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News Briefs | 04.10.17

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April 10, 2017

Coalition Hosts Natural Gas Port Trucks Workshop

The Coalition and the California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership are presenting a workshop April 25 for fleet owners and others about how ultralow-NOx RNG engines can deliver the performance and reliability port trucks need, accelerate the deployment of cost-effective near-zero-emission trucks, and clean up Southern California’s ports more quickly. Topics will include commercially available options for zero- and near-zero-emission trucking and RNG fueling in the region’s fueling network. The workshop will be held in Wilmington. Learn more and register.

Rollback of Federal Climate Change Rules Offers Mixed Blessing

President Trump’s executive order to roll back climate change progress puts individual states in near-complete charge of their climate change rules. That means California could continue to lead the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants with less interference from federal agencies. In addition, the order’s focus on the Clean Power Plan and fossil fuel sources may make gasoline more expensive, thereby enlarging the market for natural gas fuels.

CARB Approves SLCP Plan to Reduce Super Pollutants

CARB has approved a new Short-lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Reduction Strategy to reduce super pollutants, including black carbon, fluorinated gases, and methane. A key part of the SLCP strategy is a new regulation that would reduce methane leaks from oil and gas operations by requiring emissions-capture technology and stricter monitoring and reporting of potential methane leaks. The rule would be fully in effect by 2020.

The SLCP strategy is part of the emission-reduction framework being developed in the draft proposed 2030 scoping plan, along with the cap-and-trade program, the mobile source strategy, and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

CARB Appoints Its First Environmental Justice Liaison

CARB has appointed Veronica Eady as the agency’s first assistant executive officer for environmental justice. Eady will serve as the board’s primary contact on environmental justice issues, advise CARB staff, and participate in the development and implementation of CARB programs to ensure consideration of environmental justice and tribal concerns. The Coalition will set up a meeting with her in the near future.

Eady is currently vice president and director of Conservation Law Foundation Massachusetts and was associate general counsel and director of environmental justice at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.

CEC to Reduce Funding for Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Technology

The CEC plans to reduce funding for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) in the 2017­–18 Investment Plan update, if approved in the proposed state budget.

All programs would be cut 2.8 percent. The proposed allocations are: $9.7 million to NGVs (a $300,000 cut), $17.5 million to advanced freight and fleet technologies ($500,000 less), and $2.4 million to natural gas fueling infrastructure (down by $100,000). Coalition President Thomas Lawson, who serves on the ARFVTP advisory committee, will testify at an April 22 hearing in support of fully funding these programs.

After the Investment Plan update, the ARFVTP will be required to fund program support costs from motor vehicle fees rather than utility ratepayer fees. As a result, ARFVTP will receive $2.8 million less funding in the 2017­–18 fiscal year. Comments can be made here.

CARB Accepting Low-NOx Engine Vouchers, Approves Incentive Models

CARB is now accepting new vouchers for all categories of the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), a joint program between CARB and CALSTART. It provides incentives for the purchase of zero-emission and hybrid trucks and buses and ultralow-NOx natural gas engines. The program’s ultralow-NOx natural gas engine amount for this year is $4,084.

Also, CARB has approved Peterbilt 2018 models 520 and 320—which will have a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,000 to 80,000 pounds—for the HVIP. These will be eligible for incentives when they are built with Cummins Westport’s new ultralow-NOx emissions engine.

New Low-NOx Natural Gas Engines Running at Southern California Ports

Total Transportation Services Inc., a drayage trucking company operating in the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, has begun using one of the first Cummins Westport ISX 12 G ultralow-NOx natural gas engines on a demo basis. The 12-liter engine will be available for order later this year and is expected to be certified by CARB to produce 90 percent less NOx than the current EPA standard for heavy-duty engines, equivalent to that of an electric truck.

CR&R Environmental Begins Using RNG to Fuel Refuse Trucks

As waste management company CR&R Environmental and SoCalGas work on a 1.4-mile-long pipeline, CR&R has begun using RNG to fuel its waste-hauling trucks. The RNG is produced at CR&R’s anaerobic digestion facility in Perris and will be stored in trailers until the pipeline is connected to the SoCalGas system. When complete in June, 320 of CR&R’s recycling and waste collection vehicles will be fueled by RNG distributed to the company’s natural gas fueling sites. The company expects to deliver 2 million cubic feet of RNG per day.

CEC Announces Awards for Natural Gas Storage Infrastructure Safety and Risk Modeling

The CEC has approved proposals by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and DNV GL for projects that will “develop advanced risk assessment models to improve underground natural gas storage infrastructure safety and integrity management.” The funding recipients will get almost $3 million and almost $2.4 million, respectively.

NGVAmerica Appoints Director of Federal Government Affairs

Allison Cunningham, former manager of federal affairs at Spectra Energy Corp., will be NGVAmerica’s new director of federal government affairs. Cunningham will lead advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies on issues important to the NGV industry. Cunningham has also served on the government affairs team at the American Gas Association and worked as the deputy chief of staff to New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce.

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