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Clean Air Excellence Awards

Past Award Recipients

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Transportation Efficiency Innovations Award Recipients


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.


FPL's Clean Fleet and Consumer Education Program
Florida Power & Light Company

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is widely recognized for lowering emissions with its next-generation clean power plants. FPL has extended this commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants through its clean vehicles fleet and consumer education program. It operates one of the largest clean vehicle fleets in the nation with 1,750 biodiesel-powered vehicles and 550 hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles. Ninety-two percent of FPL's light-duty fleet is hybrid or plug-in electric, reducing petroleum use by 295,000 gallons and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2,500 metric tons in 2012. FPL is also the largest user of biodiesel in Florida, reducing CO2 emissions by 3,407 metric tons in 2012. With 18 percent of its bucket-trucks being hybrid or plug-in electric, the company has realized a savings of up to 60 percent in fuel and a reduction in emissions of up to 90 percent when also using biodiesel. In addition, FPL leverages "vehicle area network" technology to track and reduce vehicle idle time and miles traveled.

FPL engages with industry to help shape the future of clean transportation technologies. FPL serves on the boards of the Electric Drive Transportation Association and National Association of Fleet Administrators and supports CALSTART, an organization focused on promoting clean transportation. The company also works with manufacturers to establish vehicle specifications, including a partnership with Quantum to develop plug-in electric pickup trucks. Finally, FPL raises awareness and educates customers and other stakeholders on the benefits of clean transportation options. For example, it has launched an innovative plug-in electric consumer Web site; features plug-in electric vehicles at nearly 100 community events annually; and publishes blogs, videos, articles, fact sheets and other communications about plug-in electric vehicles, reaching more than 4.5 million customers. FPL has demonstrated a commitment to providing energy and services while reducing air emissions and also keeping bills low for consumers.

Clean School Bus NC: Kids Breathe Here
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

North Carolina's Division of Air Quality (DAQ) in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) have partnered in an 18-year effort to improve air quality at public schools through the "Clean School Bus NC: Kids Breathe Here" program. Consisting of various technological, policy, outreach and transportation efforts, this program has significantly reduced air pollution across the state, especially for the nearly 800,000 students who travel by bus in 115 school districts. The agencies and school systems secured nearly $3.6 million in grants to replace, repower or retrofit 1,891 school buses with exhaust controls. These technologies have reduced annual bus emissions by 3.4 tons for nitrogen oxides and 9.1 tons for particle pollution. DPI also estimates that new school buses average 9 to 10 percent better fuel economy. In addition, DPI has educated bus drivers about idle reduction benefits while requiring local school systems to adopt a reduced idling policy to be eligible for state transportation funds linked to increasing fuel prices. DAQ has assisted outreach efforts through its "Turn Off Your Engine" campaign, including brochures, instruction, a Web site and signage. The division distributed more than 3,000 "Turn Off Your Engine: Kids Breathe Here" signs and installed more than 1,000 signs at schools in 30 counties. These efforts to reduce unnecessary idling have conserved fuel and reduced air pollution. In addition to helping to meet state air quality standards, this program has directly benefited children's health across the state.


Leadership in Reducing Ocean-going Vessel Emissions
Maersk Line/Maersk Agency USA

Maersk Line was the first global shipping company to voluntarily use low sulfur fuels at select US ports as part of their "Drive Towards Zero SOx" strategy. The program has been executed in over 2,000 port calls to date, achieving a reduction of over 8 million pounds of criteria air pollutants in port cities. This translates to a 95 percent reduction of SOx and an 86 percent reduction in particulate matter. They have spread this practice to several other global locations, including Hong Kong and Singapore, with reductions of 80-95%.

Looking beyond fuel type, Maersk Line implements energy efficient technologies that have reduced their fuel consumption and related emissions. These technologies include Waste Heat Recovery systems (installed on over 30 vessels), improved hull/propeller maintenance to reduce drag, Voyage Efficiency Systems and improved control systems for refrigerated containers that reduce energy consumption by 47% for chilled cargo.

In an effort to promote transparency, Maersk Line was the first shipping line to publish emissions factors for every owned vessel, and to have these factors verified by a third party.

Additionally, Maersk Line has 20 new vessels on order, designed to optimize economies of scale, energy efficiency and environmental improvements - designated as their "Triple E class." These vessels will reduce emissions by more than 50 percent per container moved, compared to the industry average.

Climate Initiatives Program
Metropolitan Transportation Commission of San Francisco Bay Area

In December 2009, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, in partnership with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, approved the Climate Initiatives Program, a program aimed at making short-term investments that reduce transportation-related emissions and vehicle miles traveled, while also building a knowledge base through evaluation. The program includes an innovative grant program, public education and outreach activities, a regional Safe Routes to School program and program evaluation. The program's inaugural effort, the distribution of $33 million in grants to 17 innovative projects, served to test transportation-related, GHG emission reduction projects throughout the Bay Area. The grant activities include support of electric vehicle fleets, dynamic ridesharing and parking pricing, creation of the Bay Area's first bicycle sharing program, and installation of signals at intersections to detect and count bicycles. The biggest grant is a nearly $7 million award to demonstrate electric taxis in San Jose and San Francisco. Another notable electric vehicle grant includes the purchase of 90 electric vehicles and accompanying level two chargers for use by public agencies in Alameda County. Last, four grants encourage biking or walking to school; key projects include a branded bike repair truck ("Bikemobile") that visits schools to repair bikes and provide safety education, the use of social media to increase carpooling to school, and the creation of a series of safety routes maps for students.

Additional Climate Initiatives Program efforts currently underway include smart driving pilots, which will test driver behavior and vehicle maintenance and their effect on a vehicle's miles per gallon, creation of an electric vehicle promotional campaign and a regional school youth program to support new and existing transportation alternatives for youth and their families.


Advancing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Francisco, CA

Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) present an opportunity for significant climate protection benefits, reducing CO2 equivalent emissions to one-third that of their gasoline counterparts and also provide significant criteria pollutant reductions. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is supporting the transition to PEVs by helping to expand California's electric transportation infrastructure. Last year, funded in part by a grant from the California Air Resources Board, PG&E constructed and refurbished 14 public Level II (240V) electric vehicle charging stations at nine different sites throughout northern California, and installed the nation's first publicly available DC fast charger. The majority of charging sites are located at existing municipal facilities along the heavily-traveled freeway corridor between San Francisco and Sacramento. The DC fast charger is also served by an existing 45 kW photovoltaic solar system installed by the City of Vacaville, demonstrating that renewable energy can effectively supply electric vehicle charging stations. The charger, produced by Takaoka Electric Manufacturing, and supplied by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, can recharge battery electric vehicles at an accelerated pace, allowing some electric vehicles to go from 20 to 80 percent charged in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. The DC fast charging infrastructure will enable wider adoption of electric vehicles and allow more people to use their electric vehicle as their primary vehicle. The DC fast charger/solar system combination sits at an existing public charging station adjacent to a restaurant for the convenience of restaurant patrons. PG&E is also testing power quality impact of the DC Fast charger on the connecting distribution grid.

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District Bike Sharing Program – Smart Bike — District Department of Transportation

In August of 2008, the District Department of Transportation launched SmartBikeDC, a bike sharing program. This was the first program of its kind in North America.  It has attracted world-wide attention to the District. The program currently consists of 100 bicycles at 10 automated rental racks located throughout greater downtown DC.  People can register online as a SmartBikeDC member and pay a $40 annual fee, and receive a card in the mail, which is used to retrieve bikes from the rack. Bikes can be dropped at any of the 10 racks.  The program, at its current size, was provided to the District at no cost through the Bus Shelter Franchise Agreement with ClearChannel Outdoor, Inc. Over the first year of operation, over 1400 people have registered as SmartBikeDC members, with an average of 150 trips per day. Commuters and residents are excited about future expansion of the program. The estimates for emissions reductions are 0.40 pounds/day of NOx, 0.60pounds/day of VOCs, and 300 pounds/day CO2.  They have obligated funding for an expansion with Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funding and plan to start the expansion in 2010 for 1000 bikes. At the same time, they are working with the surrounding jurisdictions to create a regional system with seamless cross-border service for members.

Car2Go — Car2Go North America and the City of Austin

The car2go is a carsharing model, used alongside existing public transit, that serves to substantially reduce emissions and traffic congestion common in dense urban centers.  The shared car2go will provide on-demand fuel efficient transportation by closing gaps commonly associated with public transit commuting.  It is a practical, affordable alternative to the rising costs associated with vehicle ownership.  This is essentially a fleet of free-floating, low-emissions, fuel efficient (41 mpg), self-service smart cars that will be distributed all over the city.  It is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle in the United States and the 3rd most fuel-efficient vehicle in the United States.  They can be located by internet, a mobile device, or the car2go call center.  Reservations can be spontaneous, or reserved up to 24-hrs in advance.  To get in you simply swipe your membership card against the windshield of the vehicle.  Car2go and the City of Austin have teamed up to address alleviating congestion, reducing emissions, and facilitating innovative transportation solutions and increasing the use of public transport.  The launch date is November 2009, with 200 cars in place.

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Transportation Initiative — Stonyfield Farm, Londonderry, N.H.

Stonyfield Farm is a leading maker of organic yogurt and is committed to social and environmental responsibility. In addition to supporting family farms and donating 10 percent of its profits to programs that protect and restore the earth, Stonyfield offsets the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from its facility energy use. Stonyfield has experienced healthy growth over the past several years while also implementing a corporate plan to decrease emissions from their transportation and logistics operations.

The company’s growth highlighted several issues in the area of transportation and logistics that needed to be addressed. For example, double-digit growth had increased Stonyfield’s output of transportation-related greenhouse gases (GHGs), but the company did not have an accurate way to measure these impacts because multiple formats were available for measuring GHG emissions, leading to inconsistent reporting.

The company implemented several key strategies to reduce and measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from product distribution. These include purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles, implementing the use of electronic freight invoicing, and measuring GHG via the SmartWay FLEET Performance Model. Stonyfield increased minimum order requirements to reduce the frequency of deliveries to a single location and expanded local fleet usage to deliver 25 percent of the product volume. They also ensure maintenance of adequate inventory of products to ensure orders are filled in a single shipment, reducing redundant deliveries.

These strategies have reduced absolute CO2 emissions by 37 percent in one year, while increasing the tons of product shipped. Stonyfield continues to show their leadership in environmental responsibility through their smart transportation choices.

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Everybody Wins — Lane Regional Air Protection Agency, Springfield, OR

In Lane County, OR, the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) developed an innovative funding and outreach program, called Everybody Wins, designed to help truckers reduce their idling time through the use of auxiliary power units (APUs).  APUs are small generators that are added to a truck to provide the amenities of heating, cooling, and power for long haul truckers without needing to idle the main engine.  The Everybody Wins program provides zero down, interest free financing to independent truck owners to promote the use of APUs.  This program has resulted in the installation of 350 APUs to date. Because the use of an APU can potentially save $480.00 per month in fuel costs, the program demonstrates to truck owners the economic benefits of installing an APU.  The program has attracted interest and increased awareness of idle reduction technologies among the thousands of drivers who use the I-5 corridor in the western states.  

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UPS Fuel Conservation, Technology and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program — UPS

The United Parcel Service (UPS) Fuel Conservation, Technology and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program has implemented several strategies to minimize air quality impacts. By shifting packages from air to ground travel and using advanced route planning software, UPS has optimized its network of vehicles and airplanes to significantly reduce travel time, energy use, fuel consumption, and emissions. UPS drivers will reduce routes by 100 million miles using the new Package Flow Technology System, saving almost 14 million gallons of fuel and reducing CO2 emissions by 130,000 metric tons when the system is fully implemented in 2007. UPS Airlines has also put into operation a fuel conservation program, using the Lido flight planning system, which calculates the most efficient route between two points based on weather, winds, terrain and other factors.

Niagara Falls State Park – “Green Parks Program” — New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has developed the Green Parks Program as part of its effort to adopt environmentally friendly practices in the procurement of state vehicles. Niagara Falls State Park has become a leader in the move towards alternate fuel vehicles, with a fleet of over 68 vehicles. Gasoline and diesel use in the park has been reduced by over 25,000 gallons annually and that number is expected to grow to over 30,000 gallons. This results in a reduction in nitrogen oxide of over 800 lbs, a reduction in carbon monoxide of over 11,700 lbs, and a reduction of over 195,000 lbs of carbon dioxide. The Green Parks Program has acquired over 740 clean fuel vehicles statewide, and the replacement of vehicles in the Park is part of the effort to change how people are transported, improve air quality, and ultimately establish the Park as a center for alternate fuel technology.

Transportation Demand Management Program — City of Aspen

The City of Aspen’s Transportation Demand Management program showcases the positive impacts proper analysis and long term thinking can have on the environment. When faced with higher congestion levels and non-attainment status, the City of Aspen successfully applied big city transportation measures in a small town environment to create a balanced integrated program. Through the introduction of paid parking, increased bus services, business transportation alternatives and incentives, and internal employee incentives the City of Aspen has developed a comprehensive plan to combat environmental issues. The program reduces particulate pollution, prevents traffic congestion and offers a convenient and affordable alternative means of transportation. Traffic levels remain as they were in 1993 despite increased growth and tourism and the City and County are no longer a non-attainment area.

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EZ Bus — Fairfax County Government, Virginia Railway Express & CONNEX North America, Inc.

EZ Bus is a free shuttle bus service that was launched in December 2003 as part of the Virginia Governor’s Congestion Relief Initiative. EZ Bus serves the Burke Center Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Station as an alternative form of transportation to the station. Passengers subscribe in advance via the web or telephone; passengers without subscriptions are accepted on a “space available” basis. The bus arrives 5 minutes before the morning train departs and leaves the Burke station 5 minutes after the evening train arrives. Over 100 Burke residents have subscribed to the EZ Bus program, reducing the amount of single occupant vehicles on the road. Approximately 182 vehicle trips per day have been eliminated, reducing cold start emissions, and there has been a reduction of 5,915 vehicle miles traveled (VMT) has occurred as a result of this service.

Redmond Trip Reduction Incentive Program (R-TRIP) — City of Redmond, WA; King County Metro Transit; & The Greater Redmond Transportation Management Association

The City of Redmond, WA, King County Metro Transit and The Greater Redmond Transportation Management Association have come together to create the Redmond Trip Reduction Incentive Program (R-TRIP). This program provides outreach, financial incentives, and grant funding in a comprehensive package for employers and their employees. R-TRIP’s personalized commuter assistance substantially increases commuters’ opportunities to walk, bicycle, or use public transit and other high occupancy commuting modes. R-TRIP also provides incentives such as a $50 Visa Gift Card to commuters who carpool, bicycle, and walk to work along with transit and vanpool fare subsidies for new riders. R-TRIP has eliminated over two million vehicle trips and reduced approximately 58 tons of air emissions since the program was first launched. In addition, 2,200 commuters from more than 165 Redmond businesses have signed up to participate in the program since 2003.

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Island Explorer, Propane Shuttle Bus — Acadia National Park, Maine Department of Transportation, MDI League of Towns, Downeast Transportation Inc., Friends of Acadia, Tom Crikelair Associates, and L.L. Bean, Inc.; Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine

The Island Explorer is a fare-free, seasonal public transportation system that provides service to Acadia National Park and the communities on Mount Desert Island, Maine. The system is designed to sustain the tourism industry while reducing the traffic congestion and air pollution associated with the area’s three million annual visitors. The transportation system currently consists of 17 propane buses operating on six routes, but plans for expanding the project include the construction of an intermodal hub, which will combine parking, a visitor center, connections to various modes of public transportation, a bus maintenance facility, more shuttle buses, and bicycle and pedestrian links to the park and surrounding communities.

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Orlando Bikeways — City of Orlando; Orlando, Florida

The City of Orlando developed the Orlando Bikeways program to make bicycling safer and encourage the use of this alternative transportation mode. Orlando has achieved this goal by increasing its bikeways from three miles to over 150 miles in the last 12 years. The City has publicized and promoted bicycling in numerous other ways, such as by expanding the bike units and teams of the Orlando Police and Fire Departments, increasing bicycle parking availability, and establishing an annual "Bike to Work" day, led by the Mayor.

VPSI Commuter Vanpools — VPSI, Inc.; Worldwide

For over 25 years, VPSI has provided commuters with a viable, cost-effective, commuting alternative. VPSI vanpools provide over 30,000 commuters daily with a way to contribute to improving air quality while minimizing traffic congestion. With over 3,500 vehicles in service nationwide and in Europe, VPSI has created a sustainable program with continuous and replicable air quality benefits.

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Los Angeles to Pasadena Metro Blue Line — Los Angeles to Pasadena Metro Construction Authority; Los Angeles County, California.

The Los Angeles to Pasadena Metro Construction Authority is building a 13.7-mile electrically powered light rail transit system. This system will improve air quality by both reducing commuter congestion from the freeway network and freeing trucks and buses traveling along the same corridor from this congestion.  To enhance ridership, the Authority is fostering development at a few of the light rail stations. 

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Quick Charge L.A. and Electrical Vehicle Charge Infrastructure. The City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department is working to introduce electric vehicles into the daily lives of Los Angeles residents. With the help of over 70 private companies and public agencies, the City has established a network of about 380 EV charging stations with complimentary electricity for charging.

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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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