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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: May 18, 2015

    • NGVAmerica Call to Action: Only Two Months until NCWM DGE Vote
    • Status on the Reauthorization of the Highway and Transit Program
    • Call for Nominees for 23rd Annual NGV Achievement Awards
    • Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance Announces Executive Director
    • SCAQMD Issues $22 Million for Clean Transportation Projects
    • PA DEP Continues the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program
    • PA Governor Announces New Alternative, Clean Energy Investments
    • UGI Energy Services to Build LNG Plant in Northern Pennsylvania
    • VNG Adds CNG Fueling At Two Station Locations in Texas
    • Penske Opens CNG Maintenance Location in Denver
    • American Power Group: More Engines Eligible for Texas Grant Program
    • SoCalGas Hosts Free Natural Gas Trucking Workshops


NGVAmerica Call to Action: Only Two Months until NCWM DGE Vote

In two months, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) will vote on the diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) standard.  The vote will take place at the NCWM Annual Meeting taking place July 19 – 23 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It is critical that natural gas advocates reach out to their state regulators in the next month in order to encourage them to support this important vote. 

NGVAmerica will attend the meeting to speak in support of the DGE proposal.  However, state regulators need to hear from businesses in their affected states.  We are asking members, trade allies, and other affected businesses to consider:

      1. Attending the NCWM Meeting and testify during the open session; this involves speaking from the floor during the open session; remarks are often given informally and do not have to be technical or detailed;
      2. Contacting state NCWM officials and urge them to vote for the DGE proposal;
      3. Writing a letter to your state representative urging them to support the DGE proposal and copy the NCWM Executive and others (we have prepared a sample draft letter);
      4. Contact elected officials in states where you operate and urge them to contact the states voting representative;
      5. Let us know if you state regulators have indicated how they plan to vote; and
      6. Let us know if you will be at the meeting in Philadelphia.

This standard compliments the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) standard that has been in place for more than 20 years.  Under the proposal, retailers of CNG and LNG will be able to offer these fuels in diesel gallon equivalent units.  CNG retailers would have the option of using GGE or DGE units but LNG would only be sold in DGE units.

Below are links to more information on state representatives and details on the upcoming Annual Meeting.  If your state is represented on the L&R or S&T Committees, it would be helpful to also write those officials.

As of this May, ten states now officially recognize the DGE standard as the legal method of sale for natural gas.  The latest state to do so was New Mexico, which on May 14 issued final regulations recognizing DGE for CNG and LNG.

For more details or a copy of the draft sample letter we have prepared, contact Jeff Clarke at 202.824.7364 or jclarke@www.ngvamerica.org.


Status on the Reauthorization of the Highway and Transit Program

On Friday, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced legislation to extend the highway and transit programs through the end of July.  The Chairmen indicated that while it was their preference to move an extension of the highway and transit programs through the end of the year, they still need more time to reach a bipartisan agreement on offsets.  And, since the Highway Trust Fund has sufficient resources to fund its obligations through the end of July, this legislation will allow transportation spending to continue through July, while the Committees work towards closing the Trust Fund’s shortfall.  It is likely that this will be a “clean” bill and that no amendments, such as the LNG tax equity fix, may be offered.

For more information, contact Paul Kerkhoven at 202.824.7363 or pkerkhoven@www.ngvamerica.org.


Call for Nominees for 23rd Annual NGV Achievement Awards

May 18, 2015

NGVAmerica has issued a call for nominations for the 23rd Annual NGV Achievement Awards, which will be presented at the 2015 North American NGV Conference & Expo in Denver, Colorado, Tuesday, September 15.  The awards recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of natural gas as a vehicular fuel.  They are awarded to stakeholders from all segments: industry equipment and service suppliers, policymakers, customers and clean air/clean transportation advocate-allies.  Note that only NGVAmerica members may make nominations; although, nominees are not required to be NGVAmerica members. When nominating a person, please consider that most individual awards fall under, “Lifetime Achievement” status which are rarely presented; often, the company or organization is a more suitable nomination than one or more individuals. Please reference past recipients by following the link below to serve as examples of notable award winners.

Deadline: Nominations are due Friday, July 17.  For further details and to download nomination paperwork, visit the NGVAmerica website here.

For more information, contact Tom Sheehan at 207.925.1136 or tsheehan@www.ngvamerica.org.


Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance Announces Executive Director

May 11, 2015

The Board of Directors of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) announced the appointment of Bruce Winchester as Executive Director of the CNGVA.

“I am very pleased to welcome Bruce to the CNGVA,” said Doug Stout, Chair of the CNGVA Board of Directors.  “Bruce’s extensive government and public policy experience will be invaluable as we work to expand the use of natural gas in Canada as a clean, affordable, and safe transportation fuel.”

Prior to joining the CNGVA, Mr. Winchester served in a variety of posts in the not for profit and government sectors.   With two decades of experience in public-policy, advocacy, and communications he has extensive experience working with stakeholders and industry associations to identify emerging economic opportunities and challenges.

Mr. Winchester has an undergraduate degree in political science and history from the University of Toronto, and a master’s degree in political science and history from the University of Windsor.

Mr. Winchester assumed his role at CNGVA effective May 11, 2015. He will also serve as Canada’s representative to the Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.


SCAQMD Issues $22 Million for Clean Transportation Projects

May 11, 2015

In California, the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) has released three new solicitations for Clean Transportation Funding: 1) the 2015 Local Government Match Program; 2) Major Event Center Transportation Programs; and 3) Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Funding Opportunities. These programs have more than $22 million available for clean transportation projects.

The 2015 Local Government Match Program provides matching funds to cities and counties for qualifying projects. The cities and counties must be located within the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Categories of interest to the NGV industry this year include alternative-fuel infrastructure, fleet maintenance facility upgrades, medium- and heavy-duty alternative fuel vehicles, and street sweeping operations in the Coachella Valley. The deadline for submission is September 4, 2015.

The MSRC has offered funding for implementation of Event Center Transportation programs for the past four years.  Major event center destinations located in the SCAQMD are the targets for this funding opportunity and include sports arenas, fairgrounds, stadiums, race tracks, speedways, Convention Centers, etc. This Event Center Transportation Program funding opportunity spans two fiscal years – FY 2015 and FY 2016.  This is intended to provide additional flexibility in the development and implementation of event center transportation projects. The deadline for submission is July 29, 2016.

The third solicitation provides incentive funding to assist in the construction of alternative fuel refueling infrastructure within the SCAQMD. Categories include funding for construction of new or expanded alternative fuel fueling stations and incentives for the modification of fleet maintenance facilities. The funding opportunity includes public and private site owners, fleet owners, infrastructure providers, fuel providers and school districts. Funding is available for the construction or expansion of alternative fuel refueling stations; incentives to fleets to upgrade their existing vehicle maintenance facilities; and support fleets purchasing alternative fuel vehicles. The deadline for submission is July 29, 2016.

Anyone interested in potentially partnering with CALSTART may contact Jasna Tomic at jtomic@calstart.org or 626.744.5695. The solicitations are available on the MSRC’s homepage.


PA DEP Continues the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program

May 12, 2015

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the continuation of Pennsylvania’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program, which provides $1,000 rebates to commonwealth residents for natural gas vehicles, as well as propane, hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles. CNG original equipment, manufacturer retrofits, or certified conversions to CNG or propane are also eligible for the $1,000 rebate. DEP provides these rebates as incentives to assist Pennsylvanians with the incremental cost of purchasing an alternative fuel vehicle.

To qualify, the vehicle must be registered in Pennsylvania, operated primarily in-state, and be purchased no more than six months before the rebate application is submitted. The rebates are funded by the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program, which is supported by a gross receipts tax on utilities.

The program also extends the $2,000 rebate for large-battery system plug-in hybrid electric and battery-electric vehicles. DEP is also extending rebates of $1,000 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles. A $500 rebate is available for electric motorcycles and scooters.

To apply for a rebate and for more information, click here.


PA Governor Announces New Alternative, Clean Energy Investments

May 14, 2015

Governor Wolf announced that the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) approved funding to support seven new Alternative and Clean Energy (ACE) projects with the investment of more than $8.12 million in grants and $1.74 million in loans.

“The projects approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority will help to improve the environment and safeguard the state’s future,” Governor Wolf said. “Investing in alternative and clean energy technologies helps to reinvigorate Pennsylvania’s path to success as an energy leader.”

The CFA approved three Alternative Energy Production projects, two High Performance Building projects and two CNG projects through the state’s Alternative and Clean Energy (ACE) program.

The CFA investments in Allegheny, Centre, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lycoming, Philadelphia and Wyoming counties are projected to result in nearly $93 million in additional economic investments.

The ACE Program provides financial assistance in the form of grants and loan funds used by eligible applicants for the utilization, development and construction of alternative and clean energy projects in Pennsylvania.

For more information about the CFA and a complete list of approved projects, visit www.newpa.com or call 866.466.3972.


UGI Energy Services to Build LNG Plant in Northern Pennsylvania

May 14, 2015

UGI Energy Services announced plans to build an LNG production facility in northern Pennsylvania that will utilize Marcellus Shale gas and will support the growing demand for LNG in the transportation and high-horsepower markets.

The proposed facility will be adjacent to UGI Energy Services’ Manning natural gas compression station located in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. Natural gas will be supplied by its Auburn gathering system, which transports Marcellus Shale gas produced from local wells to major interstate pipelines serving markets in the Mid-Atlantic region. The LNG plant, which will include both liquefaction and local storage, is expected to be in full commercial operation by early 2017 and have the capability of producing 120,000 gallons of LNG per day. The total capital investment will be approximately $60 million.

UGI Energy Services, through its wholly owned subsidiary UGI LNG, Inc., currently owns and operates the Temple LNG facility located near Reading, Pennsylvania. This facility includes 15 million gallons of LNG storage capacity and a liquefaction plant that has been recently expanded to produce up to 120,000 gallons of LNG per day.

“The market for liquefied natural gas continues to grow thanks to its affordable cost and environmental benefits when compared to other petroleum products,” said Brad Hall, President of UGI Energy Services. “As a result, truck fleets, oil and gas drilling rigs and remote industrial users not tied to the natural gas grid continue to switch to LNG. In the coming years, we also expect the use of LNG to increase in marine, rail, and mining applications.


VNG Adds CNG Fueling At Two Station Locations in Texas

May 12, 2015

VNG.Co announced the addition of CNG fueling at a Valero-branded gasoline station in Houston and a Shell-branded gasoline station in Euless, outside of Dallas. To mark the occasion, both locations will offer CNG by VNG for a limited-time promotional price of 99 cents per GGE.

“The addition of these station locations and the promotional offer is an invitation to area fleets and consumers to come see what the future of CNG fueling is all about,” said Robert Friedman, Chief Operating Officer of VNG.

The station construction projects were funded in part by the State of Texas through an Alternative Fueling Facilities Program Grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). “TCEQ funding provides an important catalyst to the market and is an integral part of a comprehensive state effort to promote natural gas for transportation as a key component of emission reduction efforts,” stated Mr. Friedman.

VNG plans to open additional retail CNG facilities in the Houston and Dallas metro areas this year. For more information, VNG’s website at www.vng.co or call 610.709.5500.


Penske Opens CNG Maintenance Location in Denver

May 13, 2015

A grand opening event took place in Denver as Penske Truck Leasing announced a new facility that is equipped to provide contract truck fleet maintenance services for CNG vehicles. The location is also a full-service truck leasing, and consumer and commercial truck rental facility.

“This new district location was built to correspond with our regional growth,” said Rick Pytlik, Penske Truck Leasing Senior Vice President for the Western Region. “We’re now centrally located amongst our customer base and highly visible from I-70.”

The 19,930 sq. ft. facility features four truck services bays, an automated wash bay and is housed on 10.2 acres.


American Power Group: More Engines Eligible for Texas Grant Program

May 13, 2015

American Power Group announced that it has received notice from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TECQ) that its dual fuel conversion applications for eligibility under the Emission Reduction Incentive Grants (ERIG) Program in the State of Texas have been accepted for an additional 66 EPA approved Class 8 APG dual fuel engine families.

In November 2014, APG announced that notice of approval had been received from TECQ for an initial listing of 400+ APG engine families. The TECQ administers the ERIG Program under the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) to provide grant funding for projects in certain eligible areas of Texas to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) through the replacement, repower or retrofit of heavy-duty vehicles and equipment. Legislation addresses NOx reduction eligibility standards for projects to convert heavy-duty on-road diesel engines to operate under dual fuel configurations that use natural gas and diesel fuel. American Power Group applied for ERIG eligibility based on the prerequisite Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of APG’s dual fuel conversion systems as listed on the EPA website. Fleet and equipment owners can apply for these grants based on eligible emission reduction engine technologies. The grant recipient may be eligible for reimbursement of the incremental cost of the purchase and installation of the retrofit and/or add-on technology. The grant amounts are variable and may range from several thousand dollars up to $15,000.


SoCalGas Hosts Free Natural Gas Trucking Workshops

May 12, 2015

In an effort to expand the awareness and adoption of natural gas and alternative fuels for heavy-duty trucking and goods movement, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will host a series of free workshops in Southern and Central California. The series begins May 12 in Riverside and continues through October in locations including Los Angeles, Bakersfield and San Diego.

Current data shows some 200,000 heavy-duty trucks operate currently in Southern California. The goal of the series is to deliver information to fleet operators and owners to help them understand and assess the economic and environmental alternatives for heavy-duty trucks fueling. Representatives from SoCalGas will join experts on energy policy, environmental regulations and vehicles to discuss the benefits of fueling with alternative clean, proven technology.

Fleet operators who have already transitioned to natural gas-powered trucks will be available at the workshops to share their first-hand experiences. Ryder System, whose heavy-duty trucks have logged 30 million miles on CNG since 2011, will display new CNG-powered trucks.

For workshop questions, call 818.414.9329. To register online, please visit the natural gas trucking workshop information web page. The following is the complete workshop schedule.

May 12, 2015 6:00 p.m.
Inland Empire
Riverside Convention Center
3637 Fifth Street Riverside, CA

May 19, 2015 6:00 p.m.
San Joaquin Valley
Hodel’s Country Dining, Bakersfield
5917 Knudsen Dr. Bakersfield, CA

July 14, 2015 6:00 p.m.
Los Angeles — Port Area
Banning’s Landing Community Center, Wilmington
100 E Water St. Wilmington, CA

September 15, 2015 6:00 p.m.
San Diego
Bully’s East Restaurant
2401 Camino Del Rio South San Diego, CA

October 14, 2015 6:00 p.m.
Los Angeles — Downey
SoCalGas Energy Resource Center
9240 Firestone Blvd. Downey, CA