piggybankIf the cost of managing your air emissions is starting to affect your bottom line, or if your equipment is so out of date that upgrading it would put your EHS Department in the red, it could be time to consider applying for one of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan program grants.

    The Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) offers a variety of grants that help to mitigate the cost of upgrading equipment and vehicles in order to cut your nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. TERP grants provide financial incentives for facility owners to upgrade older heavy-duty vehicles, non-road equipment, locomotives, marine vessels, and stationary equipment.

    There are several available grant programs under TERP, each one covering a different aspect of a facility’s operations, and each one having different eligibility requirements. Since each grant is handled separately within the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), each one also has a separate application deadline.

    This short article will briefly explain many of the available grants and their deadlines for the 2014/2015 year. Although you should visit the TERP website for updates and to see all the available grants, the following grants represent a good sampling of the most useful grants for Oil & Gas businesses in Texas.

    Important Grants to Follow

    Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program

    This grant awards a rebate of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of a new light-duty  motor vehicle that uses compressed natural gas, liquified petroleum, or electric drives. Only vehicles purchased on or after May 13, 2104 are eligible for the rebate.

    The deadline to apply for the rebate is June 26, 2015, or until the available grants run out. You can view how much of the funds are available and apply for the rebate through the TERP website. 

    Drayage Truck Incentive Program

    The Drayage Truck Incentive Program (DTIP)  provides financial incentives to replace older drayage trucks operating at seaports and Class I rail yards in nonattainment areas.

    To be eligible for the grant, for the at least the last two years you must have owned or leased an eligible to be replaced drayage truck (heavy duty with a GVWR over 2,600lbs or a yard truck with an engine rated at greater than 125 HP), and operated the drayage truck in one or more of the designated seaports or Class I rail yards for an average of 200 visits per year.

    The TCEQ provides a list of all the eligible rail yards and seaports online. 

    If you do plan on purchasing a new drayage truck or yard truck to replace an eligible older drayage truck, you must purchase an engine model from year 2010 or later and must be a heavy-duty drayage truck with a GVWR over 2,600 lbs (day cab only) or a yard truck with an engine rated at greater than 125 HP.

    You should also note that the TCEQ is giving funding preference to applicants replacing drayage trucks with yard trucks for the first 90 days of the program. After that the grant will be administered to applicants in the order in which applications are received.

    The deadline for this program is May 29, 2015 at 5:00pm.

    Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program

    The Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (TNGVGP) offers a financial incentive to businesses that own and operate heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicles to repower the vehicle with a natural gas engine or replace the vehicle with a natural gas vehicle.

    If you wish to apply for this grant, you must go through a participating dealer under contract with the TCEQ. The TCEQ keeps an updated list of approved participating dealers. 

    The deadline for applications is May 31, 2015 at 5:00pm. At the moment, the TCEQ has received enough applications to award all available funding for the fiscal year. However, any applications it receives currently will be kept in their original queuing order for the next fiscal year. So if you plan on upgrading or replacing a heavy- or medium-duty vehicle from your fleet in the near future you should still apply for this grant.

    Clean Transportation Triangle (CTT) and Alternative Fueling Facilities Program (AFFP) Grants

    The CTT program provides grants for the creation of natural gas fueling stations in the 63 CTT-eligible counties. The AFFP provides assistance for the creation or reconstruction of facilities dispensing alternative fuels, including natural gas, liquified natural gas, biodiesel, hydrogen 80% methanol, and electricity, in nonattainment areas.

    For both, your fueling stations must be available to the public and have operated for at least three years.

    The grants awarded can range in value depending on the project. In the last round of funding, some projects received upwards of $600,000.

    In order to apply for a grant, you must subscribe to the TERP email alerts nd the TCEQ will notify you when further CTT & AFFP grants become available. Presently, the TCEQ is not accepting applications, but will do so in the future.

    For further information about these grants, including a list of eligible counties, see the CTT / AFFP website here.

    Emissions Reduction Incentive Grant

    TERP offers grants for businesses to upgrade or replace heavy-duty on-road vehicles and non-road equipment, locomotives, marine vessels, stationary equipment, refueling infrastructure , on-site electrification,  and idle reduction infrastructure, on-vehicle electrification, and idle reduction infrastructure, and rail relocation and improvement projects in Texas. All projects must result in a reduction of NOx emissions by at least 25%.

    Currently, the TCEQ is accepting ERIG applications for the following areas: Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, SAn Antonio, Tyler-Longview, and Victoria.

    However, it is worth visiting the ERIG site regularly to check if other areas become eligible.

    Vehicles and equipment eligible for replacement include heavy-duty on-road vehicles and equipment that have been owned, leased, or commercially financed and registered and operated by the applicant in Texas for at least the two years immediately preceding the submission of the application. Vehicles must also be in operating condition with at least five years of remaining useful life.

    Qualified vehicles for purchase or lease must:

    • Be certified to emit 25% less NOx than required under the current federal standards;

    • Have an engine for the new piece of equipment must be certified to emit 25% less NOx under the current federal standards for that horsepower of the non-road engine.

    A lease under ERIG is considered the use and control of a new heavy-duty on-road vehicle, or non-road equipment in accordance with a lease contract for the life of the activity.

    Some types of projects may have limits on how much the replacement, purchase, or lease can cost based on NOx reductions:

    • Projects for on-road vehicles, non-road equipment, and stationary equipment may not exceed $15,000 cost per ton of NOx reduced;

    • Marine and locomotive projects may not exceed $10,000 cost per ton of NOx.

    Additionally, on-road vehicles must have an engine model of year 2011 and newer. Non-road equipment must have an engine manufacture year of 2011 and newer.

    Act fast: the deadline for ERIG grants is December 2, 2014 at 5:00pm.

    For more information on applying for an ERIG, along with further conditions for project eligibility, check the ERIG website.

    Grants and Compliance

    The above TERP grants can make an enormous difference in enabling your business to reduce its NOx emissions at very little cost.

    However, getting a grant from the TCEQ can also require some in-depth record keeping about your NOx emissions and about your current equipment. You’ll also be expected to carefully track your activities for applications (for example, exactly how much you use a vehicle and percentages of use for that vehicle broken down by site).

    The strength of your applications rely on the accuracy of your data as well as the potential benefits of your project. Demonstrating why your business should be given a grant from the TCEQ will require you to prove both that you have a strong project and that you have a history of demonstrating compliance - TERP grants consistently have more requests for funding than actual available funds, leaving the TCEQ to carefully review and assess applicants. Although many grants use a queuing system, not every grant submitted within the deadline will result in funding.

    The most effective way of tracking all of your NOx emissions, activities, and information about equipment, is to centralize all of it and automate as much of the number crunching as possible. ERA’s web-based EMS platform is a powerful tool for any business looking to track internal equipment data and regulatory compliance reporting. By having all your EHS data, equipment and sources virtually modeled, everyone who might need to be involved in the application process can access the data they need quickly and easily. 

     Image used with permission from: http://www.401kcalculator.org


    This Blog was Co-Authored By:


    Alex Chamberlain
    Post by Alex Chamberlain
    October 6, 2014
    Alex Chamberlain is a writer for ERA Environmental Management Solutions.