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Advanced Clean Fleets Rule: What it Means for Funding and Incentives

April 26, 2021

Source: ACT News

Beyond the increasing number of funding opportunities for electric vehicles, many fleets are still looking to other forms of clean tech to reduce emissions and decrease overall fuel costs. Options such as renewable natural gas (RNG) can further these efforts and provide unique opportunities for partnerships to improve air quality. But to get these efforts in line with sustainability goals, some fleets need some help along the way.

Western Milling Continues to Keep it Clean

In November 2020 Western Milling, a grain and feed manufacturer in Tulare County, California, began operating its first compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station. The station, paired with the deployment of more than 30 CNG trucks, highlights the continued effort by Western Milling, and its subsidiary Kruse Western Renewable Fuels (KWRF), to lower its emissions in the Central Valley. All the fuel dispensed at the station is renewable natural gas (RNG), the biogas that is produced at dairy farms located in California’s Central Valley.

RNG presents a unique opportunity to improve GHG emission reductions, not only from the transportation industry, but by partnering with other sources of emissions, like landfills and dairy farms, to create fuel sources that can become carbon negative. KWRF participates in the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program to generate credits, which creates value for California dairies producing RNG and makes it a more cost-competitive fuel.

Rene Urquia, the director of environmental health and safety for Western Milling, spearheaded the project and led the company’s efforts to secure funding for the project, knowing it would be needed to support the company’s transition to natural gas. Through careful operational planning, Urquia led the Western Milling team and combined their strong relationships within the Central Valley and knowledge of funding opportunities to drastically cut project costs. Grant programs from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) funded 75% of the cost of their new Class 8 CNG trucks. Urquia also secured considerable funding for the fueling station from SJVAPCD.

SJVAPCD: The Key to Clean Tech Projects

SJVAPCD, which serves an area extending roughly from the Sacramento Delta to the Tehachapi Mountains, is one of the primary sources of funding for clean transportation projects in the Central Valley. It has worked with countless fleets, school districts, cities, and other businesses to fund clean transportation projects, administering nearly $1.5 billion in grants to achieve significant emissions reductions with corresponding air quality and health benefits. With a variety of innovative grants and other programs for businesses, non-profits, public agencies, and residents, SJVAPCD continues to improve the health and quality of life for the Central Valley. The agency is a key resource for fleets of any size who operate in the Central Valley and are interested in implementing an alternative fuel project.

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