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LCF Member Spotlight: American Power Group Earns EPA Certification for Additional IUL Engines

American Power Group Earns EPA Certification for Additional IUL Engines

American Power Group (APG) announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved its Clean Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Engine Conversion Submission for additional Intermediate Useful Life (IUL) engines. The submission utilized APG’s V5000 Dual Fuel Turbocharged Natural Gas technology which is required to meet specific design, componentry and emission compliance criteria per EPA rules. The new EPA certificate covers eight Detroit Diesel DD 13 engine families.

The DD13 engine offers performance and efficiency designed for the less-than-truck-load (LTL), regional distribution and vocational applications. The IUL engine approvals, including those with SCR technology, address the needs of larger national and regional fleet operators who rotate their vehicles every four to five years. There are approximately 4,300 U.S. registered DD13 owners representing over 30,000 trucks for engine production years 2013–2010. APG will use this target list to market the new system through their natural gas supply partners and WheelTime Certified Dealer Network. APG estimates there are 600,000–700,000 Class 8 trucks that fall into the total eligible IUL designation.

Article via ngv.com

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TRS Question of the Month: What are the key terms and considerations I should remember when discussing emissions?

Question of the Month: What are the key terms and considerations I should remember when discussing emissions?

Answer: When discussing emissions, it is important to use the appropriate terms, know the context, and present a complete picture. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has a number of tools and resources available to understand and calculate the emissions benefits of alternative fuels and vehicles (see below). But first, let’s get back to the basics.

Criteria Pollutants versus Non-Criteria Pollutants

Vehicles emit both criteria pollutants and non-criteria pollutants. In compliance with the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies six common pollutants ascriteria pollutants based on certain health and environmental standards:

  •          Carbon monoxide (CO)
  •          Oxides of nitrogen (NOx)
  •          Particulate matter (PM)
  •          Ozone
  •          Oxides of sulfur (SOx)
  •          Lead

 

For more information about criteria pollutant emissions, refer to the EPA Six Common Air Pollutants page (http://www.epa.gov/oaqps001/urbanair/).

Greenhouse gases (GHGs), including carbon dioxide, are considered non-criteria pollutants. The following also fall into this category:

  •          Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  •          Total hydrocarbons (HCs)
  •          Methane
  •          Air toxics
  •          Other organic gases

 
For more information about GHG emissions, refer to the EPA Overview of GHGs page (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases.html).

Measuring Emissions

You can evaluate vehicle emissions through a number of lenses. Considering emissions in different contexts can present a more impactful picture, depending on the stakeholder.

  •          Life cycle emissions: Emissions generated through all stages of a fuel’s life, including raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, distribution, use, and disposal or recycling. Life cycle emissions are typically considered when evaluating “global pollutants,” or pollutants that have an impact regardless of where they are emitted.  For example, GHGs are usually measured on a life cycle basis.
  •          Tailpipe emissions: Emissions directly from the exhaust of the vehicle. Tailpipe emissions are considered when looking at “local pollutants,” or pollutants that impact air quality directly where they are emitted. For example, criteria pollutants, such as PM, are typically measured as tailpipe emissions.
  •          Evaporative emissions: Emissions from the vehicle’s fuel system and during the fueling process, not including the combustion of the fuel. Evaporative emissions are also considered when evaluating “local pollutants.”

 

When quantifying or presenting emissions benefits for a particular project, make sure to ask yourself which type of information would have the most impact. For example, an air quality organization (e.g., your local American Lung Association chapter) would like to hear about tailpipe and evaporative emissions. A national company focused on their footprint and impact on climate change would want to hear about life cycle emissions.

Emissions Standards

EPA sets tailpipe and evaporative emissions standards for new vehicles.

  •          For information on federal non-GHG emissions standards, including CO, NOx, PM, and organic gases, visit the EPA’s Emission Standards Reference Guide: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/standards/. EPA’s Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program page (http://www.epa.gov/otaq/tier3.htm) covers the regulations for light-duty, medium-duty, and some heavy-duty vehicles that will be phased in beginning in 2017.
  •          For information about federal GHG emissions standards, which are implemented in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s fuel economy standards, visit EPA’s Regulations & Standards page: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations.htm.

 

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) enforces vehicle emissions standards for California that are more stringent than federal EPA standards. Vehicles may be certified as compliant with federal standards, CARB standards, or both. For information on CARB’s emissions standards, visit the Mobile Source Program Portal (http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/msprog.htm). Several other states have chosen to comply with certain CARB standards as well, so read up on the requirements in your state. See the AFDC Laws & Incentives website for more information (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws).

Other Considerations

It is important to take into account the “full package” when looking at alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) emissions; again, try to anticipate questions from the audience to tease out the most relevant information. For example, keep the following in mind:

  •          While a fuel may not offer large reductions in one pollutant, it may offer significant benefits in other pollutants.
  •          Emissions information should also be presented in the larger context of federal and state regulations.
  •          Be sure you are comparing “apples to apples” when looking at AFV and conventional vehicle emissions. For instance, look at which pollutants are covered, and whether tailpipe, life cycle, and/or evaporative emissions are being measured. Every study is different, so it can be very difficult to compare outcomes of one to outcomes of another.


Emissions Analysis Tools

With all of that in mind, the following tools can be used to calculate fleet emissions and plan for overall emission reductions:

 

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
technicalresponse@icfi.com
800-254-6735

 

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EPA Awards over $2.1 Million to Clean Up Diesel Engines in La., Okla. and Texas

DALLAS – (March 20, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding over $2.1 million for three clean diesel projects to  help reduce emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of diesel engines. This funding is part of EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Fiscal Year 2014 allocation which will include engine replacements, repowers, and idle reduction technologies to clean up a variety of older diesel engines.

“Reducing exposure to toxic diesel fuels will positively impact public health in the region,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “These projects will bring a healthier economy and a healthier environment to communities in our region.”    

The $900,000 grant to Leonardo Academy, an organization dedicated to promoting sustainability, will retrofit school buses and delivery trucks with exhaust controls in La., Okla. and Texas.

North Central Council of Governments’ project will allow installation of four SmartWay electrified parking spaces, providing power and climate control to heavy duty trucks versus vehicle idling. The program reduces transportation-related emissions that affect climate change, reduce environmental risk for companies and increase global energy security. 

Port of Houston will use $899,960 to replace 14 older drayage trucks with cleaner, newer trucks. Reducing fuel cost and improving air quality are important roles in the fabric of port operations, economy and air quality.

Nationally EPA is awarding $8 million in funding to 21 recipients. The projects are cost-effective and will impact fleets operating in places designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas.

EPA has implemented standards to make diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses remain in operation and predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These pollutants are linked to aggravated asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems.

For more information and learn more about the awarded projects, visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/prgnational.htm.

For more information on EPA’s National Clean Diesel campaign visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.  

Connect with EPA Region 6:

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eparegion6 

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EPAregion6

Activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.htm 

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Register for March 24 Webinar! FHWA Climate Resilience Pilots: Results from Maryland, Tennessee, Hillsborough, and Southeast Florida (Tuesday, March 24, 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)

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 REMINDERRegister for March 24 Webinar

FHWA Climate Resilience Pilots: Results from Maryland, Tennessee, Hillsborough, and Southeast Florida (Tuesday, March 24, 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)

Representatives from Maryland State Highway Administration, Tennessee DOT, Hillsborough MPO, and Broward MPO will present results and lessons learned from their climate change resilience pilot projects. Register for this webinar.

Registration for the webinars below will be available April 1 at:  http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/climate_change/adaptation/webinars/

In this continuing webinar series, practitioners will share information, results and lessons learned through recent work by FHWA/US DOT and State and MPO partners to make the transportation system more resilient to climate change and extreme weather events.

FHWA Climate Resilience Pilots: Results from Oregon DOT, WSDOT, Caltrans, and MTC (Tuesday, April 7, 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)

Representatives from Oregon DOT, Washington State DOT, Caltrans District 1, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will present results and lessons learned from their climate change resilience pilot projects. 

International Climate Resilience: Practices from Denmark, Norway, and more (Tuesday, April 14, 10-11:30 a.m. ET)
The Danish Road Directorate will explain their strategy for adapting to climate change and the "Blue Spot" risk assessment method.  The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will discuss how they integrated climate resilience considerations into their design and construction manuals and operations and maintenance practices.  FHWA and the US DOT Volpe Center will discuss findings from a review of international practices on climate adaptation for transportation in nine countries (Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Netherlands, Korea, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, and Norway).  .

FHWA Climate Resilience Pilots: Results from Arizona, CAMPO, NCTCOG, and Albuquerque (Thursday, April 23, 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)

Representatives from Arizona DOT, Capitol Area MPO (Austin), and North Central Texas COG (Dallas-Ft. Worth) will present results and lessons learned from their climate change resilience pilot projects.  Additionally, a representative from the U.S. DOT Volpe Center will present results and lessons learned from the climate vulnerability aspects of the Central New Mexico Scenario Planning Pilot Project. 

FHWA Climate Resilience Pilots: Results from CT DOT, Maine DOT, NYSDOT, and MassDOT (Tuesday, April 28, 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)

Representatives from Connecticut DOT, Maine DOT, New York State DOT, and Massachusetts State DOT will present results and lessons learned from their climate change resilience pilot projects.  

FHWA Climate Resilience Pilots: Results from MnDOT, Michigan DOT, Iowa DOT, and Alaska (Tuesday, May 5, 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)
Representatives from Minnesota DOT, Michigan DOT, Iowa DOT, and the FHWA Western Federal Lands Highway Division will present results and lessons learned from their climate change resilience pilot projects. 

 

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Capital Region Planning Commission Responds to EPA's Proposed Ozone Standard

On March 16th, Dr. Mike McDaniel, Ph.D., drafted the Capital Region Planning Commission's (CRPC) response to EPA's proposed standard.  The current air quality standard is set for 75 parts per billion, and the proposed standard calls for a range between 70 and 60 parts per billion; a major drop in ozone.  

In the report drafted by McDaniel on CRPC's behalf, he questions the perceived benefits of lowering the standard.  McDaniel and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality dug deeper to see if the lower standard would actually improve public health.  They found that the new standard would provide little to no health benefits, and in addition to this, would make disturbing effects to the state's economy.  

NERA Economic Consulting for the National Association of Manufacturers described what would happen to Louisiana's economy if the new standard was put into effect. Below are a few highlights of the possibilities from the new standard:

  • "Manufacturers won't be able to expand without a reduction of emissions or shut down operations from other businesses in the area
  • Plans for new plants or expansions at existing plants will be shelved
  • Federal highway funds could freeze 
  • Existing facilities will have to change processes and pay for new equipment
  • Economic growth will halt"

 

Further, the NAMs report predicts that the new ozone regulations could cost Louisiana: 

  • "$53 billion in Gross State Products (GSP) by 2017 to 2040
  • 116,983 lost jobs or job equivalents per year
  • 189 billion in total compliance costs
  • $2,360 drop in the average household consumption per year
  • 10 billion more for residents to own and operate their vehicles statewide (2017 to 2040)
  • Up to 15% increase in residential natural gas prices (national average)
  • Up to 32% increase in residential natural gas prices (national average) 
  • Shutdown of 80% of Louisiana's coal-fired generating capacity"

 

Once more, if the new standard is put into effect with the EPA's Clean Power Plant Rule (rule to lower CO2 emissions) we could see these results: 

  • "Average annual Louisiana household electricity and gas bills would increase by more than $750 in 2020
  • The total annual cost of power and gas will grow to over $24 billion in 2020
  • The average annual residential electricity bill will increase by 36%
  • The average annual gas bill will increase by 80%
  • The average industrial electricity rate (per kWh) will increase by 48%Power sources will change dramatically – natural gas generation is expected to increase by more than 140% in Louisiana at the same time that EPA expects wholesale natural gas prices to more than double."

 

For these reasons, CRPC has requested that EPA "forgo or postpone" the new standard.  

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Energy Department Announces $6 Million to Accelerate Alternative Fuel Vehicle Market Growth

Energy Department Announces $6 Million to Accelerate Alternative Fuel Vehicle Market Growth
Louisiana Clean Fuels to receive funding for first repsonder training

On March 9, 2015, the Energy Department announced $6 million for 11 projects aimed at improving potential buyers’ experiences with alternative fuel and plug-in electric vehicles, supporting training, and integrating alternative fuels into emergency planning. By removing barriers to market growth, these projects will expand Americans’ transportation options, minimize fuel costs, reduce carbon pollution, and increase the nation’s energy security.

Five projects will enable consumers and fleets to drive alternative fuel vehicles for extended periods of time to help them better understand how these vehicles can meet their everyday needs. For example, a Tallahassee, Florida project will allow thousands of visitors in Orlando to rent and receive information on plug-in electric vehicles.

Five projects will focus on training for first responders, public safety officials, tow-truck operators, and collision repair specialists and teach these service providers how to safely handle alternative fuel vehicles. One project in Morgantown, West Virginia will not only develop new curriculum, but provide it for free online and train educators that can present it in person.

Incorporating alternative fuel vehicles into emergency strategies, such as State Energy Assurance Plans, will help state and local governments adopt these vehicles and understand how they can use them effectively during emergencies. An Arlington, Virginia project will incorporate alternative fuel and advanced vehicles into multiple emergency preparedness plans that address varied geographies and potential incidents.

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BioCNG Expanding for St. Landry Parish

LCF Supporting Member in the News: Upgrade at the Landfill and a New Mother-Daughter Arrangement
Fleets and Fuels | March 3, 2015

BioCNG is extending its work for the St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Disposal District in Louisiana, upgrading an existing landfill gas-based compressed natural gas fueling station in Washington, La. and adding a second facility, at the District’s recycling center in Opelousas, for back-up and distribution.

St. Landry Parish is upgrading the existing landfill-based BioCNG fueling facility north of Lafayette, La., and is adding a second for distribution and backup in Opelousas.

St. Landry Parish is upgrading the existing landfill-based BioCNG fueling facility north of Lafayette, La., and is adding a second for distribution and backup in Opelousas.

The existing installation fuels a fleet of work trucks and area law enforcement vehicles (F&F, February 8, 2013). The installation of twin ANGI compressors at the landfill and the new sister facility at Opelousas pave the way for deployment of up to a dozen CNG-fueled refuse trucks by Progressive Waste Solutions.

“BioCNG, which partnered with the District to develop the original system, has been selected to design, install, and commission this ‘mother-daughter’ BioCNG station format – the first of its kind in the country,” states a release.

‘A Preview of the Future of Biogas’

“The expansion is part of a contract between St. Landry Solid Waste and Progressive Waste.”

The Opelousas station will disperse CNG trucked via tube trailer from the landfill, says Steve Wittmann of BioCNG. The “daughter station” will also be pipeline-connected, to guarantee that fuel is available if landfill production falls short.

“The fact that the hauler that delivers waste to the Parish landfill will fuel its trucks with the biogas generated from the landfill is a true example of the power of renewable energy sources and a preview of the future of biogas,” St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Disposal District executive director Katry Martin says in the BioCNG announcement.

The parish plans for the new facility to be public-access, Martin told F&F.

The expansion “will provide another economic fuel choice to the Parish and to the local waste hauler providing service to the Parish,” said BioCNG president Matt Davies.

Article via Fleets and Fuels 

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LCF testifies before Louisiana Transportation Funding Committee

Louisiana Clean Fuels testifies before Louisiana Transportation Funding Committee
Februar 20, 2015 | Louisiana State Capitol

LCF and NREL present to Louisiana House of Representatives Transportation Funding Task Force on February 20, 2015 about LA Alt Fuels Excise Tax

Louisiana Clean Fuels (LCF) Executive Director, Ann Shaneyfelt, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Transportation Technology Deployment Manager, Alex Schroeder, spoke to the Louisiana Transportation Funding Task Force on Fri. Feb 20. The two presented facts about the current state of alternative fuels usage in Louisiana, as well as the methods of state transportation taxation.

Shaneyfelt gave an update on the size and composition of the alternative fuels industry in Louisiana, citing issues of parity and compliance as motivating factors in many states' decisions to change how alternative fuels in transportation are taxed. 

According to Schroeder, Transportation funding was the most legislated issue nationally in 2014, and alternative fuels introduced a level of complexity that states didn’t need to consider before. As vehicles are manufactured to be more fuel efficient, there is a decrease in revenues to pay for the roads and transportation infrastructure. Shaneyfelt pointed to the various companies that are converting their on- and off-road fleets to natural gas and propane as evidence that alternative fuel vehicles are a steadily growing minority, and that this may be an issue worthy of new legislation.

Schroeder outlined the “fuel agnostic approaches,” which are broad policy fixes that have been set in place in North America, but noted that there is not yet a consensus on what the best approach is. Differing taxation methods are an attempt to ensure each citizen is paying a fair and equal tax on transportation fuel, but not all fuels are equal.

Fuel Parity
Fuel taxes are traditionally based on volume, but one gallon of alternative fuel does not always equal a gallon in terms of the mileage and energy from a fuel.

For example, liquefied natural gas (LNG) usually displaces diesel. However, 1 ¾ gallons of LNG provides the same gallon of energy as diesel. One gallon of CNG will have a different content of energy based on how pressurized it is. Because there are different ozone compliance requirements across the country, utilities pressurize the gas differently from state to state, meaning that the natural gas in Louisiana is likely not the same content of energy as it is in any other state. So, establishing how fuels compare to one another as well as the fuel’s regional components must be a consideration when trying to set tax rates for these alternative fuels.

Recent and Pending Legislation

  • U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced bipartisan legislation to equalize the federal excise tax on LNG with that of diesel.
  • Colorado’s HB1110 phased out decals for natural gas and propane vehicles and implemented energy-content based fuel taxation as well as assessing a $50 annual fee on electric vehicles, $25 of which goes to transportation infrastructure, and $25 goes to EV charging infrastructure.
  • Mississippi’s HB1590 defined a diesel gallon equivalent for the purpose of taxation of LNG.
  • New Mexico’s HB30 removed the decal system and established an energy equivalent tax for CNG, LNG and LPG.

Current alternative fuel tax in La
Currently, Louisiana is one of 14 states using a decal system for alternative fuel vehicles. All Louisianans who own vehicles that are licensed to drive on the public highways that are fueled by natural gas or propane  are required to submit forms to the Excise Taxes Division of the Louisiana Department of Revenue when the vehicle is purchased, and the citizen is required to renew annually. It’s a one-time fee, which is an incentive to use alternative fuels, because it’s less tax on a per gallon basis, but according to Schroeder, the decal system was a quick fix that presents struggle in parity and compliance.

The Transportation Funding Task Force must draft and file legislation on this issue by April 3. Watch the video of the presentations by the Department of Revenue, LCF and NREL.

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Budget proposal affects Alt Fuel Tax Incentives

Bobby Jindal's budget proposal reveals spending, cuts planned for Louisiana

BY MARK BALLARD| MBALLARD@THEADVOCATE.COM
March 2, 2015

The administration recently rolled out a budget plan that includes deep cuts which includes suggestions for raising money, including cuts to refundable tax credits such as the alternative fuel tax incentives.

"The Jindal budget also includes $526 million of new revenue from turning refundable tax credits into nonrefundable tax credits. Taxpayers could still use the credits to pay off their tax bills. But anything above what they owe would stay in the state treasury. The state currently pays the taxpayer the excess amount.

Refundable tax credits have grown annually at about 10.8 percent, Nichols said, adding that last year, the state wrote checks for $589 million in credits above what taxpayers owed.

Nichols said converting refundable tax credits in a dozen programs would reduce expenses by $526 million. The hardest hit would be the Inventory Tax Credit, which companies pay to local government for goods on the shelf, office equipment and other business-related properties. The amount paid is then credited against state taxes, with anything above what the taxpayer owes being reimbursed."

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