On August 9, President Bush signed the Transportation
Equity Act of 2005 into law. Provisions within the bill
address diesel emissions reductions, including:
to CMAQ-eligible Projects (Clinton-Inhofe
Amendment) (Title I, Subtitle H, Section 1808)
- Makes diesel retrofits on both on-road and off-road vehicles used on
construction projects financed by federal funds and located in non-attainment
areas eligible for CMAQ funding.
- Defines diesel retrofits as replacement, repowering, rebuilding,
- Directs EPA to issue guidance on certified and verified emission
reduction technologies that can be financed by CMAQ, on the emission
reduction effectiveness on the various retrofit technologies, and
on the cost effectiveness on the various retrofit technologies.
- Directs states and metropolitan planning organizations (“MPOs”)
to give priority in the distribution of CMAQ funds to diesel retrofits
(especially where they are required under construction contracts)
and other cost-effective emission reduction activities, as well as
cost-effective emission congestion mitigation activities which provide
air quality benefits.
- Includes a savings clause to ensure that the provision does not
inadvertently amend the Clean Air Act or amend the authority of state
departments of transportation (“DOTs”) and MPOs.
- DOTs and MPOs wanted EPA to make “conformity credit” available
where CMAQ is used to fund retrofits. EPA agreed in writing
to publish guidance by year’s end for state environmental authorities
to give such credit. Getting conformity credit is important
to DOTs and MPOs because it will enable them to build more roads
in non-attainment areas, and they have never been able to get such
credit in the past.
- EPA estimates there are 600,000 off-road vehicles that will be
used on construction sites in non-attainment areas, 200,000 of which
will be retired, 200,000 of which will be eligible for engine rebuild/repower,
and 200,00 will be eligible for after-treatment. The agency believes
that about $3 billion of CMAQ funds could be used to retrofit these
- EPA has not estimated the number of on-road vehicles that could
be retrofitted by CMAQ funds under this provision and the amount
of CMAQ funds that could be spent to retrofit on-road vehicles.
- No annual appropriations will be necessary to fund CMAQ as it
is funded by the Highway Trust Fund.
- For more information about Clinton and Inhofe’s amendment
please see the statement
by Senator Clinton as well as an interesting study entitled, Cleaning
the Air: Comparing the Cost Effectiveness of Diesel Retrofits
vs. Current CMAQ Projects.
HOV Facilities (Title I, Subtitle A, Section 1121)
- Authorizes states to waive the occupancy requirements for “inherently
low emission vehicles” used on high-occupancy vehicle (“HOV”)
- EPA defines “inherently low emission vehicles” as
LDV and LTV classes with exhaust emissions which do not exceed LEV
exhaust emission standards for NMOG, CO, HCHO, and PM and the ULEV
emission standards for NOX.
- States that use this authority are required to establish procedures
for enforcing it.
Idling Reduction Facilities in Interstate Right-of–Ways (Title
I, Section 1412)
- Permits electrification or other idling reduction facilities and equipment,
for use by motor vehicles used for commercial purposes, to be placed in
rest and recreation areas, and in safety rest areas, constructed or located
on rights-of-way of the Interstate System.
- Allows a fee to be charged for use of parking facilities using
idle reduction equipment.
Bus and Bus-Related Facilities and Clean Fuels (Title
III, Section 3044)
- Authorizes $250,000 for FY 2006 – FY 2008 and $300,000 for FY 2009
for hybrid diesel-electric buses in San Joaquin Valley
Clean School Bus Program (Title VI, Section 615)
- This is essentially the same provision as that included in the energy
bill with the addition of “refueling” as one of the retrofit
options. (see details below)
High Priority Projects (Title XVII, Section 1702)
- There are over 6,000 earmarked projects in the Transportation Bill, many
of which have diesel-related implications on the West Coast
Alternative Fuel and Alternative Fuel Mixture
B, Section 11113, Pages 804-805)
- The alternative fuel credit
is allowed against section 4041 liability
and is 50 cents per gallon of alternative fuel of
alternative fuel or gasoline gallon equivalents of non liquefied
alternative fuels sold by the taxpayer for use as a motor fuel
in a motor vehicle or motorboat, or so used by the taxpayer.
- For the purpose of this section “alternative
fuel” means- liquefied petroleum gas, P Series Fuels, compressed
or liquefied natural gas, liquefied hydrogen,
any liquid fuel derived from coal (including peat)
through the Fischer-Tropsch process, and liquid hydrocarbons
derived from biomass. Such term does not include ethanol,
methanol, or biodiesel.
- The provision is
effective for any sale or use for any period
after September 30, 2006 and the credits generally
expire after September 30, 2009.