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Welcome from Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities!

Published on January 28, 2009 by in Uncategorized

Hello and welcome! Here’s some information on what Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities (PRCC) is and what we’re working to accomplish.

PRCC is a nonprofit membership organization designed to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Build and support the infrastructure needed for a strong alternative fuel and alternative vehicle market in Western Pennsylvania.
  2. Serve the needs of its member organizations through education, business consulting, development and grant writing and management of federal and state-funded projects.
  3. Serve as the designated regional organization for all U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program initiatives, including project funding.
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PRCC to Hold Free First Responder Training July 29, 2014

Published on July 8, 2014 by in featured

Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities and the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) – West Hills Center will be holding a free ‘First Responders Workshop’ at the CCAC – West Hills Center (1000 McKee Road, Oakdale, PA) on July 29, 2014 from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Attendees will be taught about the different types of alternative fuel vehicles (Gaseous Fuels and EV/PHEV) and how to approach different incidents. Space is limited. To register please click HERE.

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PRCC Plans EV/PHEV Parade

Published on July 8, 2014 by in featured


Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities ( will host an Electric Vehicle/Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (EV/PHEV) Parade to educate folks about many of the EV/PHEV vehicles that are available and the EV infrastructure options in the Pittsburgh area on July 21, 2014.  The parade will start at 8 am at the Community College of Allegheny County – West Hills Center and move to electric charging stations at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, FEDEX Ground, The Mall at Robinson, Giant Eagle Settlers Ridge, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, UPMC Mercy Hospital and end at the Eaton facility in Warrendale. Attendees will be able to ride/drive some of the vehicles and will get an overview of the different types of chargers. The parade will stop at many of the charging station locations. Participants will be able to talk with the entities about the installed infrastructure and the present usage. Space is limited. To register for this event click HERE

Parade Agenda

Meeting  at the Community College of Allegheny College – West Hills Center, 1000 McKee Road, Oakdale, PA 15071, 8:00am July 21, 2014(Coffee and Donuts provided as well as an overview of the parade and other workshops, training  and events).

Vehicles: Tesla, Chevy Volt, BMWi3, Nissan Leaf, (Ford C-MAX, Ford Fusion C-MAX, Toyota Prius?, Mercedes?, Mitsubushi? etc

Leave 8:45AM – CCAC-West Hills Center 1000 McKee Road, Oakdale, PA 15071- Contact Bob Koch- 412-788-7378

Arrive 9:00AM – Pittsburgh Airport, 1000 Airport Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15231-Leave 9:15AM- Contact Kevin Gurchak (412-472-3575)

Arrive 9:35AM – FEDEX Ground, 1000 FEDEX Drive, Coraopolis, PA15108 – Leave 9:45AM – Contact Paul Melander

Arrive 9:50AM – The Mall at Robinson, 100 Robinson Centre Drive, 15205 – Leave 10:00AM – Contact Beth Edwards – 412-788-0817

Arrive 10:05AM – Giant Eagle 100 Settler’s Ridge Centre Drive, 15205 – Leave 10:15AM

Arrive 10:40AM – David Lawrence Convention Center 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 –Leave 10:55AM – Contact Angelica Ciranni – 412-325-3009

Arrive 11:05AM – UPMC Mercy Hospital, 1500 Locust Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 – Leave 11:20AM-Contact- Allison Robinson – 412-647-8136

Arrive 11:55AM – Eaton 130 Commonwealth Drive, Warrendale, PA 15086 – Lunch and Eaton Overview of all types chargers – Contact Dan Carnovale – 412-893-4543

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PRCC Advocates for Alt. Fuels on Capitol Hill

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During the first week of April 2014, 140 clean transportation leaders from across the nation came together in Washington, DC, at the 2014 Energy Independence Summit (EIS2014). Their goal was to educate federal policy makers about the need to expand America’s use of alternative fuels. Robert Beatty, Jr., Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities (PRCC) Board Member and CEO of “O” Ring CNG Fuel Systems, LP, represented PRCC at the event and also attended meetings with federal congress and senators’ staff from PA districts. The message communicated to our top Administration officials was simple: The United States must aggressively expand our use of domestically produced alternatives to petroleum fuel if we are to stabilize gasoline prices, decrease our reliance on foreign oil, and maintain and create American jobs.

“Gas prices remain extremely volatile. We as a nation continue to send more than $1 billion per day to OPEC and other nations for oil,” stated Beatty. “Clean Cities representatives from all over the country went to Capitol Hill to ensure our representatives understand that the United States must aggressively expand our use of alternatives to petroleum-based fuel if we going to stabilize gas prices, decrease our reliance on foreign oil, and maintain and create domestic jobs in the energy industry.”

According to the US Department of Energy, there are now more than 1.2 million alternative fuel vehicles on the road in the United States and nearly 29,000 alternative fueling stations. In Pennsylvania, we are continuously growing our public alternative fuel infrastructure and currently have 265 alternative fueling stations statewide. Garnering support on the national level is a priority to ensure we can continue to work toward legislation that supports both PA’s and America’s energy goals.

Transportation Energy Partners (TEP) organized the summit and the opportunity for participants to interact with top Administration officials. TEP is an independent, national, non-profit policy organization that works with the nearly 100 local and regional Clean Cities coalitions around the country and more than 18,000 stakeholders in the clean transportation industry. Their network helps private companies and state and local governments convert their fleets to alternative fuels. They also help develop alternative fueling infrastructure like natural gas, propane, ethanol and biodiesel fueling and electric charging stations. Finally, they educate the public about the benefits of alternative fuels.

EIS2014 featured keynote speeches from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and the Department of Energy’s new Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation, Reuben Sarkar. The roundtables, speed-dating, panels, and keynote speaker sessions included prominent clean transportation leaders from the multiple federal agencies, Clean Cities Coalitions, and the alternative fuels industry.

“American industry has demonstrated the ability to produce high performing technology to meet the demand for alternatives to petroleum fuel,” stated Sam Spofforth, President of TEP. “However, insufficient and inconsistent government incentives and support hinder companies’ ability to make the long-term investments required to sustain these clean transportation solutions. We need stable and predictable federal investments to enable fleets and technology developers to make sound long-term planning and investment decisions.”

To that end, TEP organized meetings for Clean Cities representatives with policy makers including EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, as well as leaders from the federal Departments of Energy, Defense, and Transportation. In total, summit participants took the message about ongoing need for federal support for alternatives to petroleum-based fuels to more than 200 Congressional offices.

Beatty, a long time natural gas advocate, spent his two days on Capitol Hill meeting with Congressmen Shuster’s staff, (Mr. Shuster also serves as head of the Transportation Committee), as well as four other Congressmen’s and two Senators’ staffers to help shape a lasting energy policy that levels the playing field for alternative energy. Together with TEP representatives, he worked to ensure federal policy makers were aware of ongoing issues, challenges, and initiatives in the Western Pennsylvania alternative fuels industry such as fuel tax credits and infrastructure incentives.

“It’s vitally important that America expands its use of alternative fuels – to include natural gas, propane, electricity, and others,” said Beatty. “To accomplish such a large scale task, private industry and local, state, and federal government entities must work together and be in constant communication. This summit was a great venue to encourage such cooperation.”

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Penn State Chosen for EcoCAR 3

16 Teams Rev Up for Collegiate Automotive Engineering Competition 

On April 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Co. announced the official launch of the EcoCAR 3 competition, introducing the 16 participating universities and revealing the Chevrolet Camaro as the vehicle selected as the platform for the competition.

“EcoCAR is an opportunity for the next generation of automotive engineers to help design and build innovative advanced vehicles that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and save American families and businesses money at the pump,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Through this competition, North American students gain valuable real-life experience that they can use to bring the auto industry into the cleaner energy future.”

Participating university teams will be challenged to design, develop, and integrate powertrains into the vehicle that, when compared to the production gasoline vehicle, will:

 Reduce energy consumption;

 Reduce well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions;

 Reduce criteria tailpipe emissions;

 Maintain consumer demand in the areas of performance, utility, and safety; and

 Meet energy and environmental goals, while considering cost and innovation.


The competition introduces students to industry-leading software tools and sophisticated powertrain components and challenges them to face similar engineering design constraints and technical challenges that automakers face, resulting in a real-world training ground for automotive engineering students that is unparalleled in the academic environment. New for EcoCAR 3, the organizers are ramping up the challenge by adding cost constraints as well as automotive innovation as additional judging criteria.

“The EcoCAR programs have been and will continue to be an instrumental part of developing the next generation of automotive engineers. We have gained significant talent and intellectual property as a result of these programs,” said James Kolhoff, global chief engineer and program manager, transmission controllers and powertrain electronics at General Motors. “We’re also eager to see how the students will redesign and add more efficiency to an iconic ‘muscle car’ like the Chevrolet Camaro.”

To be successful, universities will need to recruit a team spanning many engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, computer and software engineering, as well as communications, marketing, and project management. The multi-disciplinary emphasis imitates a real-world automotive industry environment and gives graduates the skills to enter the field fully prepared for their careers.

Established by the Energy Department and GM, and managed by Argonne National Laboratory, EcoCAR 3 is the latest Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) aimed at developing the next generation of automotive engineers. The four-year program will conclude in the summer of 2018.

EcoCAR 3 includes both new teams and veterans to the AVTC. After a rigorous application and selection process, the schools chosen are:

 Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)

 California State University – Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)

 Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)

 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL)

 Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)

 McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

 Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS)

 The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)

 Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)

 University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)

 University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)

 University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

 University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)

 Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)

 Wayne State University (Detroit, MI)

 West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

For more information about the student engineering program, the participating schools or the competition sponsors, please visit or EcoCAR Photos.

Additional sponsors joining the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors include: Math-Works; California Air Resources Board; Freescale; Clean Cities; AVL Powertrain Engineering; Bosch; ETAS; dSPACE; Snap-On; Siemens; GKN Driveline; Transportation Research Center; Enerdel; Proterra; Ricardo; and A123 Systems.

About EcoCAR 3 

EcoCAR 3 is a four-year collegiate engineering program that builds on the successful 26-year history of Department of Energy advanced vehicle technology competitions (AVTC) by giving engineering students the chance to design and build advanced vehicles that demonstrate leading-edge, eco-friendly automotive technologies. General Motors provides each of the 16 competing teams with a Chevrolet Camaro, as well as vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support. The U.S. Department of Energy and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation and logistical support. Through this important public/private partnership, EcoCAR 3 provides invaluable experience and training to promising young minds entering the North American job market. EcoCAR 3 follows the widely acclaimed competition series EcoCAR 2: Plugging Into the Future.

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CCAC and PRCC Sign New MOA

On April 23rd the Community College of Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities signed a new three year Memorandum of Agreement to continue working together to help promote and teach alternative fuels in Pennsylvania. The MOA was signed by North Campus President Mary Lou Kennedy and PRCC President Jan Lauer.

This is our second MOA that we have signed with CCAC. “The past three years, CCAC and PRCC have worked together to hold the annual Odyssey Day events and workshops on the campus. CCAC has also taught a number a alternative fuel classes and continues to expand the curriculum,” said Jan Lauer.


Bottom Row L to R: Rick Price (Executive Director, PRCC) Jan Lauer (President, PRCC) Mary Lou Kennedy (President CCAC North Camus) Gretchen Mullins-Sawicki (Dean, CCAC), Mac Godfrey (Vice President, PRCC), Ron Schramm, Mike Lickert, (Board of Directors, PRCC), Bob Koch (Automotive Instructor, CCAC), Charles Cross, Lee Herberman, and Chuck Wichrowksi (Board of Directors, PRCC) 

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EV Chargers at the Mall at Robinson

Photo_EV_Chargers_Article“There are four new Level II Eaton chargers right in front of the Food Court entrance to the Mall at Robinson,” said Rick Price, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, “and they are free! I was walking out of the mall past the Handicap Parking slots and noticed them right there beside the Handicap slots.”

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EPA $9m for DERA Program Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $9 million in grant funding for clean diesel projects to reduce diesel pollution and emissions exposure from the nation’s existing fleet of diesel engines. The funding, which comes from EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA), will target the most cost-effective projects and fleets operating in areas designated as poor air quality areas. Diesel engines emit air pollutants such as NOx and PM that are linked to a range of serious health problems including asthma, lung and heart disease, other respiratory ailments and even premature death.

Under this funding, EPA anticipates awarding between 10 and 20 assistance agreements. Eligible projects include vehicle and engine replacement, in addition to the installation of exhaust control and idle reduction devices. Projects may include school buses, transit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, marine engines, locomotives and other diesel engines.

Since the start of the DERA program in 2008, EPA has awarded over 600 DERA grants across the U.S. and reduced more than 250,000 tons of NOx and more than 14,000 tons of PM. EPA estimates that clean diesel funding generates up to $13 of public health benefit for every $1 spent on diesel projects.

The closing date for receipt of proposals is June 17, 2014. More information and to access the Request for Proposals and other documents:

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CCAC Instructors Up-Fit of CNG Vehicle

Photo-article-1Four of the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center’s Automotive Instructors – Bob Koch, Scott Main, Roger Kinger, and Jason Nadzum – assisted in helping Bob Bodkins, FYDA Energy Solutions, in up-fitting one of CCAC’s Chevy pickups to run on natural gas. “CCAC teaches a number of alternative fuel classes through the year, and Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities wanted to help them with up-fitting a vehicle for their use in teaching these program,” stated Rick Price, Executive Director, PRCC.

PRCC paid for the up-fit, and the instructors donated their time to help reduce the cost. The tank was donated by CP Industries. “This project will help the instructors, who now have hands on experience, in preparing and designing structure for the many alternative fuel classes in the future,” Price said.


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