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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: July 24, 2017

 

  • U.S. DOT Announces $226.5 Million in Funding to Improve Transit Bus Service
  • Republic Services Expands its Natural Gas-Powered Fleet in Northern Ohio
  • American Natural Gas Opens Public CNG Fueling Station Near Syracuse, New York
  • Brooklyn Borough Releases Report on Need for More Alternative Fuel Stations
  • California to Receive Additional $153M in Final Settlement with Volkswagen
  • CSA Group Announces CNG Cylinder and Fuel System Inspector Training
  • San Pedro Bay Ports Release Draft of 2017 Clean Air Action Plan Update

 

U.S. DOT Announces $226.5 Million in Funding to Improve Transit Bus Service

July 18, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the opportunity to apply for approximately $226.5 million in competitive grant funding for transit bus projects nationwide. The Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program is authorized by Congress to improve the condition of bus infrastructure nationwide by funding the replacement and rehabilitation of buses and related facilities that can include technological changes or innovations, such as natural gas vehicle technology, to modify low emission vehicles or facilities.

“Transit buses account for more than five billion passenger trips every year, providing vital connections to jobs and economic opportunities,” said FTA Executive Director Matthew Welbes. “These grants will help more communities bring their transit infrastructure into a much-needed state of good repair.”

All projects must comply with Buy America regulations, which require that all iron, steel or manufactured products be produced in the United States, as well as final assembly of vehicles. Eligible projects include those that replace, rehabilitate, lease and purchase buses and related equipment as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, construct or lease bus-related facilities, such as buildings for bus storage and maintenance.

According to U.S. DOT’s latest Conditions & Performance Report, transit providers nationwide face a maintenance backlog of nearly $90 billion, including 10,000 buses estimated to be in poor or marginal condition.

FTA will award the Bus Infrastructure grants to designated recipients, states or local governmental entities that operate fixed route bus service and Indian tribes. Projects will be evaluated by criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. The program allocates a minimum of ten percent – $22.6 million – to rural bus needs.

Federal public transportation law (49 USC § 5339(b)), as amended by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, authorizes FTA’s competitive Grants for Buses & Bus Facilities Program through FY2020.

The application period will close on August 25, 2017.

 

Republic Services Expands its Natural Gas-Powered Fleet in Northern Ohio

July 21, 2017

Republic Services of Northern Ohio has added 25 CNG powered trucks to its fleet. The new CNG-powered trucks are replacing older, diesel-powered trucks, and help to reduce unwanted noise and air emissions in the communities they serve. The expansion includes a new CNG fueling station and highly advanced maintenance facility, which will enable more efficient operations and service for customers throughout Lorain, Cuyahoga and Medina counties.

“We know that our customers care about the environment, and they rely on us to help them realize a cleaner, safer and healthier future for their community,” said David Vossmer, general manager of Republic Services. “We are proud to make this investment in our local operations, and do our part to preserve the natural beauty of northern Ohio for future generations.”

As part of the local CNG-fleet expansion, Republic added a new time-fill CNG station that enables drivers and technicians to refuel vehicles overnight. In addition, Republic built a new, advanced maintenance facility where technicians can leverage the Company’s standardized maintenance practices and supply chain innovation to ensure a more durable fleet and achieve greater environmental efficiencies.

Republic Services of northern Ohio employs approximately 340 people who serve over 190,000 residential customers, and more than 13,000 commercial and industrial customers. In addition to its total fleet of 195 collection vehicles, Republic operates a recycling center, transfer station and landfill in the area.

Known as the Blue Planet sustainability initiative, Republic is defining its approach to sustainability in part through decreased vehicle emissions that includes saving approximately 26 million gallons of diesel fuel annually from CNG-fleet operations nationwide.

 

American Natural Gas Opens Public CNG Fueling Station Near Syracuse, New York

July 21, 2017

American Natural Gas (ANG) has opened a public CNG station in Liverpool, New York, a suburb of Syracuse, less than one mile off New York State Thruway (I-90). The Liverpool station will meet demand for easy-access CNG fueling for the region’s heavy duty and long-haul trucking fleets.

This Liverpool station is built around cold weather-reliable systems, including a 250 HP GE compressor packaged by Cobey Energy, with two points of temperature compensation and a Xebec dryer. The station features two Bennett CNG dispensers equipped with NGV1 nozzles for light and medium duty vehicles and NGV2 nozzles to accommodate heavy duty and transit vehicles. The fast-fuel station is designed to accommodate high-capacity, large volume users.

ANG currently owns and operates approximately 40 fueling stations in 13 states across, including stations under development. In New York State, ANG developed a CNG network along I-90 for over-the-road-truck fleets traveling between Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and the Albany area.

“Our customers are helping drive our expansion, as we continue to hear and respond to their needs for alternative fuel infrastructure across New York State,” said Drew West, Chief Executive Officer of ANG. “This facility supports our customers with a strong addition to our network of stations and will offer easy on-and-off highway access for class 8 vehicles. It also creates new opportunities for fleets interested in CNG, which will now have convenient access to the cleaner, safer and more affordable fuel.”


Brooklyn Borough Releases Report on Need for More Alternative Fuel Stations

July 12, 2017

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams has released “Fueling Brooklyn’s Future: Refueling Needs in a Resiliency Era,” a report with recommendations for modernizing Brooklyn’s fueling stations with sustainable fueling solutions.

Adams, who convened a hearing last November to address the fueling infrastructure challenges facing Brooklyn, discussed the imperative for the City and State to step up and prepare for technology and resiliency adaptions that the borough’s fueling sites need to make.

Key recommendations of the report include a call for Empire State Development (ESD) and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to create incentives for businesses to retrofit existing stations with CNG and other alternative fuel stations.

To protect existing fueling stations from closing, Borough President Adams asked the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) to undertake a zoning text amendment to enable fueling stations in Fuel NY priority corridors to more liberally transfer development rights; to qualify, stations would have to incorporate resilient power-generating measures and alternate fuel technologies into station redesign.

“Borough President Adams has prepared a detailed analysis of his county’s preparedness as relates to the past, present, and future of providing fuel, gasoline, and alternatives for the many drivers in the area,” said Robert Sinclair, northeast manager of media relations for AAA. “The report’s recommendations should serve as a guideline for our entire region to ensure adequate fuel supplies for the growing number of vehicles on our roads.”

Borough President Adams’ report is accessible on his website.

 

California to Receive Additional $153M in Final Settlement with Volkswagen

July 20, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that it filed a consent decree for its final settlement with the Volkswagen Group of America (VW). The company will be required to pay an additional $153.8 million to California over the company’s use of illegal “defeat devices” in 2009–2016, 2.0 and 3.0 liter diesel passenger cars. Before today, VW had paid $533 million to California, of which $422 million will flow to the state through a mitigation trust. The additional consent decree was negotiated by attorneys and technical experts from CARB and the California Attorney General’s Office, and is subject to court approval. The overall VW settlement is the largest ever for violations of vehicle air quality rules.

“This payment to the State of California closes another chapter in the so-called ‘dieselgate’ case against Volkswagen, but it is not the end of the story,” said CARB Chair Mary Nichols. “There are still consumers waiting to find out the future of their cars. CARB is working with U.S. EPA to determine if the remaining vehicles can be modified.”

The $153.8 million dollars represents penalties for air quality violations and the costs of CARB’s investigation. This Consent Decree is in addition to more than $422 million dollars VW must pay into a national trust to mitigate environmental harm in California.

In California, VW’s cheating was particularly harmful because California’s air quality is worse than anywhere else in the nation. Ten million Californians live within the nation’s only severe nonattainment areas for ozone pollution, and 12 million live in areas with nation-leading levels of fine particle pollution. These pollutants cause lung disease, heart disease, and premature death, especially among our most vulnerable populations. To put California on track to ensure healthy air for all, California has adopted the most stringent air quality regulatory and enforcement program in the US.

The Consent Decree is available here.

 

CSA Group Announces CNG Cylinder and Fuel System Inspector Training

July 17, 2017

CSA Group has developed an introductory course that offers fleet managers an easy and affordable resource to get their technicians prepared for their CNG Cylinder and Fuel System Inspector Certification.

Participants will gain the necessary skills and knowledge for the most important elements of an inspection in preparation for their exam and offers insight into requirements of the ANSI-accredited Personnel Certification Program, the CSA Group Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Cylinder and Fuel System Inspector Certification.

Upon successful completion of this course fleet managers and service mechanics will be able to:

  • Analyze the vehicle’s history
  • Identify potential gas safety hazards
  • Demonstrate appropriate cleaning and handling methods
  • Identify the appropriate inspection form and checklist that should be used during the inspection process
  • Describe the consequences of various defect levels to both technical and non-technical customers
  • Demonstrate the appropriate pressure relief inspection process
  • Identify the appropriate sources for both repair and replacement
  • Demonstrate the appropriate defueling process

The two-day CNG Class & Certification can be bundled with the application and exam fee and the CNG Resource Package. For more information, Visit the program website.

 

San Pedro Bay Ports Release Draft of 2017 Clean Air Action Plan Update

July 19, 2017

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have released the draft of their proposed 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update. The document outlines a new set of aggressive near-term and long-term strategies for the nation’s busiest harbor complex to further reduce harmful air pollution from all port-related sources, assist the state in meeting aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals, and ultimately achieve zero emissions for trucks and terminal equipment.

“These ports are going where no port has gone before,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Based on what we’ve already accomplished to promote healthy, robust trade through our gateway, we’re ready to make history again, looking at a new array of technologies and strategies to further lower port-related emissions in the decades ahead.”

The draft 2017 CAAP outlines clean air strategies that seek to address the challenges of reducing harmful emissions from port-related sources: ships, trucks, cargo handling equipment, locomotives and harbor craft. Leading to the release of the draft 2017 CAAP Update, the ports have held more than 50 stakeholder meetings and a community workshop.

Grouped under four categories, the 2017 CAAP includes two groups of near-term and long-term strategies relevant to the NGV industry:

Clean Vehicles, Equipment Technology and Fuels

Starting in 2018, phase in clean engine standards for new trucks entering the port drayage registries followed by a truck rate structure that encourages the use of near-zero and zero emissions trucks, with the goal of transitioning to a zero emissions drayage fleet by 2035.

Reduce idling and support the state’s efforts to transition terminal equipment to zero emissions by 2030.

Update the Vessel Speed Reduction Program, expand the use of state-approved alternative technologies to reduce at-berth emissions, and encourage clean technology upgrades on ships to attract the cleanest vessels to the San Pedro Bay ports.

Energy Resource Planning

Develop infrastructure plans to support the transition of terminal equipment to alternative fuels and other energy resources.

The updated CAAP captures projects underway as well as future projects, including those that will require further study to determine how and when to demonstrate new technology. A roadmap for conducting feasibility assessments is among the supporting documents.

Supporting documents also include a preliminary analysis estimating the cost of implementing the 2017 CAAP at $7 billion to $14 billion. Given the magnitude of the investment, the draft plan calls for the ports to intensify their funding advocacy and increase collaboration with their partners to finance the new strategies.

The 2017 CAAP sets new clean air goals focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The plan carries over previous 2023 targets for cutting other primary pollutants aimed at reducing diesel particulate matter (DPM) 77 percent, sulfur oxides (SOx) 93 percent, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) 59 percent below 2005 levels.

For more information, visit the Clear Air Action Plan website.

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