The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized rules for a state alternative fuel vehicle conversion grant program and announced the availability of $5 million in funding.
According to the agency, the grants will assist owners of diesel- or gasoline-powered Class 7 and 8 vehicles (weighing at least 26,000 pounds) to convert or replace engines to use compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), or propane autogas. The Ohio EPA says these cleaner fuels and technologies help improve air quality by reducing diesel emissions such as nitrogen oxide and fine particulates. Grants also may be used for bi-fueled or dual-fueled vehicles that can run on both an alternative fuel and gasoline or diesel fuel.
The new program is supported with $5 million allocated by the Ohio General Assembly in 2016 legislation. Eligible alternative fuel vehicles must be registered in Ohio for operation on public highways and be used in business. In addition, over half the miles driven must be within Ohio. The limit on the total grant award to applicants seeking to replace or convert multiple vehicles is $400,000.
A public information session to explain the new grant program and answer questions is scheduled for Jan. 25 at the Ohio Department of Transportation auditorium in Columbus. Ohio EPA says it also will offer two conference calls to allow prospective grant applicants to ask questions on Feb. 8 and Feb. 27. It is not necessary to pre-register to participate. Dial- in information for the conference calls is included in the grant application guidelines.
Ohio EPA has posted the grant application for alternative fuel vehicle conversion grants and guidelines on the Ohio EPA Office of Environmental Education web page. Applications may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org beginning on March 6. Eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis, and the application opportunity will remain open until all available funds have been allocated.