPA and from civil penalties collected by the Ohio EPA for violations of the state's environmental protection laws. These grants will install retrofit devices on 141 buses, idle reduction technology on 52 buses, and provide for long-term maintenance of this equipment. The agency says these projects are expected to achieve an estimated annual emission reduction of 287 lbs. of PM, 3,133 lbs. of CO, and 797 lbs. of HCs. Since the grant program began in 2006, the Ohio EPA has awarded more than $6 million to install emission control equipment on 1,965 school buses statewide and remove nearly 30 tons of pollutants from the air. The next grant application deadline will be on March 1, 2011. For more information, including the complete list of grant recipients, go to: www.epa.state.oh.us/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=OPaf7-nkY9I%3D&tabid=2250. For a copy of the 2011 grant application, go to: www.epa.ohio.gov/oeef/schoolbus.aspx.
Massachusetts Announces Additional Retrofit Installations under State Clean School Bus Program - On January 5, 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that nine new bus owners have joined the MassCleanDiesel program, the state's fully funded clean school bus program. Collectively, these five public and four private bus owners have installed retrofit devices on 269 diesel school buses that serve more than 35,000 students across 64 municipalities in the state. Overall, there are now 34 participating bus owners who have retrofitted 752 school buses that serve more than 92,500 students. With $16.5 million in state and federal funding provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), under an agreement associated with the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, MassCleanDiesel aims to install retrofit devices on thousands of diesel-powered school buses across the state. By participating in the program, the bus owners can install a DOC, a closed crankcase ventilation (CCV) system, or both.
The nine new bus owners who have joined the program are: Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School of Fitchburg; M.O.C. (Montachusett Opportunity Council) Headstart of Fitchburg; Foxborough Public Schools; the Town of Weston; C & W Transportation, Inc., of Lexington; Tellstone & Son, Inc., of Blackstone; North Suburban Transportation of Woburn; AA Transportation Co., Inc., of Shrewsbury; and Scituate Public Schools. Firms based in New Bedford, Milford, and Tyngsboro installed the retrofit devices.
For more information, go to: www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/0111mcdt.htm.