National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (October 18, 2012)
Virginia Clean Cities hosted two Odyssey Day events in 2012; one in Chesapeake and one in Harrisonburg. The day was dedicated to the promotion of Alternative Fuel Vehicles and raising awareness for energy security and cleaner air. Industry experts are often on hand at Odyssey events to answer questions, and educational seminars are frequently featured to provide detailed information about viable alternative fuel options and how they apply to the audiences’ local communities.
United Soybean Board Biodiesel Education Program (January 2012 to September 2012)
VCC partnered with the United Soybean Board to produce a series of webinars titled “Biodiesel and Our Changing Biofuels Landscape.” The soybean check off has been instrumental in developing the biodiesel industry and continuing research to prove the benefits of the domestically produced fuel. Through this project, VCC shared information about bioproducts, such as environmentally friendly industrial lubricants and cleaners. Based on US DOE figures, if every truck driver used a B2 blend of biodiesel, the U.S. trucking industry would consume over 796 million gallons of biodiesel, or the equivalent of over 530 million bushels of soybeans annually.
DMME Omnibus V (September 2011 to June 2012)
DMME was a set of three tasks. Firstly, the Virginia Agricultural Biofuels Initiative helped biofuels producers connect with markets to ensure quality of fuel and boost in-state domestic fuel use, including Ethanol and Biodesiel. The second task was the creation of a gaseous fleet program to assist local governments and appropriate business fleets with transitioning to clean domestic natural gas and propane autogas vehicles. This task also included establishing infrastructure and fleet assistance for both fuels. Finally, stakeholder technical assistance funds were utilized for the many technical support items requested by the state and fleets within the Commonwealth.
National Clean Diesel Campaign (Completed 2012)
VCC managed a $1 million project to administer a National Clean Diesel Campaign award to retrofit 35 Hampton Roads Transit buses with emissions reduction equipment, replace 10 Chesapeake refuse haulers ahead of schedule with natural gas models, replace City of Richmond refuse haulers with a natural gas model, and replace 4 Spotsylvania Public Schools Buses ahead of schedule with propane models.
You can read more on this topic here.
Clean School Bus Program (Completed January 2011)
In January 2011, Virginia Clean Cities completed and closed out work on all projects related to our Environmental Protection Agency funded Clean School Bus USA grant. The objective of the project was to promote healthful air, especially for student riders, by reducing diesel exhaust emissions from school buses in Virginia through several methods, including: installation of exhaust after-treatment devices, use of biodiesel blends and propane, and bus replacements. The program was a success, as VCC was able to convene a diverse array of partners to initiate several exciting projects. Some highlights include:
- Retrofitting buses in Middlesex, Essex, King and Queen, and Gloucester County with diesel oxidation catalysts
- Subsidizing biodiesel usage in buses in King and Queen and Gloucester Counties
- Virginia Beach Public Schools Idle Reduction Pilot
- Gloucester County Public Schools Propane Pilot Program
This project has improved air quality and health in Virginia school systems. We hope that increased awareness will lead to more localities moving towards cleaner options for all fleet operations.
Green Operators Program: GO
The program was awarded funding to assist the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Quality Management Association and the Virginia Port Authority with the implementation of a Green Operators pilot program in cooperation with the Virginia Port Authority. The program is the first of its kind that assists drayage operators with retrofit or replacement of old dray trucks serving the Port of Virginia, and rewards shippers that want to green their supply chain. VCC provides technical assistance and helps with the refinement and administration of the program. GO partners include both carriers and shippers, each doing their part to clean up the air. As the second year of the program has quickly come to an end, the success of the program is becoming clear and with the help of government funding over the next few years, the GO Program is showing great signs of becoming the self-sustainable program previously envisioned.
Check out the website for the program here.
Luck Stone Partnership (Completed 2012)
Funding from the EPA to Virginia Clean Cities and James Madison University helped launch the first construction repowering project in Virginia to reduce harmful diesel pollution at four Luck Stone plants operating in Richmond, Charlottesville, Leesburg, and Burkeville. “James Madison University was pleased to join this innovative public-private partnership pursuing solutions to improve air quality and produce jobs in the Commonwealth. This initiative provided a unique opportunity for the faculty, staff, and students of JMU to participate on a project with the potential to positively impact the lives of Virginians,” said JMU’s Director of Research Development Ken Newbold.
EPA’s $710,000 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant, combined with $1.1 million from Luck Stone, will enable the company to repower or replace 11 off-road construction vehicles with new, more efficient diesel engines and generators.
More information on the project can be found here.
Hydrogen Education for Decision Makers (Completed in 2011)
VCC received a $200,000 grant from DOE for a VA-MD-DC Hydrogen Education for Decision Makers Project. The goal of the three year project was to increase a targeted audience’s understanding of hydrogen and fuel cells, including early market applications, and to provide specific examples of actions that the targeted audience – state and local government leaders – can take to support the development and use of hydrogen and fuel cell technology. A dozen in-person workshops, video resources produced by and broadcast on the MotorWeek public television series, a website, podcasts, webcasts and “new media” all helped to carry the message.
VA-MD-DC E85 Infrastructure Project (Completed 2011)
VCC was awarded funds from DOE to advance E85 infrastructure development along the I-95, I-64 Crescent Corridor that traverses Virginia, Maryland and D.C. in order to make the alternative fuel available to an estimated 15,000 public and private FFVs. To date, 6 stations have been opened in Virginia.
Virginia Get Ready Project (October 2010) VCC created and manages the Virginia Get Ready effort, which recently produced the Virginia Get Ready: Electric Vehicle Plan. The goal is to establish Virginia as a leader in the adoption of the electric vehicles in order to reduce vehicle emissions, increase energy independence, and generate positive economic development for the Commonwealth.
More information can be found here.
Biodiesel Workshops (Completed 2009)
Virginia Clean Cities won a competitive grant award from the National Biodiesel Foundation to host biodiesel fuel quality seminars to advance education on biodiesel quality issues. The target audience for these events, which have now concluded, included petroleum marketers, fleet managers, federal and state enforcement professionals and others.
Federal Fleet Retailer Workshop (Spring 2009)
VCC hosted a follow-up workshop to the federal fleets workshop held to bring together mandated and voluntary fleets, as well as alternative fuel retailers. The workshop was structured as a working meeting to determine the best locations for alternative fuel stations.
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation CNG Success Story (August 2008)
To restrict the use of private vehicles and reduce the amount of emissions within tourist area, Colonial Williamsburg converted to CNG buses in 1995 and has more than 20 CNG buses that operate daily. Click on the link below to see the story:
Biodiesel in the Dragon Run – A Roadmap to Preservation (Completed March 2007)
Photo Source: MPPDC
The mission of Clean Cities is essentially to decrease petroleum consumption in the transportation sector. Preservation is sometimes an indirect benefit and often an afterthought resulting from our work, so it was exciting when Virginia Clean Cities got the chance to work on a project where the main goal is preservation and alternative fuels are a way to achieve it.
Located in the Middle Peninsula of Virginia, the Dragon Run Watershed is one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most pristine waterways and encompasses parts of Essex, King and Queen, Middlesex, and Gloucester Counties. The Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC)’s Dragon Run Steering Committee, the National Oceanic and Atrmospheric Administration, the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC), and the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program are co-sponsoring the development of a Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) for the Dragon Run Watershed in order to support and promote community-based efforts to preserve the cultural, historic, and natural character of the Dragon Run, while preserving property rights and the traditional uses within its watershed.
As part of the Dragon SAMP, a study was conducted in October 2005 to identify and explore economic development activities and opportunities that sustain traditional land uses while enhancing the natural resource base or at least minimizing adverse impacts. Seven areas were selected for further exploration, including biodiesel utilization and production. The study found biodiesel utilization to be an example of an enterprise that fits within the overall goal of sustainable natural resource-based economic development for the Watershed, whether carried out within the public or private sectors.
As a result, Virginia Clean Cities was contracted by the MPPDC to continue further exploration of biodiesel market viability and its potential to fulfill the goal to provide sustainable natural resource-based economic benefit to the watershed community centered around the use and production of biodiesel as a cleaner, healthier, domestic alternative to fossil fuel.
Virginia Clean Cities worked with stakeholders to develop a feasibility study to determine how best to develop the biodiesel market in the Dragon Run watershed. The coalition also developed a strong stakeholder base and worked with the school districts in and around the watershed includingof Essex, Middlesex, Gloucester, King and Queen, and Mathews County to introduce resolutions and partnership agreements. Four out of the five watershed school districts signed the partnership agreements and passed resolutions encouraging increased use and production of biodiesel.
On March 1, 2008, Virginia Clean Cities was awarded a Clean School Bus USA grant for its proposal on behalf of the Middle Peninsula school districts. In addition to the obvious clean air and health benefits, the Clean School Bus award supports or complements many components of the effort to preserve the sensitive Dragon Run watershed. School buses in five counties will be retrofitted with diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) to reduce diesel exhaust emissions. Idle reduction practices will be reviewed by experts from Argonne National Laboratory and equipment to reduce school bus idling will be considered. School fleet administrators will learn about the air quality advantages of a new propane-powered school bus. All of the school districts will have the opportunity to use biodiesel blends to further reduce exhaust emissions and support preservation by using and promoting more widespread public acceptance of a clean, renewable fuel made from soybeans grown on local farmland that serves as a natural bufferwhose large land tracts to protect the Dragon Run watershed from sprawling development.
The Clean School Bus proposal was a natural stepping stone to further the goals of the Dragon Run watershed preservation project, which Virginia Clean Cities has participated in since February 2007.
One lesson learned from this project is to look at the mission of your organization holistically and to not disregard the indirect benefits of your work – sometimes they will pay off, literally.
Visit the Dragon Run Biodiesel Page to find out more about the project.
Virginia Hydrogen Economy Roundtable (Late 2005- Mid 2006)
VCC coordinated the Virginia Hydrogen Economy Roundtable, which represented participants from over 30 organizations, whose purpose was to determine the potential role for hydrogen systems in Virginia’s energy future. Completed work on the on “Virginia’s Vision and Strategy for the Hydrogen Economy” and are now working on implementing the recommendations.
Information about this project is located here.
Other recent successes and projects:
- VCC was awarded DOE funding to help offset the incremental cost of 4 CNG school buses for Virginia Beach Public Schools, 3 CNG school buses and refueling infrastructure for Charlottesville Public Schools, 4 CNG school buses for Arlington County Public Schools, and 7 CNG transit buses and refueling infrastructure for National Airport.
- A Southern States Energy Board award was used for 4 workshops to increase awareness of biodiesel and challenges small-scale producers face (safety, quality & permitting).
- Virginia Clean Cities’ AFV Day Odyssey event was chosen as the national kickoff site for 2006, and the 2008 and 2010 events were both huge successes.
- VCC secured funding for B20 pilot projects for Arlington, Northumberland & Westmoreland Counties, and Sysco.
- A State Energy Division award helped deploy three parallel projects involving James Madison University, Virginia Tech and a farm in Caroline County to evaluate small-scale biodiesel production feasibility and safety.
- VCC secured funds from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for Virginia schools diesel retrofit program (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Henrico and Gloucester).