Diesel Retrofit News - 2013

December 13, 2013

EPA Announces Availability of $4 Million in DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects at Ports – On December 11, 2013, the U.S. EPA opened a Request for Proposals (RFP) for clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from marine and inland water ports located in areas of poor air quality.  The total estimated FY 2013 DERA funding for this competition is approximately $4 million.  EPA anticipates awarding two to five cooperative agreements from this announcement.

Under this solicitation, only public port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation and air quality at a marine or inland water port are eligible for funding.  Community groups, local governments, terminal operators, shipping carriers, and other business entities involved in port operations are encouraged to participate through partnerships with eligible port authorities.  Eligible diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment include:  drayage trucks; marine vessels; locomotives; and nonroad engines, equipment, or vehicles used in the handling of cargo at a marine or inland water port.  Projects must reduce diesel emissions at a marine or inland water port located in an area of poor air quality (a list of eligible counties and areas can be found at:  www.epa.gov/otaq/ports/documents/fy13-ports-county-area-list.pdf).

 Eligible diesel emission reduction strategies include:

  • Verified Exhaust Control Technologies:  EPA will fund up to 100% of the cost of eligible verified exhaust control technologies.
  • Verified/Certified Engine Upgrades:  EPA will fund up to 40% of the cost (labor and equipment) of eligible engine upgrades.
  • Verified Idle Reduction Technologies:  Verified Locomotive Idle Reduction Technologies - EPA will fund up to 40% of the cost of eligible idle reduction technologies on locomotives.  Verified Marine Shore Connection Systems - EPA will fund up to 25% of the cost of eligible shore connection systems.
  • Certified Engine Repower:  EPA will fund up to 40% of the cost (labor and equipment) of an eligible engine repower.
  • Certified Vehicle/Equipment Replacement:  Nonroad Diesel Vehicles and Equipment - EPA will fund the incremental cost of a newer, cleaner vehicle or piece of equipment powered by a 2013 or newer model year certified nonroad diesel engine, up to 25% of the cost of an eligible replacement vehicle or piece of equipment.  Drayage Truck Replacement - EPA will fund up to 50% of the cost of eligible drayage trucks with a 2010 model year or newer heavy-duty engine.
  • Clean Alternative Fuel Conversions:  EPA will fund up to 40%.

Informational webinars for this funding opportunity will be held on December 18 and January 9.  Registration details will be posted on the website soon.  The closing date for receipt of proposals is February 13, 2014. 

For more information about this funding opportunity, including a link to the RFP, go to:  www.epa.gov/otaq/ports/ports-dera-rfp.htm.

November 22, 2013

EPA Announces FY 2013 DERA Rebate Program for Construction Equipment – On November 20, 2013, the U.S. EPA announced the opening of the application period for the 2013 Construction Equipment Funding Opportunity under the National Clean Diesel Rebate Program.  The 2013 Construction Equipment Funding Opportunity will provide rebate incentives to selected eligible applicants to either retrofit with a DPF or replace their nonroad construction equipment engine.  EPA anticipates having approximately $2,000,000 available for rebates.

Eligible public sector applicants include regional, state, local, or tribal agencies or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality.  Municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and counties are all eligible applicants for this rebate program.  Private entities that operate nonroad construction equipment under a contract or lease with a public entity are also eligible.

The nonroad construction equipment must be located in one of the eligible counties shown in the List of Eligible Counties (i.e., PM2.5 or ozone nonattainment areas) in Appendix A of the program guide at the time of application and for three months prior to the application.  Starting on the date of the rebate payment, following installation of the technology option, the equipment must operate in the application county for 12 months or 500 hours, whichever comes first.

There are two technology options under this funding opportunity:

  • Technology Option #1 – Engines Eligible for Retrofits with Diesel Particulate Filters:  Tier 2 and Tier 3 nonroad construction engines with engine MYs 2001-2010 and power rating of 225 ≤ kW < 450 (301 ≤ hp < 603) are eligible for rebates on a DPF.  EPA will pay for the full cost of the DPF, up to a maximum of $30,000 per DPF.
  • Technology Option #2 – Engines Eligible for Engine Replacement:  Unregulated (Tier 0) and Tier 1 nonroad construction engines with engine MYs 1990-2002 and power rating between 130-225 kW (174 ≤ hp < 301) are eligible for engine replacements to either Tier 2 ($12,000 rebate) or Tier 3 ($15,000 rebate) engines.  Unregulated (Tier 0) and Tier 1 nonroad construction engines with engine MYs 1990-2000 and power rating between 225-450 kW (301 ≤ hp < 603) are eligible for engine replacements to either Tier 2 ($49,000 rebate) or Tier 3 ($69,000 rebate) engines.

Application selections will be determined by a random lottery.  Once the lottery list is generated, EPA will apply the following criteria to the lottery list:

  • Each of the 10 EPA regions, with at least one eligible applicant, will have a selected applicant.
  • It is anticipated that at least 50% of funds will be allocated to public construction equipment.

EPA will accept applications until January 15, 2014, and anticipates awarding the rebates in February 2014.  EPA will host an informational webinar on this rebate program on December 9, 2013, at 1:00 pm EST.

For more information about the 2013 Construction Equipment Rebate Program, including a copy of the rebate application form, go to:  epa.gov/cleandiesel/dera-rebate-construction.htm.

EPA Awards FY 2013 DERA Funds for Marine Repower Projects in Massachusetts – On November 20, 2013, the U.S. EPA announced that it has awarded grant funds totaling $556,650 for two clean diesel projects that will repower marine vessels in Massachusetts.  The FY 2013 DERA funds were awarded under EPA’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program.  The funding will assist CLF Ventures, Inc., which is receiving $300,000, to repower a harbor cruise vessel, and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), which has been awarded $256,650, to repower eight commercial lobster boats.

The grant to CLF Ventures, Inc., will provide partial funding to repower the Spirit of Boston, a harbor cruise vessel operated out of the Port of Boston, which provides services in and around the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.  In partnership with Entertainment Cruises, Inc., this project will replace four unregulated marine diesel engines with EPA Tier 3-certified marine diesel engines.  NESCAUM has partnered with the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association to repower eight unregulated marine diesel engines with EPA Tier 3- and Tier 4-certified marine diesel engines.  The eight marine vessels have various home ports along the North Shore, Buzzards Bay, and Cape Cod Bay.

The grants will cover up to 40% of the equipment and labor costs for each of the marine engine repowers.  Once completed, the projects are expected to reduce NOx, PM, and CO2 emissions by an estimated 10.69 tons, 0.48 tons, and 14.8 tons, respectively, in addition to conserving over 1,325 gallons of fuel annually.

For more information, go to:  yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0c0affede4f840bc8525781f00436213/d2b6e11d82f24abc85257c290054fc0a!OpenDocument.

November 1, 2013

Washington Announces Availability of $3.3 Million in Funding for Clean Diesel Projects – The Washington State Department of Ecology announced in early October that it is seeking applications for $3.3 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.  All types of heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment with engines greater than 75 hp are eligible.  All vehicles and equipment receiving grant funds must spend 50% or more of their operating time in the state of Washington.

For this round of funding (the 2013-2015 biennium funding cycle), all applications will be prioritized in the following order:

  1. Publicly owned fleets, including fleets owned by:  cities, counties, public utility districts/coops, port and transit authorities, school districts, tribes, and state agencies.
  2. Privately owned vehicles and equipment that:  a) provide and maintain public service such as refuse collection, recycling, and utilities; b) construct public roads and buildings; and c) operate on port properties or are associated with port activities, such as cargo-handling equipment, drayage trucks, switch locomotives, ocean-going vessels, and harbor vessels.

Clean diesel projects eligible for grant funding include:  exhaust retrofits (i.e., DPFs, DOCs, and CCV filters), idle reduction, engine repowers, school bus scrap and replace projects, and diesel-fueled orchard heater scrap and replace projects.  (Note:  Ecology is not directly providing funding assistance for privately owned vehicle or equipment replacements at this time.)

Applications for projects should be submitted no later than November 22, 2013.  For more information, including a copy of the grant application, go to: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/cars/DieselGrantPage.htm.

October 11, 2013

Oregon Proposes Rules to Fund Broader Range of Clean Diesel Activities – On October 7, 2013, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced that it is proposing temporary rules that would allow DEQ to administer clean diesel grant projects under the Oregon Clean Diesel program that meet federal funding criteria.  The state Environmental Quality Commission will consider these proposed temporary rules at their upcoming meeting on October 16-17, 2013.

In 2007, the state legislature adopted the Oregon Clean Diesel program, a public health program operated by DEQ to reduce diesel engine emissions supported by grant, loan, and tax credit funding.  However, the original authorization for clean diesel grants, loans, and tax credits was limited to exhaust retrofits, nonroad engine repowers, and truck scrapping.  In contrast, the federal program guidelines currently allow for other eligible activities, including idle reduction, aerodynamic enhancements, and vehicle replacement.

State funds for clean diesel projects have not been appropriated since the 2007-09 biennium and the tax credit program was shut down in 2012.  Remaining funding incentives for clean diesel projects are available primarily through the federal DERA program.  While the DERA program allows a broad range of eligible activities, DEQ is constrained in applying for and managing federal grants by the original statutory authority.  DEQ says this is hampering the agency’s ability to be successful in recruiting projects and securing federal awards.  As an example, despite widespread outreach for the FY 2012 grant cycle, DEQ said diesel engine owners showed no interest in clean diesel projects under the limited options authorized in state law and no federal grants were awarded in Oregon that year.

SB 249, adopted by the 2013 Oregon legislature and signed into law in April 2013, authorizes DEQ to apply for and administer federal grants under the more comprehensive federal guidelines.  This proposed temporary rule codifies that authority until a permanent rule is considered in 2014.

For more information, go to:  www.oregon.gov/deq/RulesandRegulations/Pages/2013/DESLGRNT.aspx.

West Coast Collaborative Holds Webinar, Highlights MassDOT Clean Construction Program – On September 26, 2013, the U.S. EPA’s West Coast Collaborative held a Construction Sector webinar to discuss the implementation of clean construction policies and practices.  Of note, Alex Kasprak, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), gave a presentation on the department’s diesel retrofit program for nonroad construction equipment.

Since 2005, MassDOT has required, through a contract specification, contractors and sub-contractors working on Highway Division job sites to have emission control devices (i.e., DOCs or DPFs) installed on all nonroad construction equipment greater than 50 hp.  Under the contract specification, contractors have the option to install either a DOC or a DPF that has been verified by EPA or ARB for use with nonroad engines.  If a nonroad-verified device is not available, then the contractor has the option to install either a DOC or a DPF that has been verified for use with on-road engines, provided that the diesel fuel used for the equipment has no more than 15 ppm sulfur content (i.e., ULSD) fuel).  If neither a nonroad nor on-road DOC or DPF is available, then a contractor can install a non-verified DOC or DPF, given that it has been certified by the manufacturer to meet or exceed minimum emission reductions (i.e., 20% PM reduction for DOCs and 85% for DPFs).  For nonroad construction equipment that meets the latest EPA PM Tier 4 emission standards, no retrofit devices have to be installed.  (Note:  The contract specification allows contractors to use rented equipment up to 30 days without having to be retrofitted.)  Upon confirming that a nonroad piece of equipment has the requisite retrofit device installed, MassDOT will issue a non-transferable compliance label for the machine.

All costs associated with the installation of diesel retrofit devices are the responsibility of the contractor.  Failure to comply with MassDOT’s diesel retrofit requirement can result in non-compliance penalties, consisting of either withholding contractor payments or a daily monetary deduction of $2,500.

Kasprak said that over 1,500 pieces of construction equipment have been retrofit since the start of the program.  He said the vast majority of equipment retrofitted have installed DOCs.  For the limited number of DPFs that have been installed, he said contractors have discovered that excessive cleaning of the DPFs had to be performed.

For more information on MassDOT’s diesel retrofit program, go to:  www.mhd.state.ma.us/default.asp?pgid=content/publications_diesel&sid=about.  For copies of all of the presentations given during the webinar, go to:  westcoastcollaborative.org/wkgrp-construct.htm.

September 27, 2013

Bloomberg Signs Legislation Promoting Cleaner City Vehicles in NYC, Includes Retrofit Requirements – On September 4, 2013, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law five bills aimed at furthering the mayor’s goal of achieving the cleanest air of any large city in the U.S. through promoting fuel efficiency, cleaner fuels, and cleaner engines in the city’s fleet of vehicles.

Below is a summary of the five bills:

  • Introductory Number 1061-A.  This bill requires that at least 5% biodiesel fuel be used for all diesel-powered vehicles operated by a city agency and, in 2016, at least 20% biodiesel fuel be used during the warmer months of April to November.  Exceptions are incorporated in the event that biodiesel fuel use may void a manufacturer’s warranty or the biodiesel fuel supply is interrupted.  This legislation also requires that a pilot program be undertaken to determine the feasibility of using 20% biodiesel fuel during the winter months.  At the conclusion of the pilot, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services will issue a report on its findings and recommendations for greater B20 use.  In addition, this legislation requires that, by 2017, any diesel-powered motor vehicle that is used to perform a solid waste or recyclables contract, as well as any sight-seeing bus licensee, retrofit their vehicles to meet a Level 4 emission control strategy or meet the 2007 U.S. EPA engine standards for PM.  (Note:  Level 4 means an emission control strategy that reduces diesel PM emissions by 85% or greater or reduces engine emissions to less than or equal to 0.01 g/bhp-hr PM.)  The city will also be required to ensure that at least 90% of its fleet meets these standards by 2017.
  • Introductory Number 1062-A.  Currently, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection may issue a three-year waiver for certain diesel-powered vehicles that are unable to adopt best available retrofit technology.  In these circumstances, the vehicles must utilize the next best retrofit technology.  The Administration and the City Council have a shared concern that entities receiving waivers will continue to operate these aging vehicles without efforts being made to replace them with ones that have lower PM emissions.  This legislation removes the ability for vehicles used to perform a solid waste or recyclable material contract, as well as licensed diesel-powered sight-seeing buses, from receiving a waiver after January 1, 2014.
  • Introductory Number 1074-A.  The Administration has made significant investments in technology to review the fuel economy of the city fleet with the goal of increasing fuel-efficiency performance.  This bill requires that the use-based fuel economy of the city’s light-duty and medium-duty vehicles be reported beginning in 2016, and this information be included within the Mayor’s Management Report.
  • Introductory Number 1082-A.  Local Law 130 of 2005 established minimum percentage increases in the average fuel economy of all light-duty vehicles purchased by the city up to FY 2016.  Since signing this into law, the city has met and exceeded these targets.  This legislation extends these requirements to FY 2023, where the city will be required to reach at least a 40% increase in the average fuel economy of light-duty vehicles purchased.
  • Introductory Number 218-A.  This legislation codifies an FDNY pilot program scheduled to begin this fall where auxiliary power units in ambulances will be used to provide cooling, heating, and electrical power while the vehicle’s engine is turned off.  Following the pilot, a report will be issued by FDNY detailing the performance of the pilot and a cost-benefit analysis of equipping the entire ambulance fleet with these auxiliary power units.

 For a copy of the mayor’s press release, go to:  www.nyc.gov/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0/index.jsp?pageID=mayor_press_release&catID=1194&doc_name=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nyc.gov%2Fhtml%2Fom%2Fhtml%2F2013b%2Fpr295-13.html&cc=unused1978&rc=1194&ndi=1.  For additional details on the five bills, go to:  legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=260871&GUID=0EE97AF2-B53E-4BB3-9E6F-5537A9D82A64&Options=info|&Search.

Norfolk Southern Agrees to Cut Diesel Pollution as Part of Rail Yard Expansion, Includes DPF Retrofits – On September 19, 2013, Norfolk Southern officials announced that they have agreed to cut diesel pollution from a rail yard on Chicago’s South Side to address residents’ concerns that an expansion project would add to existing air pollution and cause health problems.  The 140-acre freight yard in Englewood, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, transfers more than 480,000 containers a year between trains and trucks.  The company wants to add another 85 acres and another 800 diesel trucks a day, and is buying land from the city and residents.

Under the agreement, reached through discussions between the city of Chicago, Norfolk Southern, and environmental groups, Norfolk Southern will install, by 2018, the newest pollution controls on 36 trucks that move trailers around the yard, and will immediately install clean engines or DPFs on a dozen cranes and lift trucks, while the city will alleviate congestion from the semi-trucks that sometimes queue on local roadways waiting to get into the yard.  The company also will set up a $ 1 million fund for neighborhood environmental projects and spend another $1 million on job training and economic development.  It also will donate an old elevated rail track that the city will convert into green space.

For more information, go to:  elpc.org/2013/09/19/clean-air-wins-agreement-will-slash-diesel-pollution-as-part-of-englewood-rail-yard-expansion.

September 20, 2013

Texas Announces New Round of Funding for School Bus Retrofits – On September 16, 2013, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that grant applications are now being accepted statewide to retrofit eligible diesel-powered school buses with emissions control devices.  A total of up to $3 million is available.  This grant opportunity is open to all public and charter schools in Texas that operate one or more diesel-powered school buses.  All sizes of diesel school buses are eligible.  A diesel school bus proposed for retrofit must be used on a regular, daily route to and from a school and have at least five years of useful life remaining.  Eligible retrofit devices include verified DPFs, DOCs, and crankcase filtration systems.  While a school district may apply for any amount of funding, TCEQ has limited funds and will review applications on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Applications are due by December 6, 2013.  For more information, including a link to the grant application, go to:  www.texascleanschoolbus.org.

School District in California Approves Funds to Retrofit 16 School Buses with DPFs – At a September 10, 2013 Board of Trustees meeting, the Manteca Unified School District in San Joaquin County approved the use of $258,571 in funding to retrofit 16 school buses with DPFs.  The trustees awarded the job to A-Z Bus Sales, Inc., of Sacramento who offered the “lowest responsive/responsible” bid for the project.  The Board approved the funding award by a vote of 6-1.  The retrofit project meets the requirement of ARB’s truck and bus regulation.  Under the regulation, owners of diesel-fueled school buses (GVWR over 14,000 lbs) manufactured on or after April 1, 1977 must have 100% of their fleet in compliance with PM BACT (i.e., install DPFs) by January 1, 2014.  School buses manufactured before April 1, 1977, had to be retired by January 1, 2012.  “The retrofit is not something we can argue with the state,” Superintendent Jason Messer said during the discussion prior to the trustees’ vote.  The money that will be used for the DPF retrofits will not be covered by grants but directly from the school district’s budget.  For more information, go to:  www.mantecabulletin.com/section/1/article/85110/.

September 6, 2013

Texas Approves Fines Totaling $697,926, Includes Funds for Retrofitting School and Transit Buses – On September 4, 2013, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved penalties totaling $697,926 against 37 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations.  Included in the total are penalties of $250,000 against BASF Corporation in Brazoria County for air quality violations stemming from a routine investigation on May 17, 2012.  Half of the penalty amount will be applied to a supplemental environmental project (SEP) and paid to the Houston-Galveston Area Emission Reduction Credit Organization (AERCO).  These funds will be used to retrofit school and mass transit buses with emission control devices.  For more information, go to:  www.tceq.texas.gov/news/releases/090413commissionersagenda.

August 16, 2013

New York Launches $19 Million Truck Voucher Incentive Program, Includes $4 Million for Retrofits – On August 9, 2013, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $19 million truck voucher incentive program, the The New York Truck – Voucher Incentive Program (NYT-VIP), a “first come, first served” incentive program that is comprised of three different funds to provide vouchers for the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles and diesel emission control devices (DECDs).  The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is administering the program, with funding from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) and in partnership with the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York City Department of Transportation.  CALSTART was competitively selected to assist NYSERDA in managing the voucher incentive program.

The program is directed towards Class 3 to Class 8 trucks, which include large pick-ups, delivery vans, box trucks, buses, tractor trailers, garbage trucks, and select construction vehicles such as cement and dump trucks.  Under the terms of the program, NYSERDA-approved vehicle manufacturers, dealers, and retrofit providers will receive the vouchers, allowing them to pass on the full incentive in a lower price to buyers.  Once the purchaser has received the new vehicle/technology, the vendor is redeemed the full voucher amount.

NYT-VIP’s three voucher incentive funds are:

  • New York State Electric Vehicle – Voucher Incentive Fund (NYSEV-VIF):  $9 million is now available in vouchers up to $60,000 that can be used by companies, non-profits, and state and local government entities toward the purchase of electric trucks and buses.  This incentive is available in 30 counties around the state which do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and is for Class 3-8 battery-electric trucks only.  NYSERDA-approved electric equipment manufacturers participating in the NYT-VIP include AMP Trucks Inc., Boulder Electric Vehicle, Electric Vehicles International, and Smith Electric Vehicles.
  • New York City Alternative Fuel Vehicle – Voucher Incentive Fund (NYCAFV-VIF):  $6 million will be available in vouchers up to $40,000 for the purchase or lease of CNG, hybrid-electric, or battery-electric trucks in New York City.  This incentive also includes repowering a diesel truck with CNG.  The funding is open to all private and non-profit fleets based in and operating 70% of the time in New York City.  A list of participating manufacturers will be available at the launch of the program.
  • New York City Diesel Emission Reduction – Voucher Incentive Fund (NYCDER-VIF):  $4 million to cover up to 80% of the purchase and installation of verified emission control devices (e.g., DOCs, DPFs) on medium- and heavy-duty diesel trucks that are MY 2006 and older.  The funding is open to all private and non-profit fleets based in and operating 70% of the time in New York City.

The electric truck vouchers are available now.  The alternative fuels voucher and diesel retrofit funding for NYC will be rolled out in late August and September, respectively.

For more information on the NYT-VIP, go to the program website at:  truck-vip.ny.gov.

July 12, 2013

EPA, DOJ Settle with Shell Oil over CAA Violations, Includes Funds for Diesel Retrofit Project – On July 10, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. EPA announced that Shell Oil and affiliated partnerships have agreed to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at a large refinery and chemical plant in Deer Park, TX, by spending at least $115 million to control air pollution from industrial flares and other processes, and by paying a $2.6 million civil penalty.  In addition, as part of a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP), Shell has agreed to spend $1 million on a state-of-the-art system to monitor benzene levels at the fenceline of the refinery and chemical plant near a residential neighborhood and school and to make the data available to the public through a website.

Shell will spend $100 million on control technology to reduce air pollution from industrial flares (devices used to burn waste gases).  Shell is required to take the following actions to improve flaring operations:  minimize flaring by recovering and recycling waste gases; comply with limitations on how much waste gas can be burned in a flare; and install and operate instruments and monitoring systems to ensure that gases that are sent to flares are burned with 98% efficiency.  Shell’s agreement to recover and recycle waste gases at its chemical plant is a first of its kind.  Once fully implemented, EPA says the pollution controls required by the settlement will reduce emissions of SO2, VOCs (including benzene), and other hazardous air pollutants by an estimated 4,550 tons or more per year.  These controls will also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by approximately 260,000 tons per year.

In addition to reducing pollution from flares, Shell will significantly modify its wastewater treatment plant; replace and repair tanks as necessary; inspect tanks biweekly with an infrared camera to better identify potential integrity problems that may lead to leaks; and implement enhanced monitoring and repair practices at the benzene production unit.  When fully implemented, these specific projects are estimated to cost between $15 million and $60 million.  Also, in another SEP, Shell has agreed to spend $200,000 on retrofit technology to reduce diesel emissions from government-owned vehicles which operate in the vicinity of the Deer Park complex.

More information on this is available at:  www.epa.gov/enforcement/air/cases/sdp.html.

July 3, 2013

EPA Finds Locomotive Repower Project in Louisiana Did Not Comply with ARRA Funding Requirements – On June 20, 2013, the U.S. EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report finding that the Railroad Research Foundation (RRF) did not comply with the requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) regarding almost $3 million in federal funding RRF was awarded under the ARRA for a project to repower five locomotives in the Baton Rouge, LA, area.

On September 1, 2009, EPA used Recovery Act funds to award a cooperative agreement to RRF under the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program.  This award authorized federal funds of $2,927,496 to repower locomotives for the city of Baton Rouge.  The total project costs were $3,659,370, which included the authorized federal funds and the recipient share of $731,874.  The agreement was amended twice to extend the project period and to allow indirect costs.  The amended project period was September 1, 2009, to December 31, 2010.

After its examination of the cooperative agreement, OIG identified the following noncompliance issues:

  • The five repowered locomotives were not operating in the Baton Rouge area as originally proposed and expected by the EPA. As a result, the inhabitants in the Baton Rouge ozone nonattainment area were not receiving the benefits of the lower diesel emissions expected by the EPA when it approved the project.
  • Costs of $4,614 for various indirect activities under a service agreement were not allowable under federal cost principles and the terms of the agreement.
  • Costs of $16,512 for the foundation’s indirect costs were not supported because the cooperative agreement did not authorize indirect costs for the entire project period.

RRF stated that, since becoming aware in May 2012 that the repowered locomotives were sometimes operating outside the Baton Rouge area, the foundation has taken corrective action with the Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCS)to ensure that the locomotives are operating in the Baton Rouge area.  The foundation stated the railroad will operate the locomotives in the defined area going forward through 2019 and possibly beyond, thereby achieving the expected environmental and related human health benefits.  Rather than recover the full assistance amount of $2.9 million, the foundation believes that it would be more consistent with the goals of the program to work out an arrangement that would result in full compliance with the terms of the cooperative agreement.  The proposed remedy would include operation of the repowered locomotives within the defined area for the remainder of the locomotives’ useful lives and the possible addition of time to account for any periods of past noncompliance.

In response, EPA Region 6 agreed with RRF’s proposed recommendation.  Since the foundation proposed a possible remedy to achieve compliance and the region indicated a willingnessto consider such a proposal, OIG believes that direct discussions between the region and the foundation would provide the best opportunity of achieving the intended environmental and human health benefits.

For a copy of the OIG report, go to: www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2013/20130620-13-R-0297.pdf.

June 28, 2013

EPA Announces $1 Million in Border Environmental Funding, Can Be Used for Retrofit Projects – On June 17, 2013, the U.S. EPA announced the availability of $1 million in Border Environmental funding for the Arizona/Sonora and California/Baja California regions.  The funds will be awarded under the Border 2020:  U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program, in coordination with the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC).  Selected awards will average $50,000 each. Eligibility is open to U.S. and Mexican non-governmental organizations, local and state governmental agencies, industry associations, universities, U.S. tribes, and Mexican indigenous communities.  Greater consideration will be given to proposals that leverage other resources and that demonstrate measurable results.

EPA is specifically seeking the following types of projects aimed at reducing air pollution:


  • Objective 1:  Develop a wait times Emissions Study at the Mariposa Port of Entry.  Emissions from idling vehicles at the Mariposa Port of Entry are a source of PM and NOx emissions.  The purpose of this project is to:  1) estimate PM and NOx emissions from north-bound idling vehicles waiting at the Mariposa Port of Entry and to 2) identify emissions reduction strategies (with accompanying PM and NOx reductions) that U.S.-Mexican planning agencies could implement at the port of entry.
  • Objective 2:  Develop a Nogales and Sonora Emissions Inventory.  Total emissions from stationary, mobile, area, and biogenic sources for a recent year will be estimated.  This project will be done in concert with the appropriate local, state, and federal agencies.

California/Baja California:

  • Objective 1:  Similar to the Arizona/Sonora Emissions Study noted above, develop a wait times Emissions Study at the Calexico West Port of Entry, Calexico East Port of Entry, Otay Mesa Port of Entry, or San Ysidro Port of Entry.
  • Objective 2: Develop quantifiable projects (e.g., diesel retrofit projects) to reduce emissions of PM and NOx in the San Diego/Tijuana or Imperial County/Mexicali airshed, especially to reduce exposure to sensitive populations.

All proposals must be submitted by July 31, 2013.  Successful applicants will be notified by August 30, 2013.

The Border 2020 Program is a bi-national collaborative effort whose mission is to protect human health and the environment in the U.S.-Mexico border region.  BECC is an international organization established for the purpose of preserving, protecting, and enhancing the environment in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Proposal applications can be downloaded from the EPA Border 2020 website at:  www2.epa.gov/border2020/request-proposals-2013.

May 17, 2013

EPA Announces RFP for FY 2013 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program – On May 9, 2013, the U.S. EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) announced its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the FY 2013 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program funded through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program.  The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $9 million.  This amount is part of the overall $20 million allocated to the DERA program for FY 2013.  Of this $20 million, EPA has also allocated $5.6 million to the State Clean Diesel Grant Program and approximately $2 million to the Rebate Program (details of this year’s Rebate Program to be determined).  EPA says the remaining funds (approximately $3.4 million) will be used either to fund more projects under the current national RFP or to fund more rebates, or possibly for another RFP.  They will make announcements over the summer regarding these funding decisions.  Note: Like last year, there will be no Emerging Technologies Program competition or SmartWay Finance Program competition in FY 2013.

Highlights from the RFP of interest to MECA members include:

  • Similar to previous DERA RFPs, eligible diesel emission reduction strategies include verified emission control technologies (such as retrofit devices, cleaner fuels, and engine upgrades), verified idle reduction technologies, verified aerodynamic technologies and low-rolling resistance tires, certified engine repowers, and/or vehicle or equipment replacement.
  • Eligible diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment may include buses, medium-duty or heavy-duty trucks, marine engines, locomotives and nonroad engines, equipment or vehicles used in construction, handling of cargo (including at a port or airport), agriculture, mining, or energy production (including stationary generators and pumps).
  • Eligible entities include regional, state, local, or tribal agencies or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality, and nonprofit organizations or institutions that:  a) represent or provide pollution reduction or educational services to persons or organizations that own or operate diesel fleets or b) have as their principal purpose the promotion of transportation or air quality.
  • EPA will fund up to 100% of the cost (labor and equipment) of EPA- and/or ARBverified retrofit technologies.
  • Like last year, the evaluation criteria includes a specific programmatic priority for “Project Location.”  Additional points will be given to projects located in counties and areas selected by EPA as priority areas for the DERA program based on data from a number of sources (see the FY13 Priority County and Area List here:  www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/documents/fy13-county-area-list.pdf).
  • Applications will also be evaluated based on Regional Significance factors.  These factors highlight specific environmental issues that are focal points of each of the EPA regional offices.  A list of these goals and priorities for each EPA Region is available in the RFP (Section I.B.4.).
  • Like last year, the evaluation criteria for the RFP includes a specific programmatic priority for “Diesel Reduction Effectiveness.”  Under this criterion, applicants will be evaluated on the extent to which the project effectively reduces diesel emissions, by maximizing the useful life and annual operating hours of any certified engine configuration or verified technology.  These scores are based on the age and annual operating hours of the vehicle, and the effectiveness and cost of the control strategy.  The scoring methodology, in general, favors the use of Level 3 retrofit devices (i.e., the score for using a DPF or an SCR system is equal to or higher than a repower or a replacement for all vehicle/equipment model years).
  • On-highway vehicles that are MY 1989 or older are not eligible.  Also, nonroad equipment that operate less than 500 hours/year or with less than seven years remaining of useful life are not eligible.  EPA has prepared a document to assist applicants in determining the remaining useful life for nonroad equipment (see:  www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/documents/fy13-nonroad-remaining-useful-life.pdf).  Locomotives and marine engines that operate less than 1000 hours/year are also not eligible.
  • Like last year, DERA reauthorization removed the requirement that 50% of DERA funds be used for public fleets.  It also removed the restriction on using DERA funds for programs mandated by state or local law (DERA funds still cannot be used for programs mandated by federal law).

EPA anticipates awarding one to two non-tribal assistance agreements per EPA Region from this announcement.  EPA also anticipates awarding approximately one to four tribal assistance agreements.  The RFP will be open for approximately 45 days, closing on June 25, 2013.  EPA plans to award funding through this competition in the fall.

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

May 3, 2013

EPA Releases Second Report to Congress on DERA Grants – On April 29, 2013, the U.S. EPA released the “Second Report to Congress:  Highlights of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program.”  The report contains results from the FY 2008, FY 2009/2010, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act DERA grants.  (The first Report to Congress, released in August 2009, contained results for the FY 2008 DERA grants.)

Highlights from the report include:

  • From 2008 to 2010, EPA awarded nearly $470 million to more than 350 grantees in 50 states and the District of Columbia to retrofit, replace, or repower more than 50,000 vehicles and equipment in a variety of industries.  EPA estimates that these projects will reduce emissions by at least 203,900 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 12,500 tons of particulate matter (PM) over the lifetime of the affected engines.  As a result of these pollution reductions, EPA estimates that the health benefits associated with up to 1,400 fewer premature deaths and fewer hospital visits, among other impacts, will total approximately $3.4 billion to $8.2 billion.  These clean diesel projects also are estimated to reduce carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by 48,000 tons, hydrocarbon (HC) emissions by 18,000 tons, and carbon dioxide (CO2)  emissions by 2.3 million tons, as well as generate fuel savings of over 205 million gallons as a result of idle reduction.
  • Along with EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership program, DERA funding has focused on diesel pollution at intermodal hubs, such as delivery centers and ports.  More than 70 projects in ports have been funded, addressing nearly 2,000 vehicles or equipment.  Overall, more than $300 million in funding has been targeted to reducing emissions from the nation’s supply chain.
  • Each federal dollar invested in clean diesel projects has leveraged as much as $3 from other government agencies, private organizations, industry, and nonprofit organizations, generating between $7 and $18 in public health benefits.
  • Stakeholders have shown a high level of interest in EPA-funded clean diesel projects.  Funding requests have exceeded availability by as much as 7:1.
  • In FY 2008, EPA funded 119 projects with $49 million.  These funds retrofitted over 14,000 vehicles, vessels, or pieces of equipment.  This included almost 6,000 school buses and nearly 4,500 long-haul trucks.  EPA estimates that this first cohort of 119 projects will reduce 22,700 tons of NOx, 2,700 tons of PM, 4,200 tons of HC, 15,900 tons of CO, and 289,900 tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the affected engines.  These pollution reductions, according to EPA estimates, will provide approximately $644 million to $1.6 billion in health benefits associated with fewer premature deaths and other health impacts, and save nearly 26 million gallons of fuel as a result of projects to reduce engine idling.
  • EPA received a $300 million appropriation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) in 2009 and awarded funds to 160 clean diesel projects.  Every state and the District of Columbia received funding, and an additional 109 competitive projects were awarded funds across the country.  Through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program, this funding resulted in the retention and creation of over 3,000 jobs.  In total, EPA estimates that the clean diesel Recovery Act projects will reduce 130,600 tons of NOx, 7,200 tons of PM, 10,200 tons of HC, 22,800 tons of CO, and 1,309,100 tons of CO2, as well as save over 116 million gallons of fuel over the lifetime of the affected engines.  The health benefits of these pollution reductions equate to approximately $2 billion to $4.9 billion.
  • EPA received $60 million appropriations in both 2009 and 2010 and combined those funds to award 84 grants.  EPA estimates that the FY 2009/2010 grants will lead to emissions reductions of 50,600 tons of NOx, 2,600 tons of PM, 3,600 tons of HC, 9,300 tons of CO, and 706,000 tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the affected engines, with fuel savings of nearly 63 million gallons associated with projects to reduce idling.  EPA estimates that these pollution reductions generate health benefits of $728 million to $1.8 billion.
  • Approximately 70% of competitive projects have taken place in nonattainment areas for PM2.5 (per the 2006 standard) or for 8-hour ozone (per the 2008 standard).

For a copy of the full report, go to:  www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/publications.htm.

April 26, 2013

Texas Seeks Proposals for Statewide Retrofit Contract under Clean School Bus Grant Program – The Texas Procurement and Support Services (TPASS), in coordination with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), is seeking proposals to establish a contract for diesel retrofit devices purchased under the Texas Clean School Bus Grant Program.  This solicitation is for potential contractors of retrofit equipment and labor available for use by all school districts, local governments, and state agencies.  The Texas Clean School Bus Program is designed to improve the health of school children and bus drivers by reducing emissions of diesel exhaust from school buses.  TCEQ provides grant money to school districts that purchase and install devices on school buses to reduce emissions.

Retrofit systems provided and installed under this program must be verified by either the U.S. EPA or ARB for PM emissions.  Eligible retrofit systems under this program include DPFs (verified for buses manufactured on or after 1994), DOCs (verified for buses manufactured before 1994 or buses manufactured on or after 1994 for which a DPF is not available), and closed crankcase filtration systems.  The contractor shall provide installation services upon request by the customer.  The customer may select the contractor(s) to provide installation services or may use in-house personnel to install the retrofit systems.  The contractor must provide at least a five-year installation warranty from the time of installation completion and, for equipment, at least a five-year manufacturer warranty from time of delivery and acceptance by the customer.

Regarding the customer base, candidate school buses 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.  All sizes of diesel-fueled school buses are eligible.

The state comptroller shall award a contract(s) to the respondent(s) whose proposal is considered to be the best value to the state.  The comptroller does not guarantee a specific volume to be purchased throughout the term of the contract.  The contract shall commence upon the issuance of a notice of award by the comptroller and shall automatically expire on August 31, 2014.

Proposals are due by May 22, 2013.  For a copy of the solicitation package, go to:  esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/bid_show.cfm?bidid=105456.

San Joaquin Valley Announces Availability of Funding for School Bus Retrofits – The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) is now accepting applications from public school districts or private transportation agencies contracted with public school districts located within the SJVAPCD for funding for the purchase and installation of ARB-certified Level 3 retrofit devices (i.e., DPFs) on eligible school buses.  SJVAPCD’s School Bus Incentives Program provides grant funding to school districts located within the boundaries of the District, specifically the counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and the valley portion of Kern, to assist with early compliance of ARB’s in-use truck and bus regulation.  The School Bus Retrofit Component is part of this program; a School Bus Replacement Component is under development.

To be eligible for the School Bus Retrofit Component, the applicant’s fleet must be in compliance with ARB’s in-use truck and bus regulation – the school buses within the application should not be required to be retrofitted until January 1, 2014.  An eligible school bus must have a 1987 or newer engine and be diesel-fueled.

The District anticipates funding school bus retrofits up to $20,000 per school bus.  The $20,000 maximum may be used for the following eligible items:  the cost and installation of the retrofit device; up to $2,500 per school bus funded may be used towards the cost of either a cleaning machine or a service contract for cleaning; up to $300 per school bus funded may be used for data-logging; one spare filter for up to every 20 school buses funded; and the necessary electrical infrastructure.  Funding is issued as a reimbursement upon submittal of a properly verified claim for payment that demonstrates that the retrofit device purchase and installation is complete.

All applications must be submitted by June 7, 2013.  For a copy of the School Bus Retrofit Component application and application guidelines, go to:  www.valleyair.org/Grant_Programs/GrantPrograms.htm#SchoolBusProgram.

Alabama Announces Project Using FY 2012 DERA State Clean Diesel Program Funds – On April 23, 2013, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) announced that it is partnering with Vulcraft Carrier Corporation in Fort Payne, AL, on a project to reduce diesel emissions from highway trucks using $50,500 in FY 2012 DERA funds.  The DERA funds were awarded to ADEM through EPA’s State Clean Diesel Program.  Vulcraft will provide a 50% match for the project.  Vulcraft maintains a fleet of diesel trucks for specialized, flatbed, and heavy-haul driving and the company has agreed to install auxiliary power units on 10 of those vehicles.  These auxiliary power units will assist in reducing air emissions by reducing the amount of time the larger, main engines spend idling.  Vulcraft has agreed to have the project completed by August 31, 2013.  For more information, go to:  adem.alabama.gov/newsEvents/pressreleases/2013/DieselRetrofit.pdf.

April 12, 2013

President Obama Announces EPA FY 2014Budget Request, DERA Funding Significantly Reduced – On April 10, 2013, the Obama Administration proposed a FY 2014 budget of $8.153 billion for the U.S. EPA.  This request is $296 million below EPA’s enacted budget for FY 2012.  The FY 2014 budget includes a total of $1,135.8 million in categorical grants, an increase of $47 million over FY 2012 levels.  Funding to states and tribes in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account continues to be the largest percentage of EPA’s budget request at nearly 40% in FY 2014.  Regarding air quality, the agency’s proposal requests $175 million to support its work to meet its court-ordered deadlines to develop, implement, and review statutorily mandated ambient air quality standards and guidance and air toxics regulations.  For climate change, EPA is proposing $176.5 million for the agency’s work with partners and stakeholders to provide information and tools to cut GHG emissions.  These funds will allow the agency to continue utilizing approaches like ENERGY STAR, the Global Methane Initiative, the GHG Reporting Rule, and state and local technical assistance and partnership programs, such as the SmartWay program.

Regarding Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Grants (FY 2014 President’s budget: $6.0 million, FY 2012: $30.0 million), requested resources support a new approach, initiated in FY 2013, designed to transition the program away from ongoing federal support.  The modified funding strategy will use rebates and revolving loan funds to concentrate resources on communities in a limited set of high exposure areas, such as near ports and freight distribution hubs.

For more information on EPA’s FY 2014 budget request, go to:  www2.epa.gov/planandbudget/fy2014.

April 5, 2013

EPA, DOJ Announce CAA Settlement with Dominion Energy, Includes Funding for Retrofit Projects – On April 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. EPA announced that Dominion Energy has agreed to pay a $3.4 million civil penalty and spend approximately $9.8 million on environmental mitigation projects to resolve Clean Air Act (CAA) violations.  Dominion Energy is a subsidiary of Dominion Resources, Inc., an electric and natural gas utility that is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, operating in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions.  The settlement will result in reductions of SO2 and NOx by more than 70,000 tons per year across three of the utility’s coalfired power plants located in Kincaid, IL, Hammond, IN (State Line), and Somerset, MA (Brayton Point).

Under the settlement, Dominion must install or upgrade pollution control technology on two plants (Kincaid and Brayton Point) and permanently retire a third plant (State Line).  Dominion will be required to continuously operate the new and existing pollution controls, and will be required to comply with stringent emission rates and annual tonnage limitations.  The capital cost of the new pollution controls is estimated to be approximately $325 million.  The actions taken by Dominion to comply with this settlement will result in annual reductions at the Brayton Point and Kincaid plants of SO2 and NOx emissions by 52,000 tons from 2010 levels.  The retirement of the State Line plant will result in additional reductions of 18,000 tons of SO2 and NOx.

The settlement also requires Dominion to spend $9.75 million on supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) that will benefit the environment and human health in communities located near the Dominion facilities.  Dominion will pay $750,000 to the National Park Service and Forest Service for projects to mitigate the harmful effects of acid deposition caused by power plants on park and forest service lands surrounding each plant.  The remaining $9,000,000 will be divided among five projects.  One of these SEPs is a clean diesel project obligating Dominion to spend:  up to $500,000 to fund the retrofit, replacement, or repowering of buses and trucks in the Chicago and Kincaid, IL, areas; additional funding for the retrofit or repower of higher-polluting diesel engines in Somerset and Fall River, MA; and up to $500,000 to fund clean air projects that will significantly reduce emissions from diesel vehicles based and operating in or near the Indiana cities of Gary, Hammond, Michigan City, South Bend, Elkhart, and/or Fort Wayne (these clean air projects will involve the retrofit or replacement of school buses and other diesel vehicles).  The other four SEPs are:  energy efficiency, weatherization, and renewable energy projects for local schools and food banks; wood stove changeout programs; a land acquisition and restoration project in the Lake Michigan Watershed; and a switcher locomotive idle reduction project in Chicago rail yards.

This is the 26th judicial settlement secured by DOJ and EPA as part of a national enforcement initiative to control harmful emissions from power plants under the CAA’s New Source Review requirements.

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

Puget Sound Issues RFP for Pilot Project to Reduce Emissions from Drayage Trucks at Port of Seattle – On March 29, 2013, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for one or more pilot projects to upgrade the engines on Class 8 drayage trucks serving the Port of Seattle to meet or surpass U.S. EPA 2007 heavy-duty engine emission standards for PM.  Eligible strategies include (but are not limited to):  emission control technologies (i.e., DPFs), engine replacements, alternative fuel conversions, and electrification.  The pilot project supports the Port’s commitment to voluntarily reduce maritime emissions established in the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy.  The Port’s Clean Truck Program, which was created to implement the goals of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, requires 100% of the heavy-duty trucks serving the Port to meet the equivalent of 2007 engine emission standards by December 31, 2017.

The pilot project specifically seeks one or more technologies to install on Class 8 diesel tractor-trucks with MY 1995-2006 engines to reduce PM emissions and achieve an emission rate equivalent to or lower than the 2007 heavy-duty engine emission standard for PM (0.01 g/bhphr).  Of particular interest are technologies that are compatible with a large portion of engines from the 1995-2006 Port of Seattle captive-drayage population.  The Port estimates that about 2,000 trucks registered in the drayage truck registry constitute the captive-drayage population and make at least one haul per delivery-day.

Also of interest are technologies that can be installed on existing captive-drayage vehicles at a cost that is no more than the cost of operating a MY 2007 or newer diesel truck.  It is anticipated that the captive-drayage community will pursue the least cost method of compliance for the Clean Truck Program, assessing both the initial cost of compliance and the ongoing cost of operating the truck to determine what meets their needs.  Therefore, cost-effectiveness of the technology (including both up-front costs and operating costs after a technology installation/conversion) will be included in the RFP scoring criteria.

Proposals are due by May 15, 2013.  For a copy of the RFP, go to:  www.pscleanair.org/announce/notices/documents/2013-RFPEngine%20Upgrade.pdf.

PA DEP Awards DERA Grant to Lancaster County for CNG Refuse Hauler Replacements – On March 28, 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that it has awarded $174,048 to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) to offset some of the costs to replace its fleet of 14 heavy-duty diesel trucks with 14 new trucks that will be powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).  The authority will use its own funds to install new natural-gas fueling infrastructure at its transfer station complex, which will be used by the fleet it serves and the general public.  The authority is paying about $3.9 million to finance the project, which will cost slightly more than $4 million.  DEP’s contribution is from FY 2012 DERA funds awarded to DEP through the U.S. EPA’s State Clean Diesel Grant Program.  DEP says the project will displace 140,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year, reducing annual CO2 emissions by more than five million pounds.  In addition, LCSWMA anticipates the new CNG fleet will annually reduce 173,508 pounds of NOx, 39,352 pounds of PM, 27,431 pounds of VOCs, and 1,198 pounds of SOx.  For more information, go to:  www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/14287?id=19906&typeid=1.

March 29, 2013

Louisville Receives DERA Funding to Retrofit Two Refuse Haulers with DPFs – The Louisville Metro Government recently announced that it has been awarded $54,000 in FY 2012 DERA funds for a project to reduce diesel emissions from its waste-hauling fleet.  The project will retrofit two refuse haulers with DPFs and closed crankcase ventilation systems.  The project will also fund the purchase of equipment to remove unburned soot/ash from the DPFs to keep them working properly.  Commenting on the announcement, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says sanitation trucks are on the roads providing service thousands of hours each year, “so reducing their emissions is a big benefit.”  For more information, go to:  www.kentucky.com/2013/03/19/2563719/louisville-project-to-cut-garbage.html.

March 22, 2013

Port of Los Angeles Approves $500 Million “Green” Railroad Yard Project – On March 7, 2013, the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) voted to approve a $500 million “green” railroad yard project that proponents described as enabling a drastic reduction of diesel truck emissions from freight drayage operations at one of the world’s biggest freight ports.  The action to approve the “Southern California International Gateway” (SCIG) rail project comes on the heels of recent POLA and nearby Port of Long Beach regulations and projects that have drastically reduced diesel emissions from ships, tugs, port cargo-handling equipment, trucks, and locomotives.  Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) willshoulderthe entire cost of the SCIG project and will also contribute millions of dollars in new funding toward research and development on future “zero-emissions” freight-hauling schemes.

According to POLA, the new, near-dock rail container transfer facility at the port would create the “greenest intermodal rail yard” in the U.S. on a 185-acre site approximately four miles north of the San Pedro Bay port complex.  The new project would cut at least 1.3 million diesel truck trips per year on the adjacent Interstate 710 freeway, helping the Port areas and nearby neighborhoods reduce their exposure to diesel emissions.  Construction is due to begin later this year and open in 2016.  Initially, SCIG is expected to handle approximately 570,800 TEUs.  By 2035, SCIG is projected to handle a maximum of 2.8 million TEUs.

Key operational features include:

  • SCIG would use only the cleanest available switching and long-haul locomotives and phase in the future generation of EPA Tier 4 locomotives when the equipment becomes commercially available;
  • SCIG would deploy all electric-powered rail-mounted gantry cranes and low emissions yard equipment to handle cargo; and
  • All trucks serving SCIG must meet or exceed 2007 federal on-road emission standards, and 90% of the drayage fleet must be LNG-fueled or meet equivalent emission standards by 2026.

BNSF hailed the project for enabling a deep cut in truck diesel emissions, greater efficiency, and economic development, while replacing an existing industrial site with a new intermodal facility “that will set a new benchmark for future facilities in California.”  However, POLA’s decision to approve SCIG drew protests from some “greens” and neighborhood groups, who complained that local diesel emissions and cargo-handling noise still might increase in the future, rather than decrease.  At the March 7 meeting, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster was quoted in a Los Angeles Times report as telling POLA that “you’ve done precious little to mitigate the [environmental] impacts we see” with the project.  Similarly, Natural Resources Defense Council attorney David Pettit was quoted as slamming the decision because it would continue to allow some diesel truck traffic, in contradiction to a “no-diesel” promise made by former Harbor Commission president David Freeman eight years ago.  University of Southern California preventive medicine professor Andrea Hricko also was quoted in the report as saying that, while the SCIG project might cut diesel truck traffic and diesel emissions on the nearby I-710 freeway, those benefits could be temporary.  The argument being that “transloading,” whereby 40-footlong cargo containers are consolidated into 53-foot containers before being taken to nearby intermodal freight yards, supposedly would increase.

More information on the SCIG rail project is available at:  www.portoflosangeles.org/EIR/SCIG/DEIR/deir_scig.asp.

Clean Diesel ClearingHouse Website Launched – The Clean Diesel ClearingHouse website (www.cleandieselclearinghouse.org) is now available for use on-line to help operators of diesel-powered vehicles and equipment find retrofit technologies to meet requirements from voluntary and mandatory diesel emission reduction programs.  This web-based tool enables users to find retrofit technology options to meet specified emission control requirements.  The website can be used by program administrators to collect reports, track compliance status, and query data collected from project participants.  The website currently only covers off-road vehicles and equipment, such as bulldozers, cranes, and front-end loaders.  The ability to search for retrofit products for use with on-road vehicle applications, including medium-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks, school buses, and transit buses, is under development and will be announced on the Clean Diesel ClearingHouse website when available.  There is a complete user guide available on the website (under the Contact Us tab) that provides step-by-step instructions, including screen shots, for many of the major Clean Diesel ClearingHouse functions.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) sponsored the creation of the Clean Diesel ClearingHouse.  Emissions Advantage, Inc. (EA) was selected by NYSERDA to develop and host the website.  Project development support is being provided to EA by GORGES, Inc., Alliance Technical Services, Inc., and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM).  In addition, EA and NESCAUM provided cost-share to the project.

March 8, 2013

American Electric Power Agrees to Modified CAA Settlement, Includes Funds for Potential Retrofit Projects – On February 25, 2013, the U.S. EPA, eight states, and a coalition of citizen groups announced a modified settlement agreement with American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest U.S. electricity producers, requiring AEP to stop burning coal by 2015 at three power plants in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.  AEP also agreed to replace a portion of these coal plants with new wind and solar investments in Indiana and Michigan and to share $6 million among the eight states to be spent on environmental mitigation projects.

The settlement comes in a lawsuit originally filed in a federal court in Ohio in 1999 and is a modification to a prior 2007 settlement.  Besides the U.S. EPA, the other parties in the suit include eight states (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maryland, and Rhode Island) and 13 citizen groups (including the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio Citizen Action, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, and the Hoosier Environmental Council).

Under the modified settlement, AEP will stop burning coal (retire or shift to natural gas) at the Tanners Creek Generating Station Unit 4 in Indiana, the Muskingum River Power Plant Unit 5 in Ohio, and the Big Sandy Power Plant Unit 2 in Kentucky. Collectively, a total of 2,011 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired power will retire as part of the settlement, removing nearly 84,000 tons of SO2 emissions that the three coal-fired power plants emit each year.  A limit placed on 16 of its power plants in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky was also made more stringent as part of the renegotiated deal, but the company said it would have to make cuts in SO2 emissions anyway to comply with current EPA rules.

In addition, AEP is switching the control technology at its Rockport plant in southern Indiana to the cheaper, less effective dry-sorbent injection from flue-gas desulfurization.  In return for that change, AEP will commit to developing 50 MW of wind or solar power this year and an additional 150 MW of wind or solar power in Indiana or Michigan by 2015.  AEP will also be required to either retire the two Rockport units in 2025 and 2028, respectively, or to install additional controls designed to achieve removal of at least 98% of the SO2 emissions created by the burning of coal at those units.

AEP is also expected to spend $6 million for supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) in the eight states (the states will be able to designate these projects).  These SEP funds could potentially be spent on various diesel retrofit projects.  (Under the original 2007 settlement, the SEP funds were expected to be spent on projects to acquire and restore ecologically sensitive land in eastern states downwind of AEP’s plants; restore or improve watersheds and forests in national parks adversely affected by past emissions; reduce nitrogen loading to Chesapeake Bay through actions such as the acquisition of buffer zones; and projects to reduce emissions from mobile sources, such as clean diesel projects for barge tugs and conventional trucks in AEP’s fleet.)  An additional $2.5 million in mitigation funds will go to citizen groups in Indiana for local environmental mitigation projects, including diesel retrofit projects.

For more information on the modified settlement, including a link to the agreement, go to:  content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2013/02/major-victory-clean-air-and-climate-aep-agrees-retire-3-coal-plants.  For more information on the original 2007 settlement, go to:  www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/americanelectricpower1007.html.

EPA, DOJ Announce Settlement with Indiana Refinery, Includes Funds for Retrofit Project – On February 28, 2013, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that CountryMark Refining and Logistics, LLC, has agreed to pay a $167,000 civil penalty, spend $18 million on new pollution controls, and perform supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) totaling more than $180,000 to resolve Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at its refinery located in Mount Vernon, IN.  Once fully implemented, EPA says the pollution controls required by the settlement will reduce emissions of harmful air pollution by an estimated 1,000 tons or more per year (777 tpy of SO2, 208 tpy of NOx, 51 tpy of VOCs, 29 tpy of PM, and 5 tpy of HAPs).

The complaint alleges that the company made modifications to its refinery that increased emissions without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing required pollution control equipment.  The settlement requires new and upgraded pollution controls (i.e., SCR, SNCR, ultra-low NOx burners, and/or other NOx-reduction technologies to reduce heater and boiler emissions), more stringent emission limits, and aggressive leak detection and repair (LDAR) practices to reduce emissions from refinery equipment and processing units.  The settlement also requires new controls on the refinery’s flaring devices, which are used to burn off waste gases.  The settlement will ensure proper combustion efficiency for any gases that are sent to a flare and will also cap the total amount of waste gases that can be sent to a flare at the refinery.

The settlement also requires CountryMark to provide at least $70,000 in funding for a SEP that will install diesel retrofit and/or idle reduction technologies on school buses and/or nonschool bus, publicly-owned vehicles located within 50 miles of the refinery.  In addition, the state of Indiana actively participated in the settlement with CountryMark and has received over $110,000 to fund a SEP to remove asbestos-containing material from an old grain elevator in downtown Mount Vernon.

For more information about this settlement, go to:  www.epa.gov/enforcement/air/cases/countrymarkrefiningandlogisticsllc.html.

Santa Ana Awarded Over $500,000 for Emission-Reduction Projects, Includes Funds for DPF Retrofits – The city of Santa Ana in California has been awarded two Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) Clean Transportation Funding grants:  one in the amount of $262,500 to help finance three alternative fuel infrastructure-related projects, and another award of $265,000 for vehicle purchases and retrofits.  The funding was made possible by MSRC’s Local Government Match Program, which offers ncentives to cities and counties that undertake projects to reduce emissions from mobile sources.

For the first award, the three infrastructure projects include the development of new onsite refueling for propane vehicles, site improvements for the refueling of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, and modifications to an existing maintenance facility to better accommodate the service and repair of alternative-fuel vehicles and equipment.  Under the other award, using $55,000 of the funds, Santa Ana has recently completed the installation of DPFs on six of its heavy-duty diesel vehicles, which include water, cement, and dump trucks.  It was determined that replacing these trucks with alternative fuel vehicles would not be a practical option for the city.  The remaining $210,000 is reserved for the purchase of seven propane-powered Ford F-550 trucks.

These environmental transportation projects are part of the Green Facilities, Fleet Management, and Central Stores Strategic Plan that is designed to transform 75 to 80% of Santa Ana’s fleet of over 900 vehicles into a line-up of cars, trucks, and equipment powered by sustainable and renewable energy sources.  The comprehensive plan integrates alternative and conventional environmental transportation technologies to achieve its goals.

For more information, go to:  www.cleantransportationfunding.org/media_center/newsletter_articles/view/city_of_santa_ana_receives_over_500000_to_reduce_emissions_and_finance_gree.

Kentucky Awards DERA Funding toLocal School District for Clean School Buses – On March 6, 2013, Governor Steve Beshear (D) announced that the Kentucky Division for Air Quality (DAQ) has awarded the Crittenden County Board of Education $80,000 in FY 2012 DERA funds to reduce diesel emissions from its school bus fleet.  The funds were made available through the U.S. EPA’s State Clean Diesel Grant Program.  The project will replace one MY 1992 diesel school bus with a MY 2014 school bus powered by propane autogas.  The project will also retrofit an additional 14 diesel school buses with emission control devices.  For more information on this announcement, go to:  surfky.com/index.php/communities/52-locallakes-top-news/27691-crittenden-county-school-buses-getting-cleaner-greener.  For more information on Kentucky’s Clean Diesel Grant Program, go to:  air.ky.gov/Pages/KentuckyCleanDieselGrantProgram.aspx.

February 8, 2013

EPA Announces Recipients of DERA Funding under School Bus Rebate Program – On February 6, 2013, the U.S. EPA announced that applicant selections have been made under the agency’s pilot Clean Diesel School Bus Rebate Program.  Thirty school bus fleets were selected to receive funding from the $2 million in FY 2012 DERA funds allocated for the program.  Over 1000 school bus fleets applied to the Rebate Program, requesting over $70 million in funding.  All applicants were given unique identification numbers and applicants were randomly selected and placed in order on a list. Starting at the top of the list, funds were reserved for applicants until all $2 million allocated to the program was reserved.  The remainder of the applicants were placed on a wait list.

Selected applicants have ninety days to submit purchase orders for new buses.  Between July and October, the new buses will arrive and the old ones must be scrapped in order to receive payment from EPA.

For more information, including the list of selected applicants, the wait-listed applicants, and complete program information, go to:  www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/dera-rebate.htm.

EPA, Illinois Announce Settlement with Copper Smelting Foundry, Includes Funds for School Bus Retrofits – On January 31, 2013, the U.S. EPA and the state of Illinois announced that they have signed a consent decree with H. Kramer and Co. to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and state air pollution violations at the firm’s copper smelting foundry in the Pilsen neighborhood on the southwestside of Chicago.  Under the terms of the settlement, H. Kramer will spend $3 million on new state-of-the-art pollution controls for the foundry (i.e., install pulse jet baghouses and HEPA filters on two furnaces), pay a $35,000 penalty, and provide $40,000 for a supplemental environmental project (SEP) to retrofit diesel school buses operating in the neighborhood and surrounding areas with emission control devices.  The consent decree further requires H. Kramer to continue to limit production of two lead alloys until the new emission control equipment is installed.

The settlement resolves the federal government’s allegations that H. Kramer failed to maintain and operate furnaces at the foundry in a manner which controls lead emissions and that the company violated the Illinois State Implementation Plan (SIP) by causing or allowing releases of lead into the air.  The settlement also resolves Illinois’ claims that H. Kramer’s activities at the foundry resulted in lead emissions that caused or contributed to air pollution and created danger to the public and the environment.

For more information, go to: www.epa.gov/reg5oair/enforce/pilsen/.

February 1, 2013

Clean Construction Pilot Credit Available for LEED Certification – On January 23, 2013, Clean Air Task Force (CATF) and United Rentals announced that their proposed Clean Construction Pilot Credit has been added into the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Pilot Credit Library.  The pilot credit aims to limit emissions from diesel engines that are harmful to public health and the global climate, a first for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).  In addition, this is the first pilot credit to be approved and posted through the USGBC’s member-generated pilot credit process.  The LEED Pilot Credit Library is an interactive mechanism for testing proposed credits in the marketplace before a credit is considered for inclusion into a future LEED rating system.  The pilot credit was the result of almost a year of public-private collaboration between CATF, United Rentals, and the U.S. EPA to develop the appropriate language for USGBC to review.

In order to use the Clean Construction Pilot Credit towards voluntary LEED certification for a building, during the construction phase the project must:

  • Limit PM pollution from on-road vehicles and nonroad equipment.  For nonroad engines used on the jobsite that are 25 hp and greater, they must meet at least the equivalent of EPA Tier 2 PM emission standards and, depending on the specified calendar year and size of the engine, a certain percent of engines on the jobsite must meet EPA Tier 4 PM emission standards (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.) (e.g., for nonroad engines 25-74 hp, 0% of the engines must comply with the Tier 4 PM standard in 2012-2013, 25% in 2014, 50% in 2015, and 95% in 2016-2022).  For on-road diesel engines, 95% of all diesel engine contractor/ subcontractor vehicles used for the construction project must be:  1) vehicles that comply with EPA’s 2007 on-road standards (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.), or 2) vehicles with older engines that have been retrofitted with technology verified by EPA and/or ARB to reduce PM emissions to a level at or more stringent than EPA’s 2007 on-road standards for PM (or local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.).
  • Limit unnecessary idling.  Develop a policy to limit unnecessary vehicle and equipment engine idling to no more than five minutes, or in compliance with applicable local, state, and national laws, whichever is more stringent.
  • Prevent indoor air pollution by keeping construction emissions away from air intakes and openings of adjacent buildings.
  • Provide information annually on the equipment used.

A three-year transition period allows for newer, cleaner equipment to penetrate the marketplace, providing a range of opportunities to rent or buy new equipment, or to retrofit old equipment to reduce PM pollution and achieve the credit.

USGBC’s LEED program provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions.  The LEED Pilot Credit Library gathers real-time feedback on credit usability and ability to meet a credit’s intent.  It was established to facilitate the introduction of new prerequisites and credits to LEED through stakeholder engagement and collaboration on the testing and analysis of proposed requirements.  This process allows USGBC to refine credits through LEED project evaluations before being introduced into LEED.  There are currently 46 credits in the Pilot Credit Library.

The Clean Construction Pilot Credit (Pilot Credit 75) is available in the LEED Pilot Credit Library at:  new.usgbc.org/credits/sspc75.

January 18, 2013

EPA Awards $2.7 Million in DERA Funding for Clean Diesel Projects in NYC Metropolitan Area – The U.S. EPA has awarded a total of $2.7 million in FY 2012 DERA funding under the the agency’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program to help two organizations reduce air pollution in the New York City metropolitan area by replacing older diesel engines on a tug boat and two trains with less polluting models.

The two clean diesel projects are:

  • Conservation Law Foundation Ventures, a not-for-profit organization, will use the $1.3 million EPA grant to replace an old engine on the Coral Coast, a 120-foot marine tug boat that operates out of New York harbor, with a new and cleaner EPA-certified engine.  The new engine is estimated to emit 70% less NOx and 83% less PM than the current engine.  The project is expected to reduce emissions of NOx by 57.7 tons per year and PM by 2.7 tons per year in addition to conserving 42,558 gallons of fuel annually.
  • The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) will use the $1.4 million EPA grant to replace two old engines on locomotives operating in northern New Jersey with new and cleaner engines.  The trains will also be equipped with either an automatic engine stop/start system or an auxiliary power unit, which will reduce idling.  The new engines are estimated to reduce NOx by as much as 12.8 tons per year and PM by as much as 0.3 tons in addition to conserving 14,000 gallons of fuel per year.

For more information, go to:  yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/b96280b3471109ff85257af50066d044!OpenDocument.

EPA Launches New Voluntary Clean Air Program to Help Communities Reduce PM – On January 17, 2013, the U.S. EPA announced a new voluntary clean air program, “PM Advance,” to help communities continue to meet PM pollutant standards, improve air quality, and protect public health.  PM Advance focuses on working with communities to develop strategies for reducing harmful fine particle emissions.

On December 14, 2012, EPA updated the national air quality standards for PM2.5 by revising the annual standard to 12 micrograms/cubic meter (µg/m3).  Updated last in 1997, the revised annual standard will have major economic benefits with comparatively low costs.  EPA estimates health benefits of the revised standard would range from $4 billion to over $9 billion per year. 

The PM Advance program is designed to help communities who meet current standards continue to meet the standards.  Early work to reduce fine particles, such as PM Advance participation, can be incorporated into required planning.  Through the program, participants will commit to taking specific steps to reduce PM2.5, such as putting in place a school bus diesel retrofit program or an air quality action day program, while EPA will supply technical advice, outreach information, and other support.  While federal rules are expected to ensure that most areas meet the new standards, areas can participate in PM Advance to help them remain in attainment.

More information on this program is available at:  epa.gov/ozonepmadvance/basicPM.html