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Archive of posts published in the category: emission
May
9

Low or No Emission Vehicle Program – 5339(c)

What’s New

Overview

The Low or No Emission competitive program provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses as well as acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. Under the FAST Act, $55 million per year is available until fiscal year 2020.

  • Watch our four-minute video highlighting the Low and No-Emission Grant Program, which supports new technologies that are changing the makeup of bus fleets nationwide.  

Allocation of Funding

Funding is allocated to projects on a competitive basis, from proposals submitted to FTA in response to a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Past project selections include:

Technical Assistance

  • View the April 2018 National RTAP Webinar: FTA Low No Emissions Program Grant Writing
  • FTA contracts with the National Renewable Energy Lab to evaluate zero-emission bus research and demonstration projects. 
  • FTA hosted webinars on deploying low- or no-emission buses that feature speakers from agencies that have been successful in introducing zero-emission buses, including recipients of FTA’s Low-No grants. 

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include direct recipients of FTA grants under the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula program, states, and Indian Tribes. Except for projects proposed by Indian Tribes, proposals for funding eligible projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated state proposal. States and other eligible applicants also may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas.

Eligible Activities

Eligible projects include:

  • purchasing or leasing low- or no-emission buses
  • acquiring low- or no-emission buses with a leased power source
  • constructing or leasing facilities and related equipment (including intelligent technology and software) for low- or no-emission buses
  • constructing new public transportation facilities to accommodate low- or no-emission buses
  • rehabilitating or improving existing public transportation facilities to accommodate low- or no-emission buses

Statutory Reference

49 U.S.C. 5339 (c)/FAST Act Section 3017

Funding Availability

Funds are available the year appropriated plus three years. 

Match

All eligible expenses under the Low-No Program are attributable to compliance with the Clean Air Act and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Therefore the Federal share of the cost of leasing or purchasing a transit bus is not to exceed 85 percent of the total transit bus cost. The federal share in the cost of leasing or acquiring low- or no-emission bus-related equipment and facilities is 90 percent of the net project cost.  

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Apr
3

Obama slams rollback of vehicle emission standards in rare rebuke of Trump

“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic. We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall,” Obama wrote in a tweet.
The comment is notable as the former President seldom publicly criticizes his successor, who has focused on undoing his legacy — particularly his environmental and climate policies. Three years ago, Obama similarly lamented President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the landmark Paris climate agreement, saying the move adds the administration to “a small handful of nations that reject the future.”

The finalized rule, prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation, calls for fuel economy and emission standards to increase by 1.5% annually, rather than the approximately 5% increases in the 2012 rule. According to the rule, the standards will increase to 40.4 miles per gallon by vehicle model year 2026, about six miles per gallon fewer than the 2012 rule.

In introducing the rule, the Trump administration said it was performing what it called “the largest deregulatory initiative of this administration.”

The change “reflects the realities of today’s markets,” the administration said, such as more interest in SUVs over smaller cars and automakers’ current use of credits to meet their targets.

According to The New York Times, which first reported on the details of the finalized rule, a recent draft plan showed that the rule would allow for nearly a billion more tons of carbon dioxide released, as well as 80 billion more gallons of gasoline consumed.

The administration said Tuesday that it believes the rule will cut the average cost of a new car by $1,000, resulting in more Americans replacing their older vehicles with newer ones that have more advanced safety features. That will result in fewer highway fatalities, it said.

The former President wasn’t alone in his criticism of the change on Tuesday.

Gina McCarthy, his former EPA administrator who now heads the Natural Resources Defense Council, argued that “gutting the clean car standards makes no sense.”

“It will harm the air we breathe, stall progress in fighting the climate crisis and increase the cost of driving. The only winner from this action is the oil industry, which wants us stuck driving dirty gas guzzlers as long as possible,” McCarthy said in a statement Tuesday.

The rule, expected to be implemented in late spring, is likely to draw legal challenges from several states, according to The New York Times.

CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi, Gregory Wallace and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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