Spotlight On: North Central Texas
Council of Governments
Councils of Governments play an important role in their communities and the North Central Texas Council of Government (NCTCOG) is no exception. A SmartWay affiliate since 2006, NCTCOG promotes the SmartWay program within a 16 county region of North Central Texas, centered around the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. NCTCOG provides education and outreach to potential partners and affected industries with in this area. NCTCOG says that it just made perfect sense to join SmartWay because a number of the strategies it employs, specifically their idling reduction strategies are a nice complement to SmartWay’s mission and purpose. In addition, nine of the counties served by NCTCOG are a designated non attainment area for ozone.
Emissions from the freight industry are a significant contributor to ozone formation in the Dallas-Fort Worth nonattainment area, and NCTCOG has been working to engage this industry in programs that help reduce emissions and further efforts to reach ozone attainment, states Lori Clark, Senior Transportation Planner. “Partnership in the EPA SmartWay program was a natural fit for our efforts to reach out to this sector, especially due to the comprehensive nature of the program EPA has built”.
These activities fit into a broader range of programs that address mobile sources from air pollution and fits into their broader air quality plan. Lastly, belonging to Smartway has helped NCTCOG reach the freight industry and creates a common connection. According to Pamela Burns, Communication Coordinator at NCTCOG, participation in the SmartWay program, which includes having access to marketing and technical tools and resources, make it much more manageable for her office at the local level.
Freight transportation is a key component in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) regional economy. There are approximately 600 motor/trucking carriers and almost 100 freight forwarders operating in the DFW area. NCTCOG Air Quality staff coordinate efforts with staff on a Goods Movement Program Team to leverage SmartWay strategies as part of a comprehensive approach to improving the efficiency of freight movements.
NCTCOG takes its job seriously and is always looking for ways to reach industry and provide incentives. They recently received approximately $3.7 million in grant funds from EPA under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; approximately $1.5 million was designated for a SmartWay Technology Upgrade Project. Seven partner companies received these funds to purchase and install SmartWay verified technologies on long-haul trucks operating primarily in EPA Region 6. This one project has resulted in over 450 individual activities. Eighty tractors will be outfitted with APUs, 86 tractors and 95 trailers will be outfitted with low rolling resistance tires and 97 trailers will be outfitted with aerodynamic fairings. Four of the seven companies have finished implementation and results are very promising! Forecasted annual emissions reductions include: 24.08 tons NOx, 0.51 tons PM, 3,692.6 tons CO2 and 332,661.0 gallons diesel displaced!
Lori Clark believes that because the COG does not have regulatory authority, it has been beneficial to have EPA behind them as they reach out to industry. Clark believes that reaching their goods movement program goals will continue to be a priority and their success with SmartWay will help with this effort.
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