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News (Archive)

05.26.17

FHWA CMAQ Emissions Calculator

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Natural Environment has developed a series of tools to provide technical support and resources for the implementation of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. The  Alternative Fuels and Vehicles component provides estimates of emission reductions for CMAQ-funded projects where users are purchasing alternative fuel vehicles to replace a conventional fuel fleet or developing new alternative fuel infrastructure with restricted or unrestricted access. The tool uses emissions rates based on a national-scale run of the EPA MOVES model and alternative fuel factors from Argonne National Laboratory's AFLEET Tool.  Detailed use and methodology are explained in accompanying documentation provided on the FHWA website.  The entire toolkit can be accessed here

05.23.17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS CONTACT: Chris Hogan 202.545.4025, CHogan [at] growthenergy [dot] org

American Drivers Surpass 1 Billion Miles on Earth-kind, Engine-Smart E15 Saving up to $72 Million by End of 2017

Cleaner-burning, high-octane E15 has fueled more than 1 billion miles for American motorists around the country 

WASHINGTON, DC — American consumers have helped E15 – a fuel containing 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline – reach a significant milestone. According to Growth Energy’s ongoing analysis of fuel sales and consumption data reported by major gasoline retailers, drivers across the United States have logged more than 1 billion miles on E15 – attesting to the fuel’s performance, safety, and value. The availability of E15 could save consumers up to $72 million by the end of 2017, based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data.

“American drivers are taking advantage of the proven performance, environmental benefits, and savings E15 provides,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “That’s why Congress should pass the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act and give drivers freedom to choose E15 year-round. This common-sense fix to the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) law will end confusing restrictions on retailers and allow consumers to choose a fuel that is kinder to the earth, good for their engines, and saves them up to 10 cents per gallon each trip to the pump in the summer.”

Growth Energy is proud to celebrate this milestone and highlight the value E15 delivers in terms of better performance, reduction of toxic emissions, and savings at the pump. Today, E15 is sold at more than 800 retail outlets across 29 states, and its availability continues to grow each day because 21st century drivers are demanding 21st century fuels.

The EPA approves E15 for use in any vehicle manufactured since 2001, which equates to 9 out of 10 cars on the road today. Automakers also approve E15 for use in nearly three-quarters of new cars.

 

05.22.17

Expect debate over how North Carolina should spend $92 million from automaker’s emission-cheating settlement. 
Posted by Catherine Clabby in North Carolina Health News.

Centralina staff and others from across the state weigh in on this potentially very impactful and impending funding opportunity.  Click here to read the full article.

 

05.10.17

The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition is proud to award Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for Excellence in Clean Transportation and Clean Fuel Activities!


Patsy Kinsey (City of Charlotte Councilmember and Centralina Council of Government (CCOG) Chairperson), Chris Facente (CCFC Chairman & Automotive Supervisor at UNC-Charlotte), and Jason Wager (CCFC Coordinator and CCOG Planning Program Supervisor) are proud to recognize Bryan Steiner and CMS with an annual Region of Excellence Award at the May 2017 CCOG Board of Delegates meeting.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), through the leadership of Bryan Steiner, Construction Engineer and long-time stakeholder in the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, has made an effort in recent years to explore alternative fuels and clean transportation technologies.  Bryan researched and supported the purchase of 2 propane buses, 5 propane F550's, 5 propane bi-fuel E-350 vans, (via Roush CleanTech and Fontaine Modification) and 4 neighborhood electric vehicles (Club Car) by the Building Services and bus fleets at CMS.  These 16 alternative fuel vehicles displaced 12,750 gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) and reduced Greenhouse Gas emissions by 15.4 tons in 2016.  In addition, CMS also has idle reduction and route optimization programs in place that have further displaced an estimated 180,454 gallons of petroleum in 2016 alone!

These alternatively fueled vehicles replaced older more polluting equipment, saving money on lower cost fuel, improving air quality, and reducing dependence on traditional petroleum.  The reduced PM and NOx emissions compared to the vehicles these replaced are of special interest given their constant operation around school children, one of the most vulnerable segments of the population from a health perspective.

CMS’s efforts to solve for fuel infrastructure location, permitting, and logistics, the purchasing and specifying of vehicle packages that could use alternative fuels while accomplishing the work required, and structuring a fueling contract with Amerigas, all helped to make the operational and financial case.  

Combined, these activities support the Clean Cities mission and illustrate a dedication and passion for making a difference for our children’s health and a more sustainable region now and in the future.

Special thanks to CCFC Award Committee members Chris Facente (UNC-Charlotte), Brian Funderburk (Amerigas), Megan Green (Mecklenburg County Air Quality), and Lang Reynolds (Duke Energy).



 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Propane Fueling demonstration led by Bryan Steiner of CMS during a CCFC Core Stakeholder meeting, January 2017 

05.09.17

Jason Wager, CCFC Coordinator, was recently mentioned in a Centralina Council of Government newsletter article for his election to serve on the National Clean Cities Coordinator Council. Click the following link to read the article titled "Centralina COG Staff Members Receive Recognition for Great Work Across the Region." 

 

05.09.17

Please join the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition for an upcoming workshop hosted in partnership with the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster on the deployment of Autonomous Vehicles. 

Date: May 19, 2017
Time: 8am - 10am
Location: RTP Headquarters, 12 Davis Drive, RTP, NC 27709

Registration

North Carolina is leading the way in the development of smart cities and smart transportation technologies. One technology set to take center stage as the cities of the future emerge across our state is autonomous/automated vehicles. The Research Triangle Region is home to organizations making significant strides in all aspects of this technology from research to policy and even deployment.

This is your chance to hear about current developments and future deployments from the influencers in the region. The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster is partnering with Triangle J Council of Governments/Triangle Clean Cities to bring you this event.

Moderator, John Hodges-Copple, Triangle J Council of Governments
Beau Memory, NC Turnpike Authority
Missy Cummings, Humans and Autonomy Laboratory, Duke University
John Breitenbach, Real-Time Innovations

05.09.17

Proterra, a heavy-duty electric transportation company, has announced the company is initiating an autonomous bus program with the University of Nevada, Reno, and its Living Lab Coalition partners.

As reported, the Living Lab Coalition partners include the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, the Nevada Governor’s Office for Economic Development, Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, and the cities of Reno, Sparks and Carson City, Nev.

Unlike other programs to date, this autonomous vehicle pilot will deal with real road conditions from the perspective of public transit systems and emphasize the most challenging aspects related to mass transportation, which include dense and dynamic environments, degraded conditions and a need for swift emergency response.

Read the full article from NGT News – Next-Gen Transportation here.

05.01.17

On April 26, 2017, NGV America reports that:

A new survey of utility customers nationwide has named Piedmont Natural Gas a Top Utility Environmental Champion of 2017 for initiatives such as slashing emissions in its vehicle fleet and making its facilities more energy efficient...

...Piedmont has taken a lead role in championing the use of cleaner, lower-cost CNG as a transportation fuel, resulting in a surge in CNG demand from trucks and other fleet vehicles. Piedmont is nearing completion of its 11th public CNG refueling station, located near the junction of Interstate 40 and U.S. 321 in Hickory, North Carolina. The company has also converted about one-third of its own corporate fleet of approximately 900 vehicles to run on CNG.

The full story can be read here:
http://ngv.com/u-s-survey-ranks-piedmont-natural-gas-a-top-utility-environmental-champion/

04.27.17


On April 27, 2017 the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the opportunity to apply for up to $55 million in competitive grant funds through FTA’s Low or No Emission (Low-No) Bus Program. The Low-No program supports projects sponsored by local transit agencies to bring advanced, American-made bus technologies such as battery electric power, natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells into service nationwide.

“FTA is proud to support investment in the next generation of transit buses, which will help riders across the country get to work, school, and other important destinations more comfortably and efficiently,” said FTA Executive Director Matthew Welbes. “The Low-No program exemplifies FTA’s commitment to spurring innovation in public transportation.”

FTA will award the grants to eligible transit agencies, state transportation departments, and Native American tribes on a competitive basis. Projects will be evaluated by criteria defined in federal law and in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, including the applicant’s demonstration of need; the project’s anticipated reductions in energy consumption compared to standard buses; and local strategy and capacity for implementing the project.

The application deadline is June 26, 2017. Project selections will be announced within 75 days of the closing of the application period, and no later than September 30, 2017.

https://www.transit.dot.gov/about/news/us-department-transportation-announces-55-million-funding-opportunity-clean-energy

04.20.17

National Clean Diesel RFP

The DERA RFP is now open!  It will remain open until June 20th.  The RFP and supporting material have been posted on EPA's Clean Diesel Page.  It can also be accessed at grants.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

EPA will respond to questions from individual applicants regarding threshold eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the proposal, and requests for clarification about any of the language or provisions in the announcement through a “Frequently Asked Questions” document. Applicants may email written questions to: cleandiesel [at] epa [dot] gov. Please type “RFP Question” in the subject line of your email. 

All questions submitted via email by 4:00 p.m. ET each Friday during the RFP open period will be answered and posted in the FAQ document the following week. The deadline for submitting questions via email is Friday, June 9, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. ET. The estimated final posting of the FAQ document will be Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

RFP Information Sessions

EPA will host two Information Sessions regarding this Request for Proposals via teleconference/webinar, based on the schedule below. EPA will attempt to answer any questions in these public forums. Registration is not required, just click on link below to join the webinar.

2017 Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program Overview

Webinar #1 - May 2, 2017 [Link to join webinar]
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Webinar #2 - May 9, 2017 [Link to join webinar]
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Call In Number: 866-299-3188
Conference Code: 3439147#
Instructions: Use *6 to mute, #6 to unmute

 

Centralina Council of Governments
9815 David Taylor Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262

Part of the U.S.
DOE Clean Cities
National Network