Over the last two months California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has named recipients of awards for the reduction of vehicle-related emissions, with awards for natural gas vehicle (NGV)-related projects firmly in the mix. SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the smoggiest region of the U.S.
Coachella Valley Projects
Following an extensive competitive bid review process, SCAQMD has recommended that 20 proposals for emission-reduction projects in California’s Coachella Valley receive more than $50 million in funding. Several million would be targeted to NGVs or natural gas refueling. SCAQMD’s Board will review the recommendations at its January 4, 2013 meeting.
NGV Projects include:
- Border Valley Trading: Liquefied natural gas (LNG)/compressed natural gas (CNG) stations — $900,000
- City of Desert Hot Springs: CNG vehicles and station upgrade — $1,024,641
- City of Coachella: CNG station/solar carport — $2,120,000
- Desert Sands Unified School District: CNG station upgrade — $174,250
- St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary Food Pantry: Purchase of CNG-powered food delivery vehicles — $53,995
Funding for the projects comes from the Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. (CPV) to the SCAQMD for emissions offsets needed to construct and operate CPV’s Sentinel power plant, now under construction in Desert Hot Springs.
Other Southland Projects
In November the agency awarded $32.9 million to help school districts in the Southland purchase clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane buses to replace older diesel school buses in their fleets. Funding came from the state’s Carl Moyer Program and AQMD’s Lower-Emission School Bus fund.
“This will help protect the health of our children, their families and their communities,” said William A. Burke, Ed.D., chairman of AQMD’s Governing Board. “Cleaning up school bus fleets continues to be a top priority and today’s funding helps us stay on track with that goal.”
Funding will assist public school districts and private school bus carriers in the Southland to replace 172 pre-1994 diesel school buses with cleaner-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) and install necessary fueling infrastructure.
Natural gas fuelled buses are substantially cleaner than the older diesel buses they replace. In addition, these buses emit no diesel soot, which is the source of about 84 percent of all air pollution cancer risk in the region.
Since 2001, AQMD has approved more than $210 million to replace more than 1,000 older diesel school buses with cleaner models.