Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program

EPA is announcing $11 million in competitive grant funding for the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. The Program is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced and exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas. Proposal packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. (ET) in order to be considered for funding. Please read more here:...
November Question of the Month: What idle reduction technologies are available for heavy-duty vehicles?

November Question of the Month: What idle reduction technologies are available for heavy-duty vehicles?

Answer: Heavy-duty vehicle idling, or running a vehicle’s engine while it is not in motion, occurs for a number of reasons, including temperature control during required rest stops, powering electronic equipment, and to avoid cold starting the vehicle. According to Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne), more than 6 billion gallons of diesel and gasoline fuel are wasted by vehicle engine idling—with half from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles alone. Argonne estimated that a heavy-duty long-haul truck generally idles around 6 hours per day, or 1,830 hours per year. Not only does this wasted fuel cost more than $20 billion a year, but it also results in increased emissions of air pollutants, such as oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter. This is particularly an issue for school buses, as these emissions can have harmful health impacts on children. A number of states, counties, and municipalities have implemented vehicle idling restrictions and regulations to address this issue.   Idle reduction technologies afford drivers with the same comforts and services offered by engine idling, but are much more fuel efficient. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Program and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have evaluated a number of idle reduction technologies for heavy-duty vehicles to identify their fuel reduction benefits. There are two main categories of idle reduction technology: onboard equipment and truck stop electrification (TSE) sites.   Onboard Idle Reduction Equipment Onboard idle reduction equipment is installed directly on the vehicle. This technology can help reduce idle time at any location, including roadsides, delivery sites, and truck stops. Examples include auxiliary power units (APUs), which are small diesel-powered generators...
New Castle studies to install a compressed gas station at the city bus garage

New Castle studies to install a compressed gas station at the city bus garage

October 10, 2016. The New Castle Planning Commission, Pennsylvania, gave its blessing to a proposed compressed gas station (CNG) at the city bus garage. The New Castle Area Transit Authority is gradually phasing in vehicles that will be powered by natural gas. The New Castle Planning Commission has given the green light for a conditional use request for a compressed natural gas station to be built at the Mahoning Avenue bus terminal. The planning commission, an advisory board, reviewed the plans on Wednesday. Approval of the request must come from New Castle City Council. Attorney Lou Perrotta, New Castle Area Transit Authority solicitior, said the local authority’s site at 311 Mahoning Avenue was one of 29 transit facilities selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to operate and maintain a compressed natural fueling station. These facilities will be designed and built — at no cost to the local facility — over the next five years. The New Castle station will be one of seven to include a public fueling facility that will be open to commercial vehicles. Construction is expected to begin next year. The project, using Pennsylvania’s natural gas resources will result in greater efficiencies for transit agencies and will establish a foothold for converted natural gas transportation market. The conversion to compressed natural gas from gasoline or Diesel could save $10 million statewide, Perrotta said. Earlier this year, state officials announced a $84.5 million private-public partnership project to pay for fueling stations and retrofit or replace the transit agencies’ maintenance and storage facilities to make them compatible with natural gas...
Tesla destination charging facility, also Pittsburgh EV landmark will be demolished

Tesla destination charging facility, also Pittsburgh EV landmark will be demolished

Vast construction projects at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University will soon engulf a site that became a landmark in the development of electric vehicles in western Pennsylvania. It was a pioneering facility and the largest charging site in the region for many years. The Electric Garage’s chargers are being relocated immediately with demolition of the site to begin in July. Vast construction projects at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University will soon engulf a site that became a landmark in the development of electric vehicles in western Pennsylvania. It was a pioneering facility and the largest charging site in the region for many years. The Electric Garage’s chargers are being relocated immediately with demolition of the site to begin in July At its peak, the Electric Garage boasted eight J1772 Level 2 chargers offering 203V at 30 amps. In 2014, a Tesla HPWC with 40 amp charging was added. Charging and parking was free to the public for up to four hours a session– a welcome oasis in the otherwise congested and paid parking of Oakland. It was easily the largest charging site in western Pennsylvania for most of its life and was open 24 hours/7 days a week on a first-come, first-serve basis. Non-charging parking spots on the site were marked as permit only. The original six Eaton chargers were installed in 2012, using funding provided from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Energy and Technology Deployment which had a special mandate from the Office of Acronym Abatement at the Bureau of Ridiculously Long and Expansive Government Agency Naming Commission Department. Originally built as an Exxon gas station, the Electric Garage...
$7M in Rebates to Reduce School Bus Diesel Emission

$7M in Rebates to Reduce School Bus Diesel Emission

Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the allocation of approximately $7 million in rebate funds available to public and private schools that replace or retrofit older diesel-powered school buses with clean-burning alternative fuel systems. This news comes at a time when school districts around the country are beginning to take action against the harmful effects that older diesel model school buses can have on the health of students, drivers and faculty members. With this incentive, the EPA hopes to give school districts that are considering a conversion to clean-burning alternative fuel systems, including propane autogas and compressed natural gas, the final push needed to begin replacing student transport vehicles. Leander I.S.D. in Texas is just one example of a public school district that has already taken advantage of a government issued rebate for the 2016-2017 school year. The district, which recently launched 24 new buses powered by ROUSH CleanTech’s propane autogas fuel systems, is now operating a total of 64 clean-burning, cost-effective alternative fuel models. “We anticipate these new buses will lead LISD to a brighter future by helping to decrease our carbon footprint and reduce student exposure to harmful emissions,” said Steve Stripling, director of transportation for the district. “Our older diesel buses didn’t run as clean, and it was time to replace them with more environmentally friendly...
PRCC’s 7th Annual Odyssey Day a Great Success

PRCC’s 7th Annual Odyssey Day a Great Success

On October 14, 2016 the Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities held its’ 7th Annual Odyssey Day Event at the Community College of Allegheny County – West Hills Center. The event drew almost 200 attendees who were able to see some of the new technologies and listen to presenters talk about their experiences with alternative fuels and technologies. The events morning speaker was Allegheny County’s Executive Rich Fitzgerald who welcomed everyone and stated that since the first time7 years ago how far the event has moved with the many different vehicles on display and how Western Pennsylvania is the center of many of these technologies. The event included many new speakers including the lunchtime speaker PA Department of Transportation’s Policy Director Roger Cohen who talked about all the things that their office is looking at in the fuels and technology arena. The highlight of the event was the self parking of the Tesla in the parking lot at...