Proposed Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Pilot Grant Program; Request for Information
[52 Pa.B. 1323]
[Saturday, February 26, 2022]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) issues this Request for Information (RFI) on the development of a new competitive grant solicitation to support a Medium and Heavy-Duty (MHD) Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Pilot Program (Program). Funding for the Program may be offered as part of the Driving PA Forward Program as an eligible mitigation action of the onroad fleet project type as described in the Commonwealth's Beneficiary Mitigation Plan under the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries in the case In re: Volkswagen ''Clean Diesel'' Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation.
The publication of this RFI does not constitute or necessitate a change to the Commonwealth's Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. This RFI is intended for respondents to provide comment on the information specified in this notice. This RFI is also intended to communicate the Department's general goals and objectives for Program development. This RFI does not constitute a grant solicitation, nor does it represent a commitment to issue a grant solicitation in the future. This RFI does not commit the Department to any specific form of grant solicitation. Responding to this RFI is not a pre-requisite for participation in a future grant solicitation process. Persons and organizations who choose to not respond to this RFI may still participate in any subsequent grant solicitation process for the Program. Respondents choosing to respond to this RFI will not, merely by submitting such a response, be deemed to be applicants to any Driving PA Forward grant program, and no such respondent will have any preference, special designation, advantage or disadvantage whatsoever in any subsequent grantmaking process for the Program or other Driving PA Forward programs. Respondents should not anticipate a response from the Department regarding submitted materials.
The proposed outcomes of the Program include: improving air quality as a result of lowered vehicle emissions; improving air quality in one or more environmental justice areas; benefitting the electric vehicle supply chain in this Commonwealth; providing fleet managers with ZEV performance data; and increasing MHD ZEV purchases in this Commonwealth.
The Department requests information on the following topics to inform the development of program solicitation guidelines for the Program:
1. What additional goals or priorities should the Program seek to accomplish?
2. What data generated from MHD ZEV pilot projects funded by this Program would be useful to fleet managers and other stakeholders to encourage MHD ZEV adoption, and what methods should be used to disseminate information?
3. What amount of project funding for new vehicle and charging infrastructure would be necessary to incentivize near term MHD ZEV pilot projects to be deployed in the Commonwealth? Furthermore, should maximum Program funding award amounts be based on one or more of the following factors? Indicate why.
a. The percentage of incremental vehicle purchase costs.
b. A fixed amount per vehicle based on vehicle type, fuel type and class size.
c. A percentage of the infrastructure installation cost.
d. Vehicle miles traveled, annual operating hours or some other metric that accounts for usage.
e. Another factor not listed in this RFI.
4. The Driving PA Forward program requires that a pre-2010 diesel vehicle of the same class be scrapped for each new vehicle purchased. What methods could the Department allow for applicants to satisfy the scrappage requirement established in Appendix D-2 of the Volkswagen Settlement (available at https://www.vwcourt settlement.com/en/docs/DOJ/Approved%20Appendix%20 D-2.pdf)? Provide examples of solutions implemented in other states, if possible.
5. Should the Program focus on specific vehicle classes and types or should the pilot program include all class 4—8 ZEVs without preference?
6. Should the Program provide preference to one or more specific vehicle usage types (such as delivery, utility or refuse vehicles)?
7. Should the Department establish a minimum number of zero emission fleet vehicles for a pilot project to be eligible for the Program or require the applicant to transition a minimum percentage of the applicant's fleet, or both? If so, what minimum vehicle count or fleet percentage should be considered?
8. Should the Program give preference to or require that ZEVs or vehicle charging equipment be partially or wholly produced in the United States or in this Commonwealth? If yes, how should this be documented and confirmed?
9. How should the Program encourage or give preference to projects that provide significant benefits to Environmental Justice Areas? What metrics should be used to measure project benefits to Environmental Justice Areas?
10. Should the Program incorporate preferences based on applicant type (for example: municipal, for-profit or nonprofit)?
11. Should applicants for a MHD ZEV pilot project include a plan to use operational savings from pilot vehicle project to invest in additional ZEV purchases? If yes, what components and commitments should the plan contain?
12. Should applicants for a MHD ZEV pilot project include a plan to share project performance data with stakeholders such as fleet managers in this Commonwealth? If yes, what outreach methods should the plan contain?
13. What specific reporting should the Department require from Program funding recipients?
14. What other program details, requirements or flexibilities should the Department incorporate into the Program?
Interested persons may submit information by e-mail at email@example.com. Information must be received no later than Monday, March 28, 2022. Use ''Request for Information: Proposed Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero Emissions Vehicle Pilot Grant Program'' as the subject line in written communication.
Questions concerning this RFI should be directed to David Althoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 783-0542.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-324. Filed for public inspection February 25, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]
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