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Funding & Training Opportunities

This blog post summarizes a wide variety of current funding and training opportunities that may relate to your local efforts to improve air quality. Please take a look and take advantage of the opportunities that can help you with your work!

Environmental Protection Agency

Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) National Grants

EPA anticipates offering the next RFP solicitation in March 2018. Information will be provided here: https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants

Volkswagen Mitigation Trust

The U.S. government and VW resolved allegations that VW violated the Clean Air Act by selling approximately 590,000 vehicles equipped with defeat devices.  As part of this settlement, VW is required to provide approximately $2.7 billion for the 2.0 liter violating vehicles and $225 million for the 3.0 liter violating vehicles into an Environmental Mitigation Trust to fully remediate the amount of excess NOx from the illegal vehicles.

  •        Eligible Mitigation Actions focus on reducing NOx from older, dirtier diesel engines, vehicles, equipment, and vessels. Appendix D-2 to the consent decree details the Eligible Mitigation Actions which include projects to repower or replace:
    • Class 8 local freight and port drayage trucks
    • Class 4-8 school bus, shuttle bus, or transit bus
    • Freight switchers
    • Ferries/tugs
    • Class 4-7 local freight trucks
    • Airport ground support equipment
    • Forklifts and port cargo handling equipment, or
    • Install light duty ZEV supply equipment, or
    • Install shore-side system for ocean going vessel shore power

See https://www.epa.gov/vw or https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/volkswagen-clean-air-act-civil-settlement#violations for more information about the violations and settlement.

Information on the Louisiana VW Settlement here. 

Environmental Education Local Grants Program

This grants program supports locally-focused projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques that will serve to increase environmental and conservation literacy and encourage behavior that will benefit the environment. In addition to other environmental topics (including air quality), the 2018 program includes support for projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with agricultural best practices, conservation of natural resources, food waste management, and natural disaster preparedness (such as green infrastructure).

Funding Amount: Up to $3 Milllion
Application Deadline:March 15, 2018

More information for Louisiana opportunities can be found here

Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Louisiana Conservation Innovation Grants

This program will stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production; certain projects that may be funded by the program have the potential to improve air quality/reduce emissions. The program generally funds pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research. Applications are accepted from state or local governments, tribes, governmental organizations and individuals. 

Funding Amount: $150,000 (Up to $75,000 in Individual Awards)
Application Deadline: April 8, 2018

More information here

Patagonia

Environmental Grants

This grant opportunity is available to small activist organizations working to protect the environment. Projects must be action-oriented, build public involvement and support, be strategic, focus on root causes, accomplish specific goals and objectives. One proposal per group will be accepted each fiscal year (May 1-April 30).

Funding Amount: $5,000 to $20,000
Application Deadline: April 30, 2018

More information here

Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership

Clean Fuel Transition Fund for Public Fleets (includes idling reduction)

Funding is available for 80% of the cost to convert an existing vehicle to an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) including natural gas, propane, electric, or hybrid electric; 80% of the incremental cost difference when purchasing a new AFV; and 80% of the cost of idle reduction technologies to add to existing or new AFVs.  Public fleets in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and St. Charles Parishes are eligible.

Funding Amount: $909,200
Application Deadline: Ongoing

More information here. 

Louisiana Liquefied Petroleum Gas Commision

Commercial Propane Mower & Automobile Incentives

Propane mower incentives are available to private or public commercial mowing fleets in Louisiana. New dedicated liquified petroleum gas (LPG) mowers and conversions of existing mowers are eligible for $1,500 per vehicle (new), up to $800 per conversion, and up to 4 awards and $5,000 per year per entity.

Funding Amount: $800 to $5,000
Application Deadline: Ongoing

More information here. 

 

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TIGER 2017 Announced!

Funding for Local Transportation Priorities
DEADLINE: OCTOBER 16TH

Bike Lane StreetsThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the 2017 TIGER grant applications. TIGER funding directly supports local infrastructure projects that promote safety, accessibility, mobility, and economic redevelopment. Multi-million dollar awards will be available for community-scale transportation initiatives that create jobs, enhance mobility, and improve quality of life. This is one of the best and most competitively sources of funding for transportation projects in local communities. In keeping with prior years, the minimum request for communities in an urbanized area is $5 million and a 20% match is officially required. Rural projects can request a minimum of $1 million.

On July 25, Sustainable Strategies DC organized a call between senior DOT leaders and a dozen mayors from across America to recommend improvements that will create new opportunities for small- and medium-size localities. The newly released solicitation reflects changes based upon numerous concerns that these mayors expressed, and it emphasizes projects in rural communities more than in previous years.

Sustainable Strategies DC is already working with communities nationwide to pursue these competitive funds. Based on our previous experience in winning TIGER grants and knowledge of how the program will likely change, we are helping localities develop strategies now to be most competitive for TIGER funds. Click here for more information on TIGER services that Sustainable Strategies DC provides and contact President Andrew Seth at (202) 261-9881to discuss how we can assist you with your application. The deadline to apply is October 16th, 2017

 
For information on additional opportunities, please contact Sustainable Strategies DC or click here for their website.  

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Energy Department Invests $13.4 Million in Transportation Projects

Via energy.gov

Today, the Energy Department (DOE) announced $13.4 million in support of five new cost-shared, community-based projects focused on energy efficient mobility systems including connected and autonomous vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure including natural gas, propane, biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity.

This Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) funding is an investment in highly-innovative, highly-leveraged, and scalable projects that will provide real-world experience and generate knowledge and lessons learned to help improve our nation's energy security, support energy independence, improve transportation efficiency, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness. 

The following projects will serve as "living labs" to test new ideas, collect data, and inform research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems.

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York) will receive $2 million to evaluate changes in freight demand patterns that reduce energy use, incorporate energy efficient technologies and practices into freight logistics, and publish lessons learned.   
  • Pecan Street Inc. (Austin, Texas) will receive $1 million to pilot "last mile" electric bus services. The project includes a feasibility assessment of new technologies such as autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles and dynamic app-driven re-routing.
  • City of Seattle Department of Transportation (Seattle, Washington) will receive $1.9 million to accelerate the use of EVs in shared mobility applications in four major U.S. markets and establish best practices for all U.S. metro regions.

Two additional alternative fuel community partner projects across the Southeast and Midwest regions will bring together over 20 diverse partners including communities, businesses, fleets and Clean Cities coalitions.

  • Center for Transportation and the Environment (Atlanta, Georgia) and its partners will receive $4.6 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure throughout the southeastern United States.
  • Metropolitan Energy Center, Inc. (Kansas City, Missouri) and its partners will receive $3.8 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles, as well as supporting infrastructure, through community-based partnerships throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. 

To learn more about the Department's work with industry, academia, and community partners on advanced vehicle technologies, please visit the Vehicle Technologies Office website

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Volkswagen Settlement Fund (Updated): How to Apply

Volkswagen Settlement Update: Louisiana

Baton Rouge, LA - The state has announced that it will distribute the Mitigation Trust Fund dollars among lasting, sustainable solutions. In order to be considered, you must send in your project concepts directly to the lead agency, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

  • The state will give preference to projects proposed by public agencies that offer long-term benefits to the community at large and show a significant reduction in NOx.
  • The state is considering using a portion of the fund for the replacement of or repowering of publicly owned school buses as provided in the Consent Decree and the replacement of or repowering of aging state-owned heavy equipment fleet vehicles that are eligible under the mitigation trust. The vehicles will be replaced with new cleaner vehicles and or new cleaner burning engines.
  • Any funds remaining after these projects are implemented may be used for  projects proposed by other public or private entities as long as they meet the criteria outlined in Appendix D.
  • Funding is for vehicle REPLACEMENT or a repower, not to expand your fleet.

Please note that the state has NOT finalized their mitigation plan so your project proposals are very important! You still have time to get your ideas before them and have some influence over the general plan. Also, the mitigation plan is NOT a list of the final approved projects. The state's mitigation plan is a guidance document that will be flexible and able to adapt to changes.

No project will be considered unless you apply (and that includes school bus replacement projects).

How to Apply

Proposals may be submitted by email to Perry Theriot at perry.theriot@la.gov; faxed to 225-219-0000; mailed to the Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Perry Theriot, P.O. Box 4303, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4303; or it may be hand delivered to 602 N. Fifth Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.   

Deadline: EXTENDED - All proposals must be received by the LDEQ no later than 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 27, 2017

Proposal should contain the following information:

  • What you want to do
  • How much it will cost
  • The amount of funding you are requesting
  • The associated NOx benefits of your project

Helpful, but not required:

  • Any additional matching funds for your project, if applicable
  • Air quality in your area / Whether or not your parish is in attainment or close to being in non-attainment
  • Any other benefits that this funding would bring to your region
  • Your budgetary constraints or other information that would help the LDEQ to understand the financial need of the applicant

If you have any questions about qualifying projects or what type of information to include in your letter, please refer back to Appendix D. Even though the LDEQ will continue to accept applications after the deadline, we urge you to send in your proposals sooner rather than later.

View the Full Public Notice (Updated):  LDEQ's VW Settlement Notice  

The full Partial Settlement, including Appendix D is available for review at: https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/871306/download

Related Links

Background

On Jan. 4, 2016, and as amended on Oct. 7, 2016, the United States, on behalf of the Environmental Protect Agency (EPA), filed a complaint against Volkswagen (VW) alleging violations of the Clean Air Act regarding approximately 500,000 model year 2009 to 2016 vehicles containing 2.0 liter diesel engines and approximately 80,000 model year 2009 to 2016 motor vehicles containing 3.0 liter diesel engines. The complaint alleges that each of these vehicles contains, as part of the computer control modules, certain algorithms and calibrations that cause the emissions control systems to perform differently during normal vehicle operation and use than when undergoing emissions testing. The use of these prohibited defeat devices caused the vehicles to produce NOx emissions significantly in excess of those allowed by law. On June 28, 2016, the State of California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), filed a similar complaint against Volkswagen.

Partial Consent Decree

The consent decree provides for the establishment of an Environmental Mitigation Trust to provide funds to the states to remediate the air quality impacts of the 2.0 liter vehicle emissions. Louisiana’s initial share is approximately $18 million over a three-year period. The $18 million to be distributed from the trust fund will pay for defined eligible projects also known as eligible mitigation actions. These include projects to reduce NOx from heavy duty diesel sources near population centers, such as large trucks, school and transit buses. A complete list of eligible mitigation actions is found in Appendix D-2 of the Consent Decree. The goal of each Eligible Mitigation Action shall be to achieve reductions of NOx emissions in the United States.

 

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UPDATE - DERA Funding Available

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Clean Diesel News - 06/01/17
2017 Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program

New Deadline: July 5, 2017
$23M in Additional Funding

The 2017 Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program Request for Proposals (RFP) has been amended and extended until July 5, 2017.  The changes to the RFP include:

  • Increasing total funding available from $11M to $34M
  • Modification of funding limits by region
  • Addition of Clean Alternative Fuel Conversions to the list of eligible diesel emission reduction solutions

 The amended RFP, including a summary of the changes, is available atwww.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants#rfp and at www.grants.gov.
 

If you have questions, please contact CleanDiesel@epa.gov.

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