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Clean Air Excellence Awards

2015 Award Recipients


Penske Truck Leasing's Clean Air Technology Commitment
Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P.

Penske Truck Leasing (Penske) has been assisting customers with alternative fuels for over two decades, and today has an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleet of over 500 natural gas, hybrid, propane, and electric vehicles ranging from tractor-trailers, straight trucks, buses, and delivery vehicles. Additionally, Penske has been demonstrating and encouraging partnership in the EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership for over seven years, participating as an affiliate, truck carrier and logistics partner. In May 2014, Penske made a significant deployment to their rental fleet of 85 compressed natural gas Freightliner Cascadia tractors with Cummins Westport 12-liter engines. This significant investment in clean-burning natural gas vehicles combined with Penske's rental program provides a low-risk option to fleet operators who otherwise may not pursue NGV deployment, due to their high incremental cost and a lack of understanding about their benefits. Penske collaborates with its customer to analyze and determine where natural gas is operationally and financially compatible and works hand-in-hand with the fleets to ensure that the operators are trained to use the vehicles properly. Penske partners with the customer and fueling infrastructure companies to develop fueling solutions, such that the fleet operator is encouraged to consider long-term AFV deployment. Once the customer has determined AFVs are a fit for their operations, Penske continues support for the AFV deployment through proper vehicle specifications, leasing, grant funding, and maintenance of the vehicles. By absorbing the risk, Penske is removing barriers to improve driver and fleet acceptance of low-emission technologies. Part of Penske's ultimate company-wide sustainability vision is to help fleets realize cost-savings while reducing pollutants and GHGs characteristic of the conventional fuels used in the transportation industry.

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Clean Air Partners Program
CLEAN AIR Force of Central Texas

The CLEAN AIR Force of Central Texas developed the Clean Air Partners Program in 2001 after learning most pollutants that create harmful ground-level ozone come from on-road vehicles. The CLEAN AIR Force recruited six major employers to charter the program and develop strategies to reduce emissions. The program is open to all employers in the 5-county Central Texas region, and is open to any type of employer. Partners include corporations, nonprofits and governments. Today, there are 40 Partners representing 100,000 employees. The Clean Air Partners Program assists employers in reducing ozone-forming emissions with a flexible menu of options. By becoming a Partner, employers volunteer to implement clean business practices and reduce emissions that contribute to unhealthy air. Strategies include employee education, alternative commutes (public transit, vanpooling, carpooling, teleworking, biking, flexible work schedules, etc.), use of cleaner fleets, clean energy practices (conservation, green power sources), low-emission construction and landscaping activities, water conservation and other proactive measures that contribute to cleaner air. Becoming a Partner makes good business sense, as many of the strategies used also save employers and employees time and money. One of the program goals is to reduce Partners' commuting employees from Central Texas roads by 10%. The program is currently reducing approximately 10,000 commuters from our roads today, leading to less traffic and less air pollution. The program empowers businesses and organizations to take responsibility at the employer/employee level to improve public health as well as the health of our economy through improved air quality.

Club Ride Commuter Services
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

Club Ride is a free program of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada designed to improve air quality and encourage commute alternatives, such as riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling, walking, bicycling, working compressed work weeks and telecommuting. Club Ride partners with nearly 300 employers and more than 24,000 registered commuters in Clark County to meet these goals. Club Ride's efforts yield significant improvements in air quality and overall quality of life. Approximately 38% of our members list 'helping the environment' as their biggest motivation for reporting their alternative commutes. Club Ride's 2014 highlights include: 59 tons of carbon monoxide emissions reduced; 2,324 tons of greenhouse gases reduced; over 1 million clean commute trips reported; 5.9 million miles removed from the road; and $1,616,931 in commuter cost savings. Our community outreach program is designed to reach the largest number of commuters, thereby making the greatest impact on clean air. While we promote Club Ride through press releases, social media, marketing materials and advertising in English and Spanish), our employer outreach program is our most significant method of increasing membership. We make special accommodations for the unique 24-hour workforce in Clark County and tailor the turn-key program to meet the needs of each employer. We make reporting commutes easy, with a free mobile app, 86 worksite-based touchscreen kiosks, worksite VeriFones and an interactive online commute calendar. Commuters can also text or call us to report their commutes. Our outreach coordinators conduct over 650 worksite and community events every year, including health fairs, orientations, and special events such as Bike Week and Earth Day. In 2014, Club Ride welcomed 10,287 new commuters to the program.

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Air Quality Partnership of the Delaware Valley
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

The Air Quality Partnership of the Delaware Valley (AQP) has been actively educating the public in the Greater Philadelphia region about ways to reduce emissions that lead to ozone pollution and fine particle pollution (PM2.5) since its formation in 1997. The AQP is a program of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and consists of a coalition of agencies, businesses and non-profits. The Partnership's network of members, employees and stakeholders encourage voluntary actions to reduce emissions by taking alternative forms of transportation, conserving energy in the home, educating the public about wastefulness of idling vehicles, and sharing ways to reduce emissions while refueling, among other efforts. The AQP is guided by a board composed of active members who serve as message advocates. Their grassroots efforts allow the program to sustain a presence in the region and extend the reach of paid media efforts. The AQP utilizes unique and evolving outreach and education strategies to maintain a fresh and relevant message that emphasizes the benefits of protecting air quality and engaging the public in preventing pollution. Examples include working with partners on an anti-idling campaign that resulted in the creation of an online idling reporting platform (www.idlefreephilly.org), partnering with local media outlets to faithfully report air quality conditions, publishing an air quality activity book meeting Common Core curriculum standards distributed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, holding a gas lawnmower trade-in event, and producing annual outreach campaigns. The AQP has played a role in the region's progress towards attaining the air quality standards for ozone and PM2.5 pollution by consistently utilizing its partnerships to educate the region about preventing air pollution and protecting public health.

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Oil and Gas Emission Reduction Initiative
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

In 2014, the State of Colorado adopted new rules to further minimize air quality impacts associated with oil and gas development. The regulations resulted from Governor John Hickenlooper's continuing emphasis on collaborative solutions to ensure responsible oil and gas development. Colorado's rules expand upon existing state law and the EPA's recent New Source Performance Standards. The rules were developed after an extensive stakeholder process lead by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, working closely with diverse partners. A broad coalition of industry, environmental and local government stakeholders supported the rules, which were adopted by Colorado's Air Quality Control Commission. The rules target hydrocarbon emissions that can contribute to harmful ozone formation, as well as climate change. The rules directly address methane emissions, such as leaks that may occur from storage tanks and components. The rules include a comprehensive leak detection and repair (LDAR) program for oil and gas facilities. Many operators will use infrared (IR) cameras, which detect emissions that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. Colorado inspectors are already utilizing IR cameras. These and other emerging technologies are effective tools in reducing air pollution. The rules also require Storage Tank Emission Management (STEM) plans to ensure that systems are designed to adequately handle pressures and prevent venting, such as from thief hatches and pressure relief devices. Colorado estimates that the rules will reduce over 60,000 tons of methane emissions and over 92,000 tons of volatile organic compound emissions per year. This innovative program will provide a lasting benefit for Colorado air quality and can serve as a model for responsible oil and gas development across the country.

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Fleet Hybrid Electric and All Electric Vehicle Program
County of Sonoma Fleet Operations

The County of Sonoma has been a leader in transportation-related emission reductions in California for more than 24 years. Starting in 1990, the County tested a prototype all-electric van in a fleet environment. In 2006, the County adopted a Climate Protection Action Plan that established a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its on-road fleet by 20% before the end of 2010. The target was more aggressive than the State of California's AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act of the same year with a compliance date 10 years sooner than the state. Fleet related GHG emissions have been reduced by over 1,815 tons even though overall vehicle miles traveled increased by 10 million miles during the last 11 of 13 years. The County's investment in hybrid electric and all-electric vehicle technology has resulted in one of the largest BEV, HEV, NEV and PHEV government fleets in North America. The hybrid fleet has reduced gasoline and diesel fuel usage by over 166,500 gallons while traveling over 10 million miles since 2002. The County took a lead role in creating one of the first comprehensive regulatory guideline documents in the nation addressing the installation of EV charging station infrastructure with the publication of the 'County of Sonoma Electric Vehicle Charging Station Program Installation Guidelines' in July of 2011. The document has been used as a reference by government agencies across the United States and in other parts of the world. The County received the California EPA Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in 2013 and The Bay Area Climate Collaborative's 'Most EV Ready Community in the Bay Area' award in 2011 and 2012.

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Tribal Air Program and Healthy Homes Project
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium '
Environmental Health Consultation Team

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) is a nonprofit tribal organization owned and operated by Alaska Native people. The Consortium is the largest, most comprehensive tribal health organization in the United States and it delivers a broad range of services, from specialty medical care and community health programs, to construction of clean-water and sanitation facilities. As part of ANTHC, the Environmental Health Consultation Team (EHC) provides cutting-edge air quality services to improve the lives of Alaska Native people and their communities. The EHC Statewide Tribal Air Program delivers technical consultation, air monitoring assistance, training, assessment, funding, and overall support to tribal communities throughout Alaska to address air quality concerns. The program has engaged in over 20 locally-led air quality projects and completed over 50 community air quality assessments which have reduced criteria air pollutants, raised greater public awareness of air quality, and enhanced tribal capacity to address local air quality issues. The ANTHC EHC Healthy Homes Project has also made impacts by engaging partners such as tribes, residents, housing authorities, government agencies, international nonprofits, hospitals, and regional health corporations to deliver a multi-staged intervention in over 60 homes that measures impacts of low-cost modifications and resident education on indoor air quality and children's respiratory health. The ANTHC EHC personnel often travel to remote locations via small aircraft, boat, and snowmachine to reach the populations they serve. The ANTHC Environmental Health Consultation Team is recognized for exemplifying leadership and innovation in their initiatives to provide air quality services to remote and underserved populations of Alaska.

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If you have any questions about the Clean Air Excellence Awards Program, please contact Catrice Jefferson of EPA's Office of Air and Radiation at (202) 564-1668, or jefferson.catrice@epa.gov.

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