CARB has announced a partial California consent decree settling violations of the Clean Air Act by 2009–16 Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche 3-liter diesel vehicles equipped with a defeat device that reduced the effectiveness of the emissions control system.
Negotiated by CARB, the EPA, the California Attorney General, and the U.S. Department of Justice, the decree requires the automakers to pay $225 million into a national mitigation fund. California will receive $41 million from that fund for in-state mitigation programs designed to address the additional NOx emissions released by the vehicles. The automakers must also pay CARB $25 million by July 1 to support efforts to make zero-emission vehicles more readily available to Californians.
This settlement is in addition to the $1.2 billion settlement Volkswagen previously reached with the state as part of the partial consent decree for 2-liter diesel vehicles.
On Jan. 24, the Port of Long Beach Clean Energy station is hosting the Coalition’s Next-Generation Natural Gas Truck Experience. Aimed at drivers and trucking company owners operating at California’s ports, the event lets licensed drivers take a heavy-duty natural gas truck for a test drive (their colleagues can ride shotgun).
This is the second of three such events designed to help introduce the port community, an early adopter of NGVs, to the latest natural gas technologies. The Coalition’s partners in these events, including Clean Energy Fuels, Cummins Westport, SoCalGas, Agility Fuel Solutions, and Chart Inc., will have a range of heavy-duty trucks running Cummins Westport’s low-emission 12-liter natural gas engines on display, including one equipped with the near-zero-NOx engine. The third ride-and-drive event is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 23.
“Ultimately, we hope to educate the port community that RNG trucks with low-NOx engines are the quickest, lowest-cost, and most reliable pathway to get to zero emissions at the ports,” said Greg Roche, Clean Energy vice president. “The infrastructure for fueling, service, and support already exists throughout Southern California for natural gas—it’s just time to refresh and update fleets to the new low-NOx technologies.”
The CEC has proposed awarding $1.5 million to three school districts’ proposals for the Grant Solicitation GFO-16-602, which funds projects to establish or expand natural NGV infrastructure. Lemoore Union High School District, a Kings County school district in the San Joaquin Valley, will receive $500,000 to expand its CNG facility. Kings Canyon Unified School District in Fresno County will receive $500,000 for its Central California Air Restoration Project. And Exeter Unified School District in Tulare County will receive $500,000 to build a CNG fueling station. The grants fall under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
The U.S. Department of Energy has pledged as much as $15 million to community-based projects—including NGV programs—that boost the adoption of alternative-fuel vehicles. Projects can involve light-, medium-, or heavy-duty vehicles and “connected and autonomous vehicles as well as new transportation system models.” The DOE is also looking for “highly innovative ‘living lab’ demonstration projects that integrate smart mobility technologies in a holistic approach” to moving people or goods. The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is managing the program and the funding, which is subject to congressional appropriations.
The ISO has published two international standards to guide the development of CNG and LNG infrastructure. ISO 16923 and ISO 16924 enable companies to define requirements for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and inspection of CNG and LNG fueling stations.
Manteca has received a $1.8 million grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to help offset the cost of a $6 million CNG fueling station. The station is part of the city’s effort to convert food waste into fuel for its garbage trucks. Located at Manteca’s wastewater treatment plant, the facility is expected to begin producing 140,000 to 256,000 dge of CNG annually in two years.
Ultimate CNG has received final U.S. patent approval for its mobile CNG fueling station, called the FuelMule. The technology is a self-contained, fast-fill mobile CNG station with on-board storage. It requires no on-site natural gas or electric power connections.