EPA Makes $40 Million Available in FY19 Diesel Emission Reduction Grants, Partner with ABA to Apply

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently opened a Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grant opportunity for, among other items, school bus retrofit and motorcoach engine replacement projects.

The EPA is awarding approximately $40 million in this grant opportunity spread out over its 10 regions. The funding amounts vary per region and required cost-matching amounts vary by project. EPA expects to award between two and eight projects per region. The EPA will announce grant awards sometime in April 2019.

The full grant announcement can be found at https://www.epa.gov/grants/clean-diesel-funding-assistance-program-fy-2019. Below is a summary of what projects EPA will fund:

  • Verified Engine Retrofit Technologies: EPA will fund up to 100 percent of the cost
  • Verified Engine Upgrades and Certified Remanufacture Systems: EPA will fund up to 40 percent of the cost
  • Verified Cleaner Fuels and Additives: EPA will fund the cost differential between the eligible cleaner fuel and conventional diesel fuel if the cleaner fuel is used in combination, and on the same vehicles, with other eligible vehicle/engine technologies funded under this RFA.
  • Verified On-Highway Idle Reduction Technologies: EPA will fund up to 100 percent of the cost (labor and equipment) for verified idle reduction technologies if combined on the same vehicle with eligible verified engine retrofit technologies. EPA will fund up to 25 percent of the cost of stand-alone idle reduction technology installations.
  • Verified Aerodynamic Technologies and Low Rolling Resistance Tires: EPA will fund up to 100 percent of the cost (labor and equipment) of verified aerodynamic technologies or verified low rolling resistance tires if the technology is combined on the same vehicle with a new eligible verified engine retrofit technology funded under this RFA.
  • Certified Engine Replacement: EPA will fund up to 40 percent of the cost of a diesel or alternative fueled engine (including hybrids) certified to EPA emission standards; up to 50 percent of the cost of an engine certified to meet CARB’s Optional Low-NOx Standards; up to 60 percent of the cost of a zero-tailpipe emission power source.
  • Certified Vehicle/Equipment Replacement: EPA will fund: up to 25 percent of the cost of a replacement vehicle or piece of equipment powered by a diesel or alternative fueled engine (including hybrids) certified to EPA emission standards; up to 35 percent of the cost of a replacement vehicle or piece of equipment powered by an engine certified to meet CARB’s Optional Low NOx Standards; up to 45 percent of the cost of a replacement vehicle or piece of equipment powered by a zero tailpipe emission power source.
  • Certified Clean Alternative Fuel Conversion: EPA will fund up to 40 percent of the cost.

The maximum amount of federal funding that may be requested per application varies by EPA region. A breakdown of the regions, the states for each region and the amounts available per region follows:

  • Region 1 (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) will accept proposals requesting up to $1,000,000 in grant funds.
  • Region 2 (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands) will accept proposals requesting up to $2,500,000 in grant funds.
  • Region 3 (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia) will accept proposals requesting up to $2,500,000 in grant funds.
  • Region 4 (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee) will accept proposals requesting up to $2,000,000 in grant funds.
  • Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin) will accept proposals requesting up to $3,000,000 in grant funds.
  • Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas) will accept proposals requesting up to $2,500,000 in grant funds.
  • Region 7 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska) will accept proposals requesting up to $1,500,000 in grant funds.
  • Region 8 (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) will accept proposals requesting up to $2,400,000 in grant funds.
  • Region 9 (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands) will accept proposals requesting up to $4,000,000 in grant funds.
  • Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington) will accept proposals requesting up to $1,000,000 in grant funds.

Bus operators are not eligible to apply for these grants on their own, but may apply in partnership with either a local, state or regional agency or tribal government or through a non-profit entity such as the American Bus Association.

The project applications require a lot of information to be gathered and coordinated and it is helpful if one person within your company becomes the grant coordinator. Required elements of the proposal include:

  • Project summary and approach
  • Project location
  • Project sector
  • Benefits to the community
  • Community engagement and partnerships
  • Project sustainability
  • Environmental results
  • Programmatic capability and past performance
  • Budget
  • Applicant fleet description

The EPA has scheduled webinars for Tuesday, Jan. 8 (3 p.m. ET) and Wednesday, Jan. 9 (2 p.m. ET) to discuss the grant program. Those events may or may not take place due to the government shutdown. Should they proceed as scheduled, you may access them via this LINK to the webinar. The dial-in number is: 1-202-991-0477 and the code to access the call is: 414-9804#.

ABA is delighted to announce that we are able to serve as a grant administrator for eligible projects. If you are interested in applying, please contact ABA’s School Bus Council Consultant, Ronna Weber at rweber@colonialstrategies.com by close of business on Friday, Feb. 1. If necessary, we will consider interest on a first-come, first-serve basis. Much information will need to be compiled in a short amount of time as applications are due to the EPA no later 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 6.

As a reminder, the School Bus Council will meet via conference call on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 10 a.m. ET. We will discuss this grant opportunity as well as several other items of interest to the school transportation community. We hope you will join us. The dial-in number is 1-800-220-9875 and the access code is 77840916. Click here for the call agenda.

If you applied for or just missed out on funds from the VW settlement, you will definitely want to apply for this grant!

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.

Contact

Melanie Hinton, Director of Communications & Media Relations, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)