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    East Baton Rouge Parish School System Still Making Progress in Transitioning to Cleaner School Buses

    By Olivia Montgomery, LCF Intern | Originally posted to Fuels Fix | Original Article

    After the August 2016 floods wiped out about 110 school buses in East Baton Rouge Parish, the school system seized the opportunity to transition its fleet to cleaner fuel options, becoming the recipient of Louisiana Clean Fuels’s Rising Star Award in 2017. Thanks to the availability of Volkswagen Settlement funding, a number of other school systems in Louisiana are now making the transition too, including in the parishes of Ascension, Lafayette, Winn, Rapides, St. John the Baptist, Beauregard, Bossier, Plaquemines, St. Helena, Union, Vernon, and Tangipahoa. 

    Nearly four years later, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) continues its efforts to reduce its fleet’s emissions. In 2016, the school system received nearly $773,000 in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to purchase 30 buses. DERA grants fund 25% of the total cost of new buses. EBRPSS has since received two more DERA grants, in addition to receiving a portion of the civil settlement from automaker Volkswagen, who settled claims with US authorities after violating emissions laws by installing a “defeat device” in thousands of vehicles. Ultimately, these four grants total $4,485,894.50 and, in conjunction with EBRPSS funds, will purchase 130 propane school buses over time. 

    EBRPSS’s shift to propane school buses showcases an important trend across the country and offers benefits including reduced operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Propane buses are shown to reduce fuel costs significantly. Roush CleanTech, manufacturer of the propane autogas system installed in Blue Bird Vision school buses, estimates fleets can lower their fuel costs by 40% by switching to propane, in addition to lower costs of maintenance over time. Case studies support this estimate, with Mesa Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona reporting having saved $2.91 per gallon on fuel compared to diesel. Mesa expects to save $4.43 million on fuel costs over five years, and they expect each bus will have a longer lifespan than conventional diesel buses, with about five additional years on the road for each bus. EBRPSS reports spending $1,970,173 on fuel from July 2015 to June 2016. If the school district saves 40% per year, as Roush CleanTech estimates is possible, the savings would total an annual $788,069.20 reduction in fuel costs.


    Reducing emissions in school bus fleets is another direct benefit to children in the school system. Children are more susceptible to harmful side effects of exhaust due to their developing respiratory systems and faster rates of breathing. With school buses able to seat about 70 children per bus, reducing diesel exhaust and improving air quality is a top priority of school systems making the switch to propane. EBRPSS alone serves 42,000 children. A comprehensive study by the Propane Education and Research Council shows propane school buses emit up to 96% less NOx and 13% less carbon dioxide than diesel buses. 

    The future looks bright in regard to EBRPSS’s ability to procure more propane buses. The school system plans to apply for additional DERA grants in the years to come, and many states are adopting more programs to aid school systems in their transition to cleaner school bus fleets. For example, West Virginia counties using compressed natural gas or propane autogas in their school bus fleets may be eligible for a 10% reimbursement to offset the maintenance and costs of those buses. In Nevada, penalties assessed for air pollution violations are deposited into the account of the school district where they occurred and may be used for the purchase of school buses that operate on alternative fuels. At this time, EBRPSS will incrementally acquire buses through the referenced grants, and hopefully, new funding sources become available to continue the school system’s transition to cleaner fuels after all 130 new propane buses have arrived.

    Read the original Fuels Fix Article


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    NGVi Natural Gas Training Moves Online Due to COVID-19 Concerns

    Discount codes available for Louisiana Fleets

    The continued support of our Louisiana natural gas fleets is important to us at Louisiana Clean Fuels. As such, LCF is working with NGVi to offer Natural Gas Vehicle training within Louisiana to our stakeholder natural gas fleets. We value the safety and health of our stakeholders, so we have made the difficult decision to move our in-person training courses to online and virtual formats.

    Please note that the previously in-person courses offered on August 4-7 and September 29-30 are CANCELLED and will only be available in the online or virtual formats.

    These classes offer advanced training for skilled workers to help them qualify for high-paying jobs that are in high demand by dealers, OEMs and national fleets. Louisiana Clean Fuels and Cummins Westport understand how important these training classes are and are sponsoring the Level 2 and Level 3 classes respectively. These sponsorships are allowing us to provide a $100 discount to the first five individuals from Louisiana fleets to register for each of these virtual classes.

    These essential courses cover three levels of natural gas vehicle training: NGV Essentials and Safety Practices (Level 1), CNG Fuel System Inspector Training (Level 2), and Heavy-Duty NGV Maintenance and Diagnostics Training (Level 3), in addition to CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification.

    Discounts for Louisiana natural gas fleets are available! See SESSION COSTS below for details.

    Level One: NGV Essentials and Safety Practices

    Self-Paced Pre-Requisite Course

    This is a one-day training course that offers a clear understanding of natural gas, its properties and characteristics, the differences between that and diesel/gasoline, fuel system components, the safety considerations in the facility, etc. This course is offered as a prerequisite to the higher-level training courses, or as a stand-alone course through the e-learning program. Students will receive a login and password and will have 30 days to access and complete the training.

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

    • Technicians who will perform basic preventive maintenance on natural gas vehicles (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.)
    • Technicians who will perform mandated CNG fuel system inspections
    • Technicians who will perform NGV diagnostics and repair procedures
    • All employees involved in NGV fleet operations
    • Fleet or dealer service managers and supervisors
    • Corporate/agency safety managers
    • Risk management staff


    REGISTER FOR LEVEL 1 TRAINING

    Level Two: CNG Fuel System Inspector Training

    Date Options: Sep 16 - Sep 17 | Oct 7 - Oct 8 | Nov 18 - Nov 19

    This is a two-day training course that prepares technicians to adequately and safely conduct the fuel system inspections that are required every 3 years, 36,000 miles, at the time of any onboard fire or accident over 5mph. This course also helps prepare the technicians to sit for the certification exam to become certified fuel system inspectors.

    PREREQUISITES

    Level 1: NGV Essentials and Safety Practices

    WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND?

    Experienced vehicle technicians employed by fleets or dealerships who are:

    • Responsible for performing CNG fuel system inspections; or
    • Preparing to take the CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification exam; or
    • Planning to renew their CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification; or
    • Seeking to refresh knowledge on CNG fuel system inspections.
    • Fleet managers and supervisors, safety managers and risk management staff are welcome to contact us to discuss available training options.


    LOUISIANA FLEET DISCOUNT

    LCF is sponsoring the Level 2 training classes for our stakeholder fleets! The first 5 Louisiana fleets to register for the Level 2 course qualify for an additional $100 discount, courtesy of LCF’s sponsorship. Please call LCF (225-342-7972) or email [email protected] for the limited discount code - please put "NGVi Training Discount" in the subject line of your email. All stakeholders may receive a 10% discount when using the discount code CC2020 to register. Multiple discount codes may be stacked.

    REGISTER FOR LEVEL 2 TRAINING

    CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification

    NGVi’s certification exam can be taken in conjunction with any CNG Fuel System Inspector training course. Each student will have up to 3 hours to complete the exam and will receive their results within two weeks via email. If the student successfully passed the exam, their certification packet will be mailed out right away.

    REGISTER FOR CERTIFICATION EXAM

    Level Three: Heavy-Duty NGV Maintenance and Diagnostics Training

    Oct 20 - Oct 21

    The number one challenge facing heavy-duty NGV technicians is how to distinguish between a fuel quality problem, a fuel system problem or an engine problem. This course is the only training available that treats these three elements as a system and helps technicians understand how they are interrelated. Emphasis is placed on the safety knowledge and repair practices that are unique for Cummins heavy-duty natural gas engines.

    The course covers the components of all CNG fuel systems (regardless of manufacturer), as well as all Cummins 6.7 Liter, 9 Liter and 12 Liter natural gas engines.

    The course includes operational theory with more than a dozen hands-on exercises. It is a perfect prerequisite to fuel system or engine manufacturer training. This course also helps prepare technicians for the ASE H1 exam.

    Prerequisites

    Level 1: NGV Essentials and Safety Practices

    Who Should Attend?

    • Technicians with at least basic skills in heavy-duty vehicle repair, who will be maintaining, diagnosing and repairing NGVs.
      Technicians familiar with the basic operation of vehicle diagnostic equipment.

    Louisiana Fleet Discount

    Cummins is sponsoring the Level 3 training classes for our stakeholder fleets! The first 5 Louisiana fleets to register for the Level 3 course with discount code CUMMINS100 qualify for an additional $100 discount, courtesy of Cummins’ sponsorship. All stakeholders may receive a 10% discount when using the discount code CC2020 to register. Multiple discount codes may be stacked.

    REGISTER FOR LEVEL 3 TRAINING

    Session Costs*

    • Level 1: NGV Essentials & Safety Practices: $495
    • Level 2: CNG Fuel System Inspector Training: $895
      • The first 5 Louisiana fleets to register for the Level 2 course qualify for an additional $100 discount, courtesy of LCF’s sponsorship. Please call LCF (225-342-7972) or email Victoria Herrmann at [email protected] for the limited discount code - please put "NGVi Training Discount" in the subject line.
    • Exam: CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification: $295
    • Level 3: Heavy-Duty NGV Maintenance and Diagnostics Training: $1,695
      • The first 5 Louisiana fleets to register for the Level 3 course with discount code CUMMINS100 qualify for an additional $100 discount, courtesy of Cummins Westport’s sponsorship.

    *All stakeholders may receive a 10% discount when using the discount code CC2020 to register. Multiple discount codes may be stacked.

    How to Register



    Virtual vs. E-Learning

    What is Virtual Training?

    Virtual training is instructor-led training in a virtual classroom. You will experience the same high-quality learning with expert instructors and updated content that NGVi has been delivering since 1989 -- from the comfort of your own space. 

    How Does It Work? 

    Technicians participate in real-time over the internet through our virtual classroom platform on designated class dates. Class times include multiple breaks and an allotted lunchtime. Prior to accessing the virtual classroom, technicians must complete the prerequisite NGV Essentials and Safety Practices, which is delivered on-demand through our e-learning platform.

    What is E-Learning?

    Our interactive e-learning courses are professionally developed and produced, and the content is identical to our live training. Once your enrollment is confirmed, the training is available on-demand 24/7 so you can learn at your own pace.

    How Does It Work?

    Technicians receive a login and password that allows them access to the learning management system for up to 30 days. They can work their way through individual modules at their convenience, and once the post-test has been passed, they will access their certificate of completion to print immediately.

    Learn more: What Is Virtual Training? from NGVi on Vimeo.


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    Waste to Fuel: On the Making of Renewable Natural Gas

    Natural gas remains one of the most-used alternative fuels in Louisiana. According to Louisiana Clean Fuels’ (LCF) 2018 Annual Report, in 2018 alone, natural gas (CNG) was responsible for offsetting over 5 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) in the state [1].

    Though the majority of natural gas used in Louisiana comes from fossil-sources, a small percentage is renewable natural gas (RNG), which is chemically identical to natural gas from fossil-sources but comes instead from renewable sources such as food waste, manure, and other decomposing organic materials.

    DID YOU KNOW?
    Methane is 20-30x worse than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Burning methane turns it into carbon dioxide, reducing its global warming potential. Landfills are the third-largest anthropogenic (human-caused) methane source in the U.S. Manure management is the fourth largest anthropogenic methane source. Much of the methane produced by these sources (wastewater treatment plants, landfills, and farms) is normally released into the atmosphere, but RNG projects instead collect and use this methane as natural gas, lowering the overall emissions of these industries. [2]


    St. Landry Parish Solid Waste creates and uses RNG in central Louisiana; they collect methane (CH4) from their landfill which is then cleaned and used as RNG to fuel their trash trucks. St. Landry’s RNG project, which began operation in 2012, was the first of its kind in the United States. Over the last two years, LCF has worked closely with St. Landry to create an operations manual for their RNG project. Once the manual is complete, we will begin work on an RNG curriculum to teach the process to other landfills and increase the amount of RNG used in Louisiana.

    RNG has grown in popularity across the United States in recent years, with the number of operational projects increasing from 60 projects at the end of 2017 to 89 projects at the end of March 2019 and the total production capacity of these projects increasing by approximately 25% over that same 15 month period. Additionally, a recent study by the Colorado Energy Office found that by utilizing RNG, Colorado can replace 24% of its annual diesel usage, eliminating 1.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year [3]. Interest in RNG has also dramatically increased, and there have been numerous articles written in the last year to explain the generalities of RNG production. Considering our working relationship with the St. Landry Parish project, LCF is uniquely situated to shed light on some of the deeper complexities of the subject, and our hope is to provide insight into how these types of projects actually operate. This article will hopefully serve as a midpoint between a 30,000 ft view and a deep technical dive.

    The Process

    RNG can be created from several different sources or feedstocks, but three of the most common are landfills, farms, and wastewater treatment plants. There are three basic steps to producing usable RNG: raw gas collection, conditioning/cleaning, and distribution. These steps are the same regardless of feedstock; in this article, we’ll be focusing on how this process works for landfills.

    Collection

    In a landfill, trash, which includes organic matter (food waste, paper waste, farming waste, etc.), is placed in a pit, called a cell, which is specially prepared to receive and contain trash with as little environmental impact as possible. The trash is dumped into the cell and covered with dirt, clay, and eventually an impermeable liner to prevent odors, liquids, and landfill gas (LFG) from escaping. This produces an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment within the landfill. Most modern landfills are classified as Sanitary Landfills, which are designed to reduce their environmental impact as much as possible. This includes trapping the LFG and burning it.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Anytime organic matter is present in an anaerobic environment, a huge host of microbes will eventually break the organics down into carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in a process called anaerobic digestion. This is true of landfills, but this same process happens with other feedstocks as well, such as wastewater treatment plants and farms. The decomposing organic matter within the landfill produces a mixture of gases known as landfill gas or LFG; gas collected from other sources is referred to as “biogas”.

    Each landfill cell will hold a certain amount of trash before it’s completed and covered with an impermeable liner (basically a gigantic plastic sheet) that traps all the LFG. Wells are then drilled into the cell to collect that gas. These wells are large pipes with holes in them, allowing the LFG to pass through but not the solid trash. The pipes are all connected to each other in a huge network called a well-field and then connected to a vacuum pump that literally sucks the gas out of the landfill. Each well has its own wellhead, which is a valve that can control the amount of suction at that well without needing an individual vacuum pump for each well.


    If the LFG isn’t removed from the landfill, pressure will build, eventually releasing methane and other harmful gases into the atmosphere. If the pump pulls too hard on the wells, air can get into the landfill, introducing nitrogen and oxygen to the landfill. The presence of oxygen inhibits anaerobic digestion and can contribute to the formation of landfill fires. Landfill fires release harmful emissions and are very difficult to extinguish, sometimes burning for weeks or even years. Nitrogen intrusion can also be very problematic due to the difficulty of separating nitrogen from the LFG during the conditioning process. Pulling too hard on the wells introduces nitrogen and oxygen, and not pulling hard enough releases raw LFG into the atmosphere. This balancing act is one of the most important pieces of any landfill RNG project.


    LCF Co-Coordinator Tyler Herrmann (right) showing LCF's interns a well-head at the St. Landry Parish Solid Waste landfill.

    Traditionally, the LFG is simply dried and then sent to a flare to burn all the methane and other unwanted compounds, reducing their environmental impact. Burning methane converts it to carbon dioxide, which is less harmful as a greenhouse gas, and also helps to remove harmful gases such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), a class of chemicals which includes carcinogens such as benzene. In a landfill RNG project, the LFG is diverted from the flare and sent to a separate conditioning/cleaning facility to be made into usable natural gas. Under EPA regulations, landfills above a certain size are required to collect and flare the LFG they produce [4]. This is one of the big benefits of a landfill RNG project: the first step in the RNG process - collecting the gas - is something the landfills are already required to do.

    Conditioning/Cleaning

    The level to which the gas must be cleaned is heavily dependent on its end-use. If the gas will be put into a pipeline, it must be cleaned according to the specifications of that pipeline. If the intention is to use it for electricity production, there are separate requirements for that as well. To use RNG as a vehicle fuel in natural gas vehicles, the gas needs to meet Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards.

    The makeup of raw LFG is generally about half methane and half carbon dioxide. The gas can also contain unwanted by-products that must be removed, including hydrogen sulfide, siloxanes, carbon monoxide, VOCs (which can include benzene, butane, ethane, or a massive variety of carbon-based compounds), along with many other unwanted chemicals. The specific mix of these chemicals is heavily dependent on the feedstock. For example, if someone throws old air-conditioning equipment into a landfill, the LFG may temporarily include freon (a type of VOC), which will also need to be removed. Weather also affects raw gas quality; both of these factors require the conditioning process to be robust enough to maintain the product gas specs year-round.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Pipeline quality natural gas is usually around 94% methane and 6% balance gas, a term used to refer to inert gases that are harmless to the system, namely nitrogen and carbon dioxide. If the gas being injected into the pipeline does not meet the required BTU (British Thermal Units) specs, gases such as propane, butane, and hydrogen may be added.

    Since raw gas is around 50% methane and pipelines require around 94% methane, the carbon dioxide and other impurities need to be removed. There are many terms used to describe or name this cleaning process, including upgrading, cleaning, or conditioning. [5]


    The first step in conditioning is to remove hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This is usually done by chemically filtering the gas through a special type of activated carbon or other filtration media that strips out the hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide needs to be filtered out for two major reasons:

    • Hydrogen sulfide can form sulfur oxides (SOx) when burned. SOx is a criteria pollutant under National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) [6]. SOx emissions have effects on lung health and can contribute to the formation of both harmful particulate matter in the atmosphere and acid rain.
    • To protect the CO2 membranes later in the process (explained below).

    The second step in conditioning is to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). This is also often done through chemical filtration with a different type of activated carbon. VOCs are filtered out for two major reasons:

    • Many VOCs have negative health effects, and some are carcinogenic.
    • To protect the CO2 membranes and siloxane filters later in the process.

    VOCs can include butane, ethane, and propane, all of which are allowable and often desirable in pipeline natural gas, but they are removed along with other VOCs during conditioning to protect the siloxane media and carbon dioxide membranes.

    Often, the third step in RNG conditioning is to remove siloxanes. These are silicon compounds that generally come from cosmetics, which means they're present in landfills and wastewater treatment facilities, but not in farms Siloxanes can be filtered out by passing the LFG through a special type of silica pellet, by condensation, or by water/solvent absorption. In the case of silica pellets, the pellets will also absorb VOCs and hydrogen sulfide, so they can become saturated and lose effectiveness if these are not effectively filtered out first.

    Siloxanes are not toxic; they’re removed to protect other equipment down the line. When siloxanes are burned, they produce non-toxic silicon powder which can clog sensors in a natural gas engine and act as an abrasive. This is so dangerous that a single tank of bad natural gas in a CNG vehicle can cause catastrophic engine failure. Siloxanes can also damage electricity generators if they use microturbines or post-combustion catalysts. Since siloxanes don't damage other filtration and don't harm all use-cases, this step is sometimes skipped depending on the intended end-use of the gas [7].

    The fourth step is to remove carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide makes up between 40-60% of the raw gas, so it may need to be removed to raise the BTU content to meet the specific needs of the use-case. Some use-cases can handle 50% methane, and carbon dioxide filtration is skipped, but this isn't common. Carbon dioxide can be filtered out in two main ways:

    CO2 Filtration Membranes

    These membranes are essentially tiny plastic tubes with holes approximately the size of carbon dioxide molecules that act as a physical filter, separating methane from carbon dioxide. As the raw gas is pumped through the tubes at a fairly high pressure (>100 PSI), the carbon dioxide escapes through the holes in the tubes, and what’s left is a gas with a higher concentration of methane.

    One of the benefits of using a membrane is that it's a purely physical filtration method; a CO2 membrane will effectively last forever. A drawback is that the membranes are really sensitive to VOCs and hydrogen sulfide. Any breakthrough of VOCs or hydrogen sulfide will poison the CO2 membranes, rendering them useless. CO2 membranes are also very expensive, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars, even for a small project. This is why so much care is given to separating VOCs earlier in the process.

    There are many types of CO2 membranes, some of which can be used to filter hydrogen sulfide as well as carbon dioxide. St. Landry Parish Solid Waste uses the type described above.

    Pressure-Swing Adsorption (PSA)

    For this method, there is a surface that selectively adsorbs carbon dioxide, but only at certain pressures. The gas is brought to that pressure, the carbon dioxide molecules attach to the surface, the remaining gas (which is higher purity than the raw gas) is stripped away, and then the pressure is changed so that the filtered carbon dioxide releases from the surface. PSA filtration is an active filtration process, requiring a more complex system than passive filtration by a membrane. Both systems have various advantages and disadvantages that may make one more attractive than another for a specific project.

    While it isn’t common, nitrogen may also need to be removed from the gas. Nitrogen is mostly inert, so it only needs to be removed in order to increase the product gas BTU content. Given that nitrogen is inert, it is fairly difficult to remove through chemical filtration, though it is possible. It is also difficult to remove nitrogen through physical filtration as is done for carbon dioxide because nitrogen molecules are close to the same physical size as methane molecules. An expensive, but effective filtration method is to liquefy the natural gas; since nitrogen’s boiling point is much lower than that of methane, nitrogen will remain as a gas that can be separated from the liquefied methane. This is more common in very high-volume projects, whereas smaller projects are more likely to use PSA filtration systems [8].

    Additionally, it is worth noting that a conditioning facility will have various heat exchangers, compressors, and gas dryers throughout these steps to prepare the gas for the next step of the process. Depending on the use-case, the conditioner may also add an odorant, ethyl mercaptan, to the product gas.

    Distribution

    Since the RNG is now chemically identical to fossil natural gas, this section will be brief. Here are the three main use-cases:

    For onsite vehicle-fueling, there will be a large, low-pressure (50-150 PSI, in the case of St. Landry’s RNG project) gas storage tank that the conditioners will fill as they clean the gas. This low-pressure storage will feed a series of high-pressure tanks (around 4500 PSI) that are compressed by dedicated, high-pressure compressors as-needed. These high-pressure tanks fuel the vehicles directly and are filled by the compressors as-needed.


    Ribbon-cutting for the opening of St. Landry Parish Solid Waste's BioCNG Fueling Station in 2012

    For pipeline injection, the gas is compressed to match the pressure of the pipeline, which usually ranges between 400-1200 PSIG (gauge-pressure). In this case, there may be a low-pressure storage tank to act as a buffer, and the compressors will connect directly to the pipeline [9].

    For on-site electricity generation, there is generally a storage tank to act as a buffer, a compressor to fill this storage tank, and a pipe connecting to the gas generators.

    The Future of RNG

    The use of RNG is increasing across the United States as more and more projects are developed. As of the writing of this article, there are 38 RNG projects currently under construction [10], with that number likely to grow. LCF looks forward to working with partners like St. Landry Parish Solid Waste and other Clean Cities coalitions as RNG use continues to grow across the country.

    More Information

    For more information and resources on RNG please visit:

    For a thorough technical description of Landfill Gas RNG Project Development, check out the EPA Landfill Gas Energy Project Development Handbook at https://www.epa.gov/lmop/landfill-gas-energy-project-development-handbook-files. For more information on St. Landry Parish Solid Waste's RNG project, check out the 2018 MotorWeek episode on the project at www.fuelsfix.com/2018/03/st-landry-parish-turns-garbage-into-renewable-natural-gas.

    Sources

    [1] LCF Publishes 2018 Annual Report Data: https://louisianacleanfuels.org/blog/id/381

    [2] EPA Overview of Greenhouse Gases: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases#methane

    [3] Colorado Energy Office Study Finds State Could Eliminate 1.4M Metric Tons of Emissions Annually by Utilizing Renewable Natural Gas: https://energyoffice.colorado.gov/press-release/colorado-energy-office-study-finds-state-could-eliminate-14m-metric-tons-emissions

    [4] EPA Basic Information About Landfill Gas: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/basic-information-about-landfill-gas

    [5], [9] Pipeline Gas Specifications: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/pipeline-gas-specifications

    [6] NAAQS Table: https://www.epa.gov/criteria-air-pollutants/naaqs-table

    [7] Performance and Economics of Currently Available Technologies for Removal of Siloxane from Biogas: https://www.scsengineers.com/scs-articles/performance-economics-currently-available-technologies-removal-siloxane-biogas/

    [8] Pros and cons of different Nitrogen Removal Unit (NRU) technology: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1875510012000170

    [10] Argonne National Laboratory's Renewable Natural Gas Database: https://www.anl.gov/es/reference/renewable-natural-gas-database

    About St. Landry Parish Solid Waste

    St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Disposal District provides residential and commercial solid waste collection and disposal, as well as operation of the St. Landry Parish Landfill and Recycling Centers. For more information, please visit slpsolidwaste.org.

    About Louisiana Clean Fuels

    Louisiana Clean Fuels is a US Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition, supported by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and member organizations. We are a non-profit organization serving fleets for 20 years.

    The mission of Louisiana Clean Fuels, Inc. is to advance the nation’s environmental, economic, and energy security by supporting local actions to diversify transportation fuel options. Our goal is to show how advanced technologies and alternative fuels can help meet business and environmental goals. By providing objective data, technical resources, and the right connections, we help fleets find reliable alternative fuel vehicles that will stabilize or lower fuel costs.


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    Alternative Fuel Tax Incentives Update

    Key alternative fuel incentives retroactively extended in Final FY 2020 Spending Bill

    NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

    Alternative fuel excise credits extended

    The excise tax credit covers fuels including compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas (both naturally occurring CNG and LNG, and that derived from biomass), propane autogas, and liquefied hydrogen when used as a motor fuel. A tax credit in the amount of $0.50 per gallon* is available for the following alternative fuels:

    • natural gas (CNG& LNG)
    • liquefied hydrogen,
    • propane,
    • and compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass

    *For propane and natural gas sold after December 31, 2015, the tax credit is based on the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) or diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). For taxation purposes, one GGE is equal to 5.75 pounds (lbs.) of propane and 5.66 lbs. of compressed natural gas. One DGE is equal to 6.06 lbs. of liquefied natural gas. Example: the propane tax credit ends up being about 37 cents a GGE.

    For an entity to be eligible to claim the credit they must be liable for reporting and paying the federal excise tax on the sale or use of the fuel in a motor vehicle. Tax exempt entities such as state and local governments that dispense qualified fuel from an on-site fueling station for use in vehicles qualify for the incentive. Eligible entities must be registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The incentive must first be taken as a credit against the entity's alternative fuel tax liability; any excess over this fuel tax liability may be claimed as a direct payment from the IRS. The tax credit is not allowed if an incentive for the same alternative fuel is also determined under the rules for the ethanol or biodiesel tax credits.

    For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 4136, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 6426)

    Point of Contact
    Excise Tax Branch
    U.S. Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel
    Phone: (202) 317-6855
    http://www.irs.gov/

    Sourcehttps://afdc.energy.gov/laws/319


    infrastructure tax credits also extended

    Fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, liquefied hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed through December 31, 2020, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Permitting and inspection fees are not included in covered expenses. Fueling station owners who install qualified equipment at multiple sites are allowed to use the credit towards each location. Consumers who purchased qualified residential fueling equipment (such as EV Charging equipement) prior to December 31, 2020, may receive a tax credit of up to $1,000. (Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/10513 )

    IRS Forms and Links

    How do you file for credits? The Alternative Fuels Data Center says the Treasury Department will provide more details on the process on March 11. Claims may be submitted after Treasury issues guidance. Claims will be paid within 60 days after receipt.

     

    Other retroactively extended tax credis in HR 1865:

    • the $1.00-per-gallon tax credit for biodiesel and biodiesel mixtures, and the small agri-biodiesel producer credit of 10 cents per gallon, retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and prospectively through 2022 (for more information: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/395 ) ;
    • the alternative fuel excise credit retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and through 2020;
    • the alternative fuel infrastructure credit retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and through 2020; and
    • the credit for qualified fuel cell vehicles retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and through 2020 (for more information: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/350 ).

    The bill also:

    • includes $40 million for the DOE Clean Cities program – a nearly $3 million increase over last year;
    • includes $87 million for the EPA Diesel Emission Reduction grants; and
    • requires the Federal Highway Administration to approve all clean vehicle projects submitted prior to April 17, 2018, using the previous criteria (final assembly in the United States) and it directs the agency to review and respond to Buy America waiver requests within 60 days of submission.

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    Notice of Intent to Issue a Vehicle Technologies Funding Opportunity

    Originally posted by the DOE EERE

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office has published a notice of intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled "Fiscal Year 2020 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research FOA." The FOA will support a broad portfolio of advanced vehicle technologies that can strengthen national security, enable future economic growth, support American energy dominance, and increase transportation affordability for all Americans. This FOA may include the following topics:

    • Lithium-Ion Batteries using Silicon-Based Anode
    • Low Cost Electric Traction Drive Systems Using No Heavy Rare Earth Materials
    • Utility Managed Smart Charging
    • Platinum Group Metals Content Reduction to Enable Cost-Effective Aftertreatment for Gasoline and Diesel Engines
    • Improved Efficiency of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Natural Gas and Propane (LPG) Engines
    • Energy-Efficient Off-Road Technologies Directly Applicable to Agriculture Sector and/or Other Off-Road Vehicles
    • Lightweight and High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites for Vehicle Applications
    • Energy Efficient Mobility Systems
    • Technology Integration
    • Transportation and Energy Analysis


    The Vehicle Technologies’ portfolio includes advanced batteries, electric drive systems; smart charging technologies; energy efficient mobility technologies and systems; advanced combustion engines and fuels; materials for vehicle light-weighting; technology integration, which includes work with the national network of Clean Cities coalitions; and transportation and energy analysis.

    View the Notice of Intent


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    Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) National Grants Now Open: 2020 Request for Applications

    Deadline to Apply - February 26, 2020 (11:59 p.m. ET)

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is excited to announce the availability of approximately $44 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funds to support projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of older diesel engines. Under this competition, between 40 and 60 awards are anticipated to be made to eligible applicants.

    Application packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. (ET) to be considered for funding.

    Visit the DERA web page for more information

    Important Dates

    Activity Date
    Request for Applications (RFA) OPEN Monday, December 9, 2019
    Information Session Webinars
    Wednesday, December 11, 2019; 1:00 p.m. (ET)
     
    Wednesday, December 18, 2019; 3:00 p.m. (ET)
     
    Tuesday, January 14, 2020; 3:00 p.m. (ET)
     
    1+ (202) 991-0477, 4149804# (audio dial-in number)
    Questions and Answers Document
    Deadline for Submittal of Questions
    February 14, 2020 at 4 p.m. ET
    Deadline for Applications Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at 11:59  p.m. (ET)
    Notification of Selected Applicants May 2020
    Funding of Awards June-October, 2020


    Eligible Applicants

    The following U.S. entities are eligible to apply for DERA National Grants:

    • Regional, state, local or tribal agencies/consortia or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality
    • Nonprofit organizations or institutions that represent or provide pollution reduction or educational services to persons or organizations that own or operate diesel fleets or have the promotion of transportation or air quality as their principal purpose.


    School districts, municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), cities and counties are all eligible entities to the extent that they fall within the definition above.


    Eligible Uses of Funding

    Eligible diesel vehicles, engines and equipment 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 diesel emission reduction projects including:


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

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

    Informational Webinars

    2020 DERA National Grants

    Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 12 to 1 p.m. CST
    Join at: https://meet.lync.com/usepa/swift.faye/TG550JGJ

    Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 2 to 3 p.m. CST
    Join at: https://meet.lync.com/usepa/swift.faye/GKLCM5S6

    Wednesday, January 14, 2019 at 2 to 3 p.m. CST
    Join at: https://meet.lync.com/usepa/swift.faye/Q4CD0Z03

    Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
    Participant Code: 4149804#

    Webinar Highlights

    • Program Details
    • Changes This Year
    • Eligible Entities, Projects, Vehicles, Engines & Equipment
    • Funding: Availability, Project Funding Percentage, Restrictions
    • Proposal Submission
    • Evaluation Criteria
    • Potential Pitfalls
    • Tools, Resources and Support
    • Question & Answer Period


    If you have questions, please contact [email protected].

    Visit the DERA web page for more information


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