The federal Clean Air Act requires the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate areas as attainment or non-attainment to help implement air quality standards. In a letter from NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) secretary, Donald van der Vaart, dated September 30, 2016, the State of North Carolina recommended that the entire state be considered in attainment for ozone based on DEQ analysis of the most recent air quality data for the state relative to the October 2015 8-hour standard for ozone.
The 2016 Plug-in NC Summit will be held Tuesday, November 15th from 9:00 am - 11:30 am.
This event will take place at the Park Alumni Center in Raleigh, NC. This event is free, however, registration is required.
In light of the impact Hurricane Matthew has had on our state this past week, we wanted to share some information resources and a recent article we posted related to resilience.
With many working to recover from this latest natural disaster, some information resources to support post-Hurricane Matthew efforts and long term planning include the following:
- To see a Google map of resources for those affected by Hurricane Matthew, click here (https://goo.gl/IUUODV)
- Current updates related to Hurrican Matthew rescue efforts, can be viewed by checking the NC Emergency Management's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NCEmergency/)
- For longer term planning and coordination of emergency management information for North Carolina's local governments, a clearinghouse website is operated by the NC League of Municipalities at http://www.readynclocal.org/
- Additionally, the National Association of State Energy Officials' "Initiative for Resiliency in Energy through Vehicles" (iREV) brings together a unique cross-section of practitioners in emergency management, energy assurance, homeland security, and transportation to support the incorporation of alternative fuel vehicles in emergency response and preparedness operations--also many may be interested in a timely IREV Southeast Regional Workshop to be held on Wednesday, October 19 in Savannah, Georgia that will take place from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. as part of the larger International Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference
As we recover from Hurricane Matthew, our attention is inevitably drawn to ways we might prepare for and reduce the impacts of future natural disasters. In a recent report, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy defined resilience as a community’s reduction of and better preparation for risk. The components of risk – and thus resilience – can be divided into hazards, vulnerability, and capacity to cope. With North Carolina being no stranger to hazards such as hurricanes and ice storms, community resilience infrastructure should be made a priority for the safety of our communities for both man-made and natural disasters.
It is important to include alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in community resilience planning efforts since they promote fuel diversification, allowing critical public services to continue, reducing recovery time, and strengthening resiliency to disasters and other emergency events.
The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) tracks funding opportunities to help municipalities, regions, and states incorporate alternative fuels in their emergency management planning. In addition, Clean Cities coalitions and coordinators are a valuable resource to emergency management and fleet decision makers by providing information on alternative fuels and connecting them with stakeholders who have experience using alternative fuels.
According to the National Association of State Energy Officials, petroleum products provide 92% of the total energy needed to supply the transportation sector in the United States. This dependence on petroleum makes communities vulnerable to disasters and emergencies that interrupt petroleum fuel supplies. The CCFC has been assisting the greater Charlotte region for over a decade in the deployment of alternative fuel technologies. Here are several ways that alternative fuels/AFVs impact or help community resilience:
- Encourage fuel diversification;
- Improve response time and recovery and restoration capabilities;
- Meet essential public services during times of disaster (e.g., utility restoration, debris removal, evacuation, emergency response, food delivery);
- Mitigate demand spikes for petroleum fuels;
- Allow uninterrupted fuel supply (e.g., natural gas is distributed via underground pipeline, so delivery is not disrupted);
- Advanced vehicle technologies, such as electric vehicle-to-grid can become a power provider
- Reduce downtime and suppress negative economic impact; and bImprove public confidence in government capability to provide services in times of disaster
As efforts are taken to improve your organization's and community's resilience, don't hesitate to contact the CCFC to discuss project ideas, funding opportunities, and ways to get involved in the Clean Cities network. This article was originally posted in the Centralina Council of Governments July 2016 e-newsletter.
Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition is proud to expand its long standing partnership with NC State’s Clean Energy Technology Center through the new Fuel What Matters Campaign. Fuel What Matters is about education and awareness. It’s also about choices. Daily choices. Just about every decision we make during the day has an impact on our environment. This web-based platform is expected to grow our collective ability to share the actions CCFC’s Stakeholders are taking every day to support and improve our communities and environment, while similarly learning new ideas from others.
Get started on making an impact today, no matter how large or small! Click here to view the Fuel What Matters web site: https://www.fuelwhatmatters.org/
The NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will provide approximately $231,500 for funding grant projects that reduce diesel emissions through the 2016 Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG).
Applications must be received by e-mail, fax or postmarked by Friday, October 28, 2016 to be considered. Please refer to the information below on the five acceptable project types:
Grant Amount Paid
|Replacement of diesel vehicle chassis and engine||25%|
|Idle reduction technology on unregulated or Tier 0 locomotives||40%|
|Repower of old chassis with new cleaner diesel engine||40%|
|Clean alternative fuel conversions, where the old chassis is retained but the engine is replaced or converted to an alternative fuel||40%|
|Retrofits (exhaust type, e.g. diesel particulate filter)||100%|
Click here for more information and links to the on-road and non-road applications.
Thank you to all who attended the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition Core Stakeholders Group meeting at UNC-Charlotte Center City Wednesday morning, 9/21/16. Whether you attended or were not able to make it this time, here’s a recap of what was presented along with links to referenced websites and handouts. Mark your calendar now for our next Core Stakeholder meeting, scheduled for the morning of 11/16/2016.
APPLY NOW for GRADE Funds
Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines (GRADE)
$350,000 Available Until October 17, 2016
$350,000 in funding is currently available through the GRADE program administered by Mecklenburg County Air Quality (MCAQ) for qualifying projects. These sub-grants of up to 50% are for the cost to fleets that want to replace older diesel-powered equipment and vehicles with newer, cleaner vehicles and equipment.
Equipment must operate at least 75% of time in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Union (NC), or York (SC) counties. To find more information on the grant program or to download the application click here.
Please contact jwager [at] centralina [dot] org (Jason Wager) of the CCFC staff to discuss and develop your project ideas.
The award nomination period for the 2016 MobileCARE Awards is now open through September 21, 2016.
For those not familiar, the Mobile Clean Air Renewable Energy Awards are an effort to recognize exemplary individual and organizational efforts in North Carolina aimed at reducing transportation related emissions, promoting fuel diversity, and encouraging efficiency through clean transportation technologies.
This year's awards include the following categories:
- Individual - Individuals that have expanded the use and understanding of best driving practices, alternative fuels, and advanced transportation technologies in their personal and professional lives.
- Technology/Fuel Provider - Businesses that support the expansion of advanced transportation technology including producers, marketers, and distributors of alternative fuel technologies.
- Policy/Organization - Public/private organizations and individuals that have been instrumental in implementing policies and programs such as local resolutions, legislative actions, and/or developing organizational priorities and policies supporting emissions reductions, alt fuels, or advanced transportation tech use.
- Fleet Leader - Public and private fleets that have successfully integrated alternative fuels and/or advanced transportation technologies into their fleet.
The selection criteria can be found in the Nomination Application. If you are aware of an organization or individual in your part of the state that deserves recognition for their efforts in the clean transportation field, please nominate them for an award. Once you've completed the nomination application, you can return the application to Matt Abele at mrabele [at] ncsu [dot] edu. If you have any questions please contact Jason Wager at jwager [at] centralina [dot] org.
The number of public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in North Carolina will jump 30 percent thanks to a new project from Duke Energy. Duke Energy's "EV Charging Infrastructure Support Project" will provide $1 million to help cities and towns develop public charging stations for residents. Duke Energy will pay 100 percent up to $5,000 per charge port; $20,000 per site, or $50,000 per city under the program. "Over the past decade, Duke Energy has supported the development of several hundred electric vehicle charging stations in North Carolina," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president, "Adoption of EVs depends on a robust infrastructure for consumers."
Duke Energy has been active in building public charging stations at parking decks, libraries and shopping areas. According to Advanced Energy, an independent, non-profit organization established by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, there are about 4,700 registered plug-in EVs and about 700 public charging ports spread out around North Carolina.
Another part of the project is an additional $500,000 devoted to cities and towns for the construction of electric bus charging stations. Again, Duke Energy will pay 100 percent for electric bus charging infrastructure up to $250,000 per entity. The programs are targeted to cities and towns, which include both retail and wholesale customers. Interested parties may apply, but are not obligated to proceed if selected as a recipient. The deadline to apply is Sept. 1. Interested parties can download the public EV charging form here. The bus charging form can be downloaded here.
If you have additional questions about the programs, email PlugIn [at] Duke-Energy [dot] com. The programs are part of a recent settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups.
Original article can be found here.
Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition Invited to “Re-Envision” Department Of Energy Program at NREL
On May 24, 2016, Charlotte Region transportation planners and Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) representatives Jason Wager of the Centralina Council of Governments and Jason Lawrence of Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) attended a workshop at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, CO. Also invited were officials from the U.S. Department of Energy and several of its Laboratories, Clean Cities Coordinators, and planning and energy leaders from regions spanning the country.
A focus of this event was the changing landscape of transportation. This included emerging transportation technologies, barriers and opportunities related to efficient and effective transportation, and how each of us play a role in our communities in forming the partnerships that will roll out the expected changes to how we move people and goods in the future. As our population continues to grow, local governments will be a key collaborator in helping to deploy new solutions to address congestion, safety, and reliability of the transportation system. In addition, attendees pointed out the need to also keep in mind energy efficiency and creating the least amount of disruption to our residents.
Current and Past Initiatives Getting Attention
This invitation spotlights several local efforts that caught the eye of workshop planners and points out that, while we have much to do, we are on the right track. Local initiatives include:
1. Smart Cities Proposal – The City of Charlotte’s recent application to the US DOT Smart Cities competition highlighted our region’s interest in tackling significant issues like first mile/last mile connection, navigating transportation options, environmental issues exacerbated by congestion, productivity loss/decreased quality of life due to congestion, and improving the economic mobility of its lower income residents, each of which can involve deployment of emerging transportation technologies. CATS’ role and knowledge in this arena specifically is noted as critical to understanding what future transportation efforts must address;
2. Charlotte Regional Alliance For Transportation (CRAFT) – Recently CCFC staff were asked to present to a gathering of the six (6) transportation planning organizations in the greater Charlotte region on the topic of Connected and Automated Vehicles and how the emergence of these technologies should be addressed in our long range planning documents and discussions;
3. Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness Planning –The “Plugging in from Mountains to Sea” statewide planning project, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program through the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, initiated a systematic approach to accommodating electric vehicles and fueling infrastructure which are expected to be key components of the future of mobility;
4. Innovation Corridors –A systematic approach to promoting economic development along key transportation corridors designated as part of the CONNECT Regional Growth Framework. This concept explores the potential to unify place making, economic development/innovation hubs, and transit, allowing communities to promote public transit and high-performance broadband coordinated with transit-oriented housing, commercial development and important public services and institutions, including education;
5. Regional Freight Mobility Plan – This plan will serve urban, suburban, and rural areas of the region by aiding in the understanding of current and future levels of freight network activity, defining feasible solutions supported by the private sector, identifying new technologies to improve freight flow and attract new businesses to the region, and guiding the region’s investments in freight infrastructure.
The Department of Energy forecasts that a re-envisioned Clean Cities program will be rolled out by this fall, following additional stakeholder engagement events in Washington DC this summer. Fortunately, our region appears to be well poised to take advantage of what will no doubt be a program focused on the future of transportation and that intentionally integrates efforts across the U.S. Departments of Energy, Transportation, and others.
About Clean Cities and the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition
The Clean Cities program, represented in the Charlotte region by the CCFC, is a national network of local coalitions focused on advancing the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security. Local stakeholders serve as the foundation of Clean Cities by working to cut petroleum use in their communities, through the deployment of technologies, alternative fuels and vehicles, and targeted programs. Stakeholders include private businesses, fuel providers, vehicle fleets, state and local government agencies, and community organizations. They support each other in providing information and resources, informing public policy, educating the public, and collaborating on transportation projects. For more information on Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, visit their website at www.4cleanfuels.com, and to learn more about the national Clean Cities program visit the website at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/.