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    Proposals for Low or No Emission (Low-No) Program FY 2019 Due Tuesday

    FTA'S LOW OR NO EMISSION (LOW-NO) BUS PROGRAM

    PROPOSAL DEADLINE: NEXT TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019

    On March 19th, The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the opportunity for eligible applicants to apply for up to $85 million in competitive grant funds through FTA's Low or No Emission (Low-No) Bus Program. The Low or No Emission Competitive program provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses as well as acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities.  Under the FAST Act, $55 million per year is available until fiscal year 2020.

    Eligible projects include:

    • purchasing or leasing low- or no-emission buses
    • acquiring low- or no-emission buses with a leased power source
    • constructing or leasing facilities and related equipment (including intelligent technology and software) for low- or no-emission buses
    • constructing new public transportation facilities to accommodate low- or no-emission buses
    • rehabilitating or improving existing public transportation facilities to accommodate low- or no-emission buses

    Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the grants.gov “APPLY” function by next Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

    For help applying for this grant, see the National RTAP Webinar on FTA Low No Emissions Program Grant Writing.

    For more information, see the 2019 Notice of Funding.

    Source: Federal Transit Administration


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    Deadline to Apply for VW Settlement Funding: April 12th

    The 2019 period for applications for VW Mitigation Trust Settlement projects Is about to close

    Deadline to apply: April 12, 2019

    Funding for Alternative fuels Projects

    In 2017, Volkswagen AG (VW) agreed to plead guilty to charges that it installed software in its model year 2009-2015 2.0-liter diesel cars and 3.0-liter diesel cars that circumvented EPA emissions standards using a “defeat device.” These vehicles emit up to 40 times more pollution than emissions standards allow in the form of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a pollutant that harms public health and contributes to ozone or smog formation.

    As part of a settlement, states are eligible to receive funds to pay all or part of the cost of projects to reduce emissions from diesel vehicles and to install electric vehicle charging stations. 

    Louisiana's Mitigation Plan

    The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) was designated the lead agency (beneficiary) by the Office of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Three Louisiana state agencies were designated to receive equal shares of the fund: LDEQ, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD). These agencies were tasked to allocate the VW Mitigation Trust funds.

    School Buses

    The agencies, with public input, have pooled their funds to target replacement of eligible diesel school buses. The bus replacement program will offer partial funding primarily to school districts to replace their buses with electric, alternative fuel, or high-efficiency diesel vehicles. LDOTD is proposing to use its share of the funds to replace eligible diesel vehicles and heavy equipment with new, less polluting engines. Other projects allowable under the mitigation plan will also be considered. See Appendix D-2 (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-10/documents/statebeneficiaries.pdf) for a complete list of project types allowed under the Volkswagen Settlement (begining on page 53 of the document).

    The state's plan gives first consideration "to replacement or repowering of school buses owned or used by Louisiana school districts with newer, cleaner vehicles, and/or new cleaner burning engines." These funds will not be used for fleet expansion. The goal is to get older, polluting vehicles off the road and to replace them with new, cleaner options. The amount of funding that the state is proposing for school bus replacements are as follows:

    1. 25% matching funds will be given for the replacement or repowering of eligible buses with newer cleaner-burning diesel.
    2. 50% matching funds will be given for the replacement of eligible buses with eligible alternate fuels powered buses, including CNG, propane, or Electric.

    Assistance for School Districts

    School Districts wishing to take advantage of this funding should bookmark the state's VW webpage and watch for any requests for proposal (RFP) by the state. Louisiana Clean Fuels is working closely with the LDEQ on outreach for the state's bus replacement program. If your school district would like to learn more about the different fueling options available under the plan or would like assistance with their proposals to the state, please email Ann Vail at Louisiana Clean Fuels at ann@louisianacleanfuels.org.

    Funding for Electric Vehicle Charging INfrastructure (EVSE)

    The state's plan also includes language which allows the state to utilize "up to 15% of its allocation of Mitigation Trust funds on the costs necessary for, and directly connected to, the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of new, light duty, zero emission vehicle supply equipment for projects..." Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is the only type of fueling infrastructure allowed under the VW Settlement.

    The lead agency has put a priority on Public EVSE infrastructure applications from state agencies and other government entities. Proposals from private entities will also be considered. Application guidance has been issued by the LDEQ and can be found on their website. If you would like assistance with preparing your proposal, please email Ann Vail with Louisiana Clean Fuels ann@louisianacleanfuels.org. To view the state's plan and for more information, visit the LDEQ's Volkswagen page. For more information or to comment on the state's plan, please email vwsettlement@la.gov.

    Helpful Links


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    2019 DERA Clean Diesel National Grants Request for Applications

    Deadline Extended to March 26, 2019 (11:59 p.m. ET)

    Application packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than Wednesday, March 26, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (ET) to be considered for funding.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the deadline for submitting applications for the Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA). There are approximately $40 million in grant funds available to support projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of older diesel engines. Under this competition, EPA is anticipating making between 20 and 80 awards to eligible applicants.

    Eligible Entities

    Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, or port authorities, with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or have, as their principal purpose, the promotion of transportation or air quality.

    For more information about this grant and how to apply, please see the EPA Clean Diesel page.

    Source: US EPA


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    EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Rebate Program is open for application!

    2018 EPA School Bus Rebate Program

    Over $9 million available

    Application Submission Deadline Approaching

    November 6, 2018

    EPA to offer rebates in addition to grants to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier diesel vehicles. The rebate program has funded vehicle replacements or retrofits for over one thousand vehicles to date. Typically, the rebate application period opens in the fall and projects are completed in less than one year.

    2018 DERA School Bus Rebate Program

    School buses travel over four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, diesel exhaust from these buses has a negative impact on human health, especially for children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

    The 2018 School Bus Rebate Program will offer over $9 million to public and private fleet owners for the replacement of old diesel school buses with new buses certified to EPA’s cleanest emission standards. EPA will award selected applicants $15,000-20,000 per bus for scrapping and replacing old buses. 

    Important Dates

    Activity Date
    2018 DERA School Bus Rebate Program opens. EPA begins accepting applications with scans of titles and registrations submitted to CleanDieselRebate@epa.gov. Monday, October 1, 2018
    Webinar for applicants:
    LINK TO WEBINAR
    Call-in Number: 1-202-991-0477
    Access Code: 210 7951#
    Thursday, October 11, 2018
    2:00-3:00 p.m. ET 
    Deadline for submitting application questions to CleanDiesel@epa.gov helpline Tuesday, October 30, 2018
    Deadline for emailing applications with scans of bus titles and registrations to CleanDieselRebate@epa.gov
    Tuesday, November 6, 2018

    4 p.m. ET

    Official selection letters emailed to selectees  and wait-list posted online January 2019 (estimated)
    Deadline for submitting copies of purchase orders for replacement buses April 2019 (estimated)
    Deadline for submitting documentation of delivery of replacement buses and scrappage of old buses. EPA will send rebate payment within one month of receipt of complete materials.  September 2019

    Rebate Application Form and Supporting Documents

    The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document will be updated weekly during the application period. Questions and answers submitted through October 30, including those from the webinar, will be added to this document.

    Eligible Entities

    • Regional, state, or tribal agency that has jurisdiction over transportation and air quality, including school districts and municipalities
    • Private entities that operate school buses under a contract with an entity listed above
    • Fleets with up to 100 school buses may submit one application listing up to 10 buses for scrappage and replacement
    • Fleets with more than 100 school buses may submit up to two rebate applications, each listing up to 10 different buses for scrappage and replacement

    Selection Process

    • Applicants will be selected in a lottery, with at least one selectee from each state/territory represented in the applicant pool.

    Eligible Old School Buses to be Replaced

    • Used to transport 10+ pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students to school or homes
    • Driven 10k or more miles over the last 12 months or in use 3+ days/week during the school year
    • Owned by applicant without any active liens
    • Class 3-8 diesel-powered buses [greater than 10,000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)]
    • Buses powered by 2006 or older model year engines must be replaced with buses powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine
    • Engine and chassis must be scrapped before receiving rebate payment

    Eligible Replacement Buses

    • Powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine. Eligible replacement buses may operate on diesel, gasoline, battery, or alternative fuels.
    • Operate in a similar manner and over similar routes as the bus being replaced
    • Be purchased, not leased or leased-to-own 
    • Rebate reimbursement is $15,000 for replacement buses between 10,001-19,500 lbs. GVWR and $20,000 for replacement buses with GVWR of 19,501 lbs. or higher

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    Update: Louisiana's VW Comment Period Ends July 11th

    Alert:  The VW Mitigation Plan public notice (PN) has been extended to July 11, 2018, due to a major server failure that occurred during the time that the Mitigation Plan was on PN.  The server failure has been resolved; and this extension of the PN ensures that any resources that may not have been available to the public during the time the LDEQ server was unavailable, are now available (to the public).

    Please send your comments on the plan to vwsettlement@la.gov. To view the plan and for more information, visit the LDEQ's Volkswagen web page

    Background

    The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) was designated the lead agency (beneficiary) by the Office of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Three Louisiana state agencies were designated to receive equal shares of the fund: LDEQ, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD). These agencies were tasked to allocate the VW Mitigation Trust funds. The agencies, with public input, are proposing to pool their funds to target replacement of eligible diesel school buses. The bus replacement program will offer partial funding primarily to school districts to replace their buses with electric, alternative fuel, or high-efficiency diesel vehicles. LDOTD is proposing to use its share of the funds to replace eligible diesel vehicles and heavy equipment with new, less polluting engines.

    The plan gives first consideration "to replacement or repowering of school buses owned or used by Louisiana school districts with newer, cleaner vehicles, and/or new cleaner burning engines". These funds will not be used for fleet expansion. The goal is to get older, polluting vehicles off the road and to replace them with new, cleaner options. The amount of funding that the state is proposing for school bus replacements are as follows:

    1. 25% matching funds will be given for the replacement or repowering of eligible buses with newer cleaner burning diesel.
    2. 50% matching funds will be given for the replacement of eligible buses with eligible alternate fuels powered buses, including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), propane, etc.


    The plan states specifically:

    The Louisiana DOTD owns and operates more than 5,500 pieces of equipment with an estimated replacement cost of more than $200 million. Approximately 60% of the equipment is currently beyond its estimated ideal replacement cycle established by the DOTD. The DOTD’ s main goal is to reduce overall emissions by replacing some of its fleet with new diesel technology equipment with use of the available funds, resulting in improved operational efficiency of its fleet with increased reliability and reduced downtime of equipment.

    By concentrating first on school buses, Louisiana will provide significant emission reduction both for NOX and Toxic Air Pollutants (TAPs). Since these emissions occur at or near ground level, there is relatively little dispersion with maximum impact on the passengers and school children. Addressing school buses first provides the greatest improvement in local air quality for one of the most sensitive populations.

    Funding for EVSE

    The plan also includes language which allows the state to utilize "up to 15% of its allocation of Mitigation Trust funds on the costs necessary for, and directly connected to, the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of new, light duty, zero emission vehicle supply equipment for projects..." Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is the only type of fueling infrastructure allowed under the VW Settlement.

    Assistance for School Districts

    School Districts wishing to take advantage of this funding should bookmark the state's VW webpage and watch for any requests for proposal (RFP) by the state. Louisiana Clean Fuels is working closely with the LDEQ on outreach for the state's bus replacement program. If your school district would like to learn more about the different fueling options available under the plan or would like assistance with their proposals to the state, please email Ann Vail at Louisiana Clean Fuels ann@louisianacleanfuels.org.

    To view the plan and for more information, visit the LDEQ's Volkswagen web page. For more information or to comment on the state's plan, please email vwsettlement@la.gov.

    Helpful Links

    Appendix D-2 which lists eligible mitigation actions and expenditures under the program (which kind of vehicles can be replaced).

    Settlement timeline graphic

    Details of Louisiana’s Mitigation Plan


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    Clean Diesel Tribal Grants

    2018 Tribal Request for Proposals

    EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality is soliciting proposals nationwide for Tribal projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions and diesel emissions exposure, particularly from fleets located in areas designated as having poor air quality. EPA anticipates $2 million will be awarded to eligible Tribal applicants.

    Proposals must be received by Thursday, September 6, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) in order to be considered for funding. Proposal packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through www.grants.gov.

    Priority - Priority is given to projects that achieve significant reduction in diesel emissions and exposure in areas designated as having poor air quality, and in areas receiving a disproportionate quantity of air pollution from diesel fleets. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Tribal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (PDF) (6 pp, 191 K, June 5, 2018) will be updated weekly during the application period. Please e-mail your questions to cleandiesel@epa.gov and type "Tribal RFP Question" in the subject line. The deadline for submitting questions via email is Friday, August 24, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. ET. The estimated final posting of the FAQ document will be Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. ET. All questions and answers, including those from all information sessions, will be added to this document.

    Eligible Applicants

    Under this solicitation, only tribal governments (or intertribal consortiums) or Alaskan native villages, which have jurisdiction over transportation or air quality, are eligible to apply for Tribal Clean Diesel grants.

    Eligible Use of Funding

    Eligible diesel vehicles, engines and equipment may include:

    • School buses
    • Class 5 – Class 8 heavy-duty highway vehicles
    • Locomotive engines
    • Marine engines
    • Nonroad engines, equipment or vehicles used in construction, handling of cargo (including at ports or airports), agriculture, mining or energy production (including stationary generators and pumps).

    Grant funds may be used for clean diesel projects including:

    Funds awarded under this program cannot be used to fund emissions reductions mandated under federal law. Equipment used for testing emissions or fueling infrastructure is not eligible for funding.

    Please refer to the full RFP for specific information about this competition.


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