Questions and Answers
Q1. This RFA is for on-road only, right?
A1. No. Motive off-road equipment may also be proposed, provided that the replacement or repower would be powered by an alternative fuel or a zero-emission alternative, and that it meets all other eligibility requirements.
Q2. Will you allow propane bus replacements older than 2019, namely MY 2014?
A2. It is the intent of this program to award funds to Beneficiaries that deploy the newest and cleanest options for any engine/fuel chosen. We selected engine model year (EMY)2019 as our oldest allowed replacement and will judge applications accordingly. Note: Any applicant may propose projects that vary from the guidelines; those must be marked as variances in your application. Also note: per EPA governing documents, no vehicle replacement under any of the program years may be older than EMY16.
Q3. Is there a cost-efficiency ($/NOx) standard or goal set for the program?
A3. No, we did not set a cost-efficiency standard or goal for this program. However, please note that cost-efficiency and emissions reductions are our highest weighted evaluation criteria.
Q4. A prospective applicant is planning on applying for funds to replace a diesel terminal tractor with a 100% electric tractor. However, the future ownership of this vehicle is an issue we’d like MEC’s input on so we can advise them accurately and quickly. Please allow me to explain:
- Site Owner currently owns a diesel terminal tractor they want to repower.
- Site Operator provides site-management services at that location.
- Post repower, Site Owner wants Site Operator to continue operating the electric truck with Operator as the owners of the asset.
- The repowered truck will continue working at the site in the exact same duty cycle they have always undertaken – the only difference is that the site Operator would own the truck as opposed to the site Owner.
Question: Which entity should apply for the incentive funding?; and does it matter how and when the ownership of the trucks would be transferred? We see three possibilities for how such a transfer might be accomplished and would like to know which MEC prefers:
- Transfer ownership of the diesel-powered terminal tractor from Owner to Operator prior to submitting an incentive application so Operator is able to submit the application as the owners of the vehicle;
- Have Owner apply for the incentive and then transfer ownership of the diesel-powered terminal tractor to Operator after an incentive has been awarded, but prior to the diesel-powered terminal tractor being repowered; or
- Have Owner apply for the incentive and complete the repower, then transfer ownership of the terminal tractor to Operator after the new equipment is deployed.
Please advise as to the following also:
- Regarding repowering/remanufacturing diesel terminal tractors: please confirm that repowered/remanufactured terminal tractors are eligible for a 45% cost-share incentive under this RFP.
- Regarding EMY eligibility: please confirm that a diesel-powered terminal tractor with any EMY is eligible for replacement under this offering if it is being replaced by a 100% electric, zero emissions terminal tractor.
A4. First, for application, we prefer to see option 3. Should the project be selected for award, we could then seek guidance from EPA managers regarding whether they would approve one of the other options as a variance, if need be.
Second, the answer to both follow up questions is yes, your assumptions are correct. While there is more opportunity for EMY1996 – 2009, there is also opportunity for older and newer units.
Q5. Regarding funding: the RFP states that available funds total $1.3MM (current projects) and $1.25MM (new applications), for a total of $2.55M. Please clarify. Does this mean that $1.3MM of the $2.55MM has already been allocated, therefore leaving a remaining $1.25MM available to fund projects submitted in this round of applications? Or does this mean $1.3MM is currently available for projects?
A5. We are selecting new projects for up to $2.55MM.
- Of that, 1.3MM will be awarded immediately, and Beneficiaries may begin procurements immediately upon signature of agreement between MEC and Beneficiary.
- The remainder of projects selected (1.25MM anticipated) will be aggregated into a new application to EPA for new funds. The latter projects will not be awarded unless and until MEC is granted a new award by EPA. Those funds, if awarded, would be expendable in late 2021 through late 2023.
Q6: If selected for funding, would a project in Buchanan County, MO:
- Be eligible for the RFP dollars you have available for immediate funding? Or …
- Be slated for submission as part of your organization’s 2021 National DERA application?
A6: After evaluation and upon selection for funding, staff will review several key factors to determine whether to apply those selected projects to immediate funds or to the application to EPA for new funds. Among the primary factors:
- Original equipment engine model year (EMY). Staff will compare the EMY of the equipment being replaced or repowered to EPA’s eligibility tables for each program year, determining which program years each selected applicant fits.
- Deployment timeframe. We want to spend our funds quickly, so projects that can be deployed immediately will be slotted into an immediately funded project where possible. Conversely, if a project is planned for a future year, it is more likely to be added to our new application to EPA.
- All other things being equal, Cost Efficiency, Air Emission/Fuel Displacement and Location evaluation criteria (Buchanan County is in our desired location of western Missouri) will be used to determine priority allocation for the immediately available funds.
Q7. We have clients that have replaced old diesels in the past with Tier 4 diesels but are now wanting to clean up further. I believe we’re talking about fleets running almost 10-yr-old Tier 4 non-road diesel engines. They are hoping they could be able to apply for electric replacements, as an example. Is this possible?
A7. Yes, the new program rules allow for Tier 4 replacement with zero emission engines/vehicles. EPA has provided further guidance that owners of the Tier 4 should to try to engage in a “scrappage swap,” where an older fleet could purchase the Tier 4s and then scrap their older (Tier 3) vehicles. This type of scrappage swap with a second fleet is not required but would increase emission reduction and cost efficiency scores.
Q8. I just want to make sure, can the replacement vehicles be diesel or gasoline?
A8. Please see eligibility requirements. For MEC’s program, we require proof of biodiesel operations to allow a new diesel replacement or E85 operations for a gasoline replacement. Proposed traditional gasoline or ULSD operations (which normally meet EPA’s eligibility requirements) are outside the scope of this RFA, and applications requesting these fuels will be treated as exceptions.