[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 112 (Tuesday, June 11, 2002)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-14547]
Department of Transportation
Federal Transit Administration
49 CFR Part 624
Clean Fuels Formula Grant Program; Final Rule
Federal Register / Vol. 67, No. 112 / Tuesday, June 11, 2002 / Rules
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Transit Administration
49 CFR Part 624
[Docket No. FTA-2001-9877]
Clean Fuels Formula Grant Program
AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: On June 9, 1998, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st
Century (TEA-21) was enacted requiring the Federal Transit
Administration (FTA) to establish a new grant program entitled the
Clean Fuels Formula Grant Program. This rule establishes the procedures
eligible recipients must use to apply for this new program. Although
the FY 1999, FY 2000, FY 2001 and FY 2002 appropriations bills did not
make funding available for this program, legislation was enacted each
of these fiscal years, which provided that the guaranteed funds for
this new program be made available to the bus and bus facilities
categories of the Capital Investment Grants and Loans program of 49
U.S.C. 5309. FTA is publishing this final rule to ensure application
procedures are available should funding be made available for this
DATES: The effective date of this final rule is July 11, 2002.
ADDRESSES: Comments and material received from the public, as well as
any documents indicated in the preamble as being available in the
docket, are part of docket FTA-2001-9877 and are available for
inspection or copying at the Docket Management Facility, U.S.
Department of Transportation, room Pl-401, 400 Seventh Street SW.,
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except
Federal Holidays. You may also find this docket on the Internet at
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program issues: Nancy Grubb,
Office of Resource Management and State Programs, (202) 366-2053; for
program evaluation issues, Abbe Marner, Office of Planning, (202)366-
4317; and Christina Gikakis, Office of Research, Demonstration, and
Innovation, FTA, (202)366-2637. For legal issues: Scheryl Portee,
Office of Chief Counsel, FTA, (202) 366-1936 (telephone) or (202) 366-
3809 (fax). Electronic access to this and other rules may be obtained
through the FTA World Wide Web home page at http://www.fta.dot.gov/library/legal/frootoc.htm. Comments may be reviewed via the Internet at
On August 28, 2001, FTA published a notice of proposed rulemaking
(NPRM) entitled ``Clean Fuels Formula Grant Program'' in the Federal
Register (66 FR 45552). We received sixteen letters commenting on the
proposed rule. No public hearing was requested, and none was held.
Background and Purpose
The Clean Fuels Formula Grant Program is a transit grant program
contained in section 3008 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st
Century (TEA-21) as amended, Pub. L. 105-178, (codified at 49 U.S.C.
5308). This program has a two-fold purpose. First, the program is
intended to assist nonattainment and maintenance areas in achieving or
maintaining air quality attainment status. Second, the program seeks to
support emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for
transit buses and to create markets for these technologies.
As the legislation establishes the basic parameters of the program,
the focus of this rulemaking is application procedures. While the
program is a formula program, the amount of funds available to
individual grantees cannot be calculated in advance of the receipt of
applications. The formula is applied to the universe of eligible
applications subsequent to receiving and screening all applications in
each Federal fiscal year.
The formula provides two-thirds of the funds to urban areas over
one million in population and one-third of the funds to urban areas
less than one million in population. In addition, TEA-21 provides
weighting factors based on the severity of nonattainment for ozone and
carbon monoxide (CO).
TEA-21 provides authorization levels of up to $200,000,000 per year
and guaranteed levels at $100,000,000 per year. However, in FYs 1999,
2000, 2001, and 2002 no funds were made available to the program.
Rather, Congress, enacted legislation in each of these fiscal years,
which provided that the $100,000,000 in guaranteed funds for the Clean
Fuels Formula Grant program be made available to the bus and bus
facilities categories of the Capital Investment Grants and Loans
program of 49 U.S.C. 5309.
FTA will make the funding levels for the Clean Fuels program
available in the annual Federal Register notice that announces each
fiscal year's appropriations and allocations when funds are made
Section 5308 of title 49, United States Code, defines eligibility
and provides both minimum and maximum percentages of funds for certain
clean fuel technologies. With respect to the second purpose of
promoting new clean fuel technologies for transit buses, section
3015(d) of TEA-21 also authorized a new Joint Partnership Program for
Deployment of Innovation (JPP), which was announced in a separate
Federal Register notice on October 2, 1998. Projects determined
eligible for funding under the Clean Fuels Formula Grant Program,
meeting the requirements of section 3015(d) and FTA's JPP guidelines,
may also be considered for inclusion under that program.
With respect to the weighting factors for severity of
nonattainment, it appears that Congressional intent was to use the same
weighting that had been developed for the Congestion Mitigation and Air
Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program under the Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). However, it appears that errors
were made in section 5308 regarding the carbon monoxide (CO)
nonattainment classification terms. To properly apply the weighting
factors for ``severity of nonattainment,'' FTA is making certain
interpretations concerning the statutory language in section
5308(d)(2). The statute uses the nonattainment classification terms
``marginal,'' ``moderate,'' ``serious,'' ``severe,'' and ``extreme''
for both ozone and carbon monoxide. However, the Clean Air Act
Amendments of 1990 only use the terms ``moderate'' and ``serious'' to
classify CO nonattainment areas. Thus, FTA will use those two
classifications for CO and disregard the other CO classifications and
associated weighting factors.
The CMAQ weighting factors for ozone and CO nonattainment areas are
laid out in 23 U.S.C. 104(b). Both ozone and CO areas are also given
weighting factors in 49 U.S.C. 5308(d)(2)(A). Section 5308(d)(2)(B)
provides additional weighting to CO areas. FTA believes that the
drafters of this legislation did not intend double weighting for CO
nonattainment areas. Thus, FTA will use the higher of the weighting
factors for ozone and CO in section 5308(d)(2)(A), and then apply the
additional adjustment of 1.2 in areas classified as both nonattainment
for CO and either nonattainment or maintenance for ozone as described
in section 5308(d)(2)(B). Section 5308(d)(2)(A) indicates that the
of clean fuel vehicles will be a multiplier; however, FTA believes that
the multiplier should be the number of buses in the bus fleet as laid
out in section 5308(d)(1).
TEA-21 provides limitations on the use of funds and the maximum
amount of grants. In general, the amount of a grant to a designated
recipient for an eligible project shall not exceed the lesser of: (1)
$15,000,000 in areas with a population under 1,000,000 or $25,000,000
in areas with a population of at least 1,000,000; or (2) 80 percent of
the eligible project's total project cost. Additionally, at least five
percent of the total program funding must be used for the purchase of
hybrid electric or battery-powered buses or construction of facilities
designed to service those buses. No more than 35 percent of the amount
made available each fiscal year may be available to fund clean diesel
buses. No more than five percent of the amount made available each
fiscal year may be available to fund retrofitting or replacement of the
engines of buses that do not meet the clean air standards of the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
TEA-21 requires that FTA issue a rule describing the application
procedures it proposes to use to implement this new grant program. The
purpose of this rulemaking is to comply with that requirement.
Electronic access to this and other documents is available through
FTA's home page on the World Wide Web, at http://www.fta.dot.gov.
Internet users can access all comments received by the U.S. DOT
Dockets, Room PL-401, via the Docket Management System (DMS) on the DOT
home page, at http://dms.dot.gov. The DMS is available 24 hours each
day, 365 days each year. Please follow the instructions online for more
information and help. An electronic copy of this document may be
downloaded using a modem and suitable communications software from the
Government Printing Office Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202)
512-1661. Internet users may reach the Federal Register's home page, at
http://www.nara.gov/fedreg, and the GPO database, at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.
Discussion of Comments and Changes
FTA received a total of sixteen comments to this rulemaking. We
discuss the comments received and explain any changes made to the
regulations in the following paragraphs. FTA considered all comments
filed in a timely manner.
Each commenter expressed support for the rulemaking while offering
recommendations to improve FTA's interpretation to implement this
statutory program. A written copy of each comment is available at the
DOT Docket Manager's Web site: http://www.dms.dot.gov
A. Comments Received
1. Bi-State Development Agency recommended that the incremental
cost of biodiesel fuel should be included as an eligible project.
2. Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) requested
clarification on the role of the designated recipient and also believes
that the program lends itself to congressional earmarking.
3. The Big Blue Bus (the Bus) expressed support for the simple
format of the pre-application worksheet and the decentralized review
process that allows applicants to work with their respective FTA
Regional Office; however, the Bus recommends that all [project]
eligibility issues should be resolved during the pre-application
4. Electric Vehicle Association of the Americas (EVAA) believes
that although the pre-application process is stream-lined and does not
impose unduly burdensome paperwork requirements, it recommends that the
final application either be waived or stream-lined with the elimination
of significant portions that are already submitted with the pre-
application. EVAA is also concerned with potential statutory Buy
America requirements. Another recommendation by EVAA regarding data
collection is for FTA to review and use policies, procedures and
systems in ongoing FTA funded projects, such as the project
administered by EVAA and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI),
but establishing a separate database for the information collected for
the Clean Fuels program. To evaluate the success of the Clean Fuels
Program, EVAA recommends that actual vehicle miles traveled should also
be collected to assist with determining the program's impact on air
quality in a particular area.
5. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) indicated that
this program might cause FTA to discourage the use of 49 U.S.C. 5308
funds for the conversion of newer conventionally fueled transit
vehicles. TxDOT also recommended that liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) be
added to the rule. Regarding the pre-application worksheet, TxDOT
recommends clarification of the information that new agencies will be
required to submit since these agencies will not have the benefit of
two years of historical data submitted in the National Transit Database
6. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas
(METRO) recommended that FTA also consider a project's contribution to
emissions reductions during the selection process. METRO also
recommended that projects be evaluated on merit without regard to the
type of fuel a project will use. Although METRO agrees that FTA should
compile basic inventory and operational data over a three-year
reporting period, it recommends that annual reporting instead of
quarterly reporting by transit agencies is more appropriate.
7. SunLine Transit Agency recommended that the Clean Fuels Program
be limited to vehicles powered by alternatives to clean diesel, such as
renewable energy or domestically produced clean natural gas, because
the purchase of clean diesel buses is sufficiently funded by other
programs. SunLine also recommended that clean diesel projects be
subject to testing to ensure that traps are used on vehicles using this
fuel. In addition, SunLine proposed these additionaland priority-
weighting factors; experience with earlier generation clean fuel
vehicles/infrastructure development, including technical training,
priority for renewable energy development and use. SunLine also
recommended that FTA pursue the addition of particulate matter
nonattainment to the CMAQ statutory language for this program. In
regard to the reporting requirements, SunLine recommends that all
projects be required to report on vehicle operations, performance and
maintenance so that head-to-head comparisons can be made. SunLine also
encourages FTA to provide funds directly to grantees and not allocate
funds through air districts or similar state agencies.
8. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
(METRO) recommended the following revisions to enhance the program.
METRO believes that FTA would have all necessary information to
estimate the amount of funds potentially available for regions prior to
the January pre-application deadline date; therefore, this information
should be released to all applicants prior to the January deadline
date. METRO also requested that FTA clarify how the weighting for
carbon monoxide nonattainment areas will occur. METRO believes that the
definition of eligible applicants is inconsistent with the statutory
language of section 5308 (a)(2). METRO recommends that FTA provide a
definition for ``clean diesel'' fuels and
that retrofitted engines must use particulate traps that have been
certified by the State or other appropriate regulatory agency(ies). In
regard to the application process, METRO recommended that FTA require
the most recent audited National Transit Data NTD since at any given
time previously collected NTD data may be three years old. METRO also
recommended that the apportioning formula be amended to factor in the
difference in size and technology of various transit vehicles.
9. Laketran, the regional transit authority for Lake County Ohio,
recommended that the rule be revised to include the incremental cost of
clean fuels such as Purinox.
10. The San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) noted that the
legislation for the Clean Fuels Program is only authorized for one more
year and questioned the efficacy of issuing a final rule at this time.
Muni noted that the level of funding is insufficient as an incentive
for transit operators to launch program's in untested technologies;
therefore, the program is more likely to supplement existing clean fuel
efforts, such as its alternative fuels program, hence FTA should
develop less burdensome reporting requirements. In regard to the
apportionment formula, MUNI recommended that FTA consider alternative
measures such as bus passengers per revenue hour of service to assist
in determining eligible projects in areas with populations over 1
11. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
recommended that additional incremental cost of purchasing clean fuel
be eligible for funding under the program. APTA also recommended that
FTA Regional Offices be given greater flexibility during the pre-
application period to provide guidance to the transit agencies earlier
in the process. Although APTA recognizes FTA's need to collect data
from the successful applicants, it believes that information already
reported in the TEAM system should be sufficient to evaluate the
program's effectiveness. APTA also recommends that FTA amend its
proposed mandatory reporting and make it voluntary or in the
alternative permit the cost of the reporting requirements as an
eligible grant activity.
12. The Missouri Soybean Association recommended that the
incremental cost of biodiesel fuels be included as an eligible project
13. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) noted that
for purposes of consistency with 49 U.S.C. 5308, section 624.3(b)(1) of
the proposed rule should include the following; ``(ix) other low or
zero emissions technology''. OCTA also recommended that the proposed
regulation should include a subsection identifying the maximum grant
amount available to any designated recipient based on the population of
the project area.
14. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) recommended that FTA
identify eligible biodiesel projects in the final application
procedures, suggesting that this will allow applicants to know that
certain biodiesel projects can qualify for funding. NBB also
recommended that the incremental cost of biodiesel blends be included
as an eligible project cost in the final application procedures. As to
the pre-application and evaluation process, NBB recommended that the
amount of biodiesel fuel along with the number of buses that would be
fueled by biodiesel be included in the pre-application worksheet.
15. The Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (NGVC) believes that grants
should only be awarded to transit agencies that use vehicles that
exceed Federal and California performance levels; hence, FTA should
provide clear definitions of the ``sufficient'' emissions reductions
necessary to qualify for program funds. NGVC also stated that FTA
should provide additional guidance on what is considered ``clean
diesel'', since an industry definition doesn't exist. Regarding data
collection criteria, NGVC recommended that FTA require successful
applicants to establish control buses and report data on the control
buses and those funded under the program.
16. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) supports the establishment
of the Clean Fuels Grant Program; however, it disagrees with FTA's
interpretation of the statutory weighting factors. CTA takes exception
to the proposed section 624.9(d), which provides for an additional
adjustment to the bus passenger miles and bus counts for areas with
both ozone and carbon monoxide. CTA believes the proposed formula
provides a disproportionately larger amount of funds to a smaller
number of urbanized areas that qualify for the extra weight factor. CTA
recommended that FTA define the criteria that will be used to fund an
eligible development project. Regarding the Letters of Interest in
section 624.5(b)(1), CTA concurred with FTA's proposed rule. CTA also
recommended that FTA require mandatory reporting from all successful
B. FTA Response
A. Sec. 624.1 Eligible Applicant. As noted in the NPRM (66 FR 4552)
section 624.1 notes that eligible applicants are state or local
governmental authorities (designated recipients) that provide mass
transportation services. A commenter recommended that FTA amend this
section to reflect the language of the clean fuels statute. FTA agrees,
section 624.1 of the final rule is amended to reflect the statute,
which states in part that designated recipients are the same as noted
in title 49, United States Code (U.S.C.), section 5307(a). (See 49
U.S.C. 5308(a)(2)). The role of the designated recipient is discussed
in section 5307 Circular FTA C 9030.1C.
As was recommended by one commenter, the statute requires FTA to
provide funds to the designated recipient instead of air districts. As
with many FTA programs, the regional offices will provide direct
assistance and guidance regarding the application process, once funds
are appropriated for this program.
B. Sec. 624.3 Eligible Activities. Title 49, U.S.C., section 5308
sets forth the criteria that FTA must use for determining eligible
activities. Some comments indicated that additional criteria not found
in the statute should also be considered. FTA is not permitted to
expand the selection criteria beyond that found in the statute. For
similar reasons, FTA may not restrict vehicles that use clean diesel as
an eligible activity as recommended by a commenter.
However, we agree with those comments that indicated that the clean
fuel definition in section 624.3 should include other low or zero
emissions technology as noted in the statute. The final rule will
include this provision. (See 49 U.S.C. 5308(a)(1)(A)(ix)).
(i) Alternative Fuel Cost. FTA received a number of comments
stating that the incremental cost of bio-diesel and other alternative
fuels should be an eligible expense under this program. Proponents
believe that many of these fuels are readily usable in existing diesel
engines without requiring modifications to these engines. Similar
comments were made regarding Purinox, an emulsified diesel fuel. FTA
agrees that many of these fuels may assist in emission reductions;
however, it is important to note that fuel purchases are not defined as
eligible projects under the clean fuels statute (see 49 U.S.C.
The Clean Fuels Program funds the purchase or lease of buses and
related facilities, but does not cover the incremental cost of fuel;
is not permitted to fund this cost under this program. However, the
purchase or lease of vehicles using these fuel technologies may be
eligible for funding under the program.
(ii) For purposes of this program, FTA will use the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards and certification for
determining clean diesel vehicle eligibility. We also clarify that
``after-market treatment technology'' refers only to those products
that are EPA certified.
C. Sec. 624.5 Pre-application-Application. As noted in the preamble
of the NPRM, FTA cannot determine the available funding amounts for
applicants until after the total number of eligible applicants has been
determined and the specific formula funding ceilings have been applied.
The pre-application process will provide the necessary data to make
these determinations; therefore, a two-step process is required.
FTA's regional offices will provide assistance to pre-applicants
regarding the eligibility of projects during the pre-application
process. Operators not required to submit NTD data should provide data
from two years prior (e.g., if applying in FY 2003, provide data from
2001). Those applicants without two or more years of service will be
required to submit data from the previous years. Since the pre-
application and worksheet only provides baseline information regarding
the pool of potential applicants and proposed projects, a final
application will be required once the funding allotment has been
determined based on the formula. However, FTA is committed to
streamlining the application process as much as possible with the use
of electronic filing.
D. Sec. 624.9 Formula. As noted in the NPRM, FTA determined that
the statutory intent of the formula is to reflect the Congestion
Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program; hence, FTA has
narrowly interpreted the statute to be consistent with the provisions
of CMAQ. FTA is not permitted to consider other factors that were not
within the statute (e.g., size and technology). Neither is FTA
permitted to disregard other requirements noted in the statute.
One commenter indicated that FTA's statutory interpretation, which
provides for additional weighting for carbon monoxide nonattainment
advantages a smaller number of urbanized areas. However, we note that
the statute provides for additional adjustment for areas that are
nonattained for ozone and carbon monoxide. (See 49 U.S.C. 5308
(d)(2)(b)). FTA does not believe that the additional weight factor will
provide for a disproportionately larger amount of funds to a smaller
number of urbanized areas. We note that other variables such as bus
passenger miles and number of buses are also factored in the formula.
Regarding clarification on how the weighting for CO nonattainment
areas will occur, applicants will be asked on the pre-application
worksheet to identify the county or counties in which they provide
transit service. If they serve a county which contains all or part of a
nonattainment (or maintenance) area, they are eligible under this
program. Prior to apportioning the funds, FTA will obtain from EPA an
up-to-date list of classified ozone and CO nonattainment and
maintenance areas. This list, known as the Greenbook, is available on
the Internet at: www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/greenbk/index.html. We note that
ozone nonattainment areas, in particular, cover large geographic areas.
They commonly include an urbanized area at the center and suburban and
rural area on the periphery. Within the apportionment formula, there is
a basic breakdown for apportioning the program funds between urban
areas greater than one million population and urban areas less than one
million population. It is possible, then, for transit agencies
operating in the same nonattainment area to be placed in different
categories under the apportionment formula based on the population of
the jurisdiction they serve.
As recommended, section 624.9 of the final rule will reflect the
maximum grant amount available to a designated recipient. (See 49
E. Sec. 624.11 Reporting. FTA received a number of comments on the
issue of data collection and reporting requirements. As noted in the
NPRM, FTA is interested in collecting relevant information on the
operations and performance of clean fuel technology buses in revenue
service to help assess the reliability, benefits, and costs of these
technologies compared to conventional vehicles.
Although FTA considered modifying the submission of reports, we
maintain that quarterly reporting provides the best opportunity for FTA
and other interested parties to spot trends that would not be apparent
with annual or bi-annual reporting. FTA does not believe that quarterly
reporting on data elements that are typically collected by a transit
agency would impose an undue burden. However, FTA is reviewing APTA's
recommendation that any incremental cost associated with mandatory
reporting be included as part of the capital expense for purposes of
funding. We note that if this expense is included it will not increase
the aggregate amount of formula funds.
FTA has chosen to focus specifically on more advanced technologies
(e.g., battery electric, hybrid electric, and fuel cell powered
vehicles) since the least amount of transit data is currently available
for these technologies. FTA believes that a significant amount of data
is currently available for vehicles that use alternative fuels;
therefore, only projects to purchase or lease buses powered by advanced
propulsion technologies will have mandatory reporting requirements; all
others will be on a voluntary basis. However, FTA will attempt to
minimize these requirements by using existing electronic reporting
procedures. Further guidance on reporting procedures will be issued as
this program is implemented.
This rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under section
3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and does
not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section
6(a)(3) of that Order. We expect the economic impact of the final rule
to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e
of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary. We
reached this conclusion based on the fact this final rule provides
grant application procedures for designated recipients that are
interested in applying for Federal funds to acquire buses that use
clean fuel technology.
This rule is a significant regulation as defined by the
Department's Regulatory Policies and Procedures. The rule is
significant because it is expected to generate substantial public
interest, although it only involves grant application procedures.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-
612, FTA has evaluated the effects of this rule on small entities. This
rule will not have a significant effect on a substantial number of
small entities because it merely establishes application procedures for
the Clean Fuels Formula Grant Program.
Paperwork Reduction Act
This rule includes information collection requirements subject to
the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
has approved FTA's new information collection request. The affected
public would be mass transit operators that
apply for Federal funds under this program. Any burden associated with
this rule would be added to the current information collection package,
Clean Fuels Formula Grant Program, OMB approval number 2132-0560.
Comments solicited during the NPRM indicated that any cost associated
with the paperwork requirements, should be considered a capital
expense. FTA has determined that collection of information is necessary
for the proper performance of the FTA grant process, and any cost
associated with this rule is minimal; however, FTA is reviewing the
recommendation to include any incremental data collection cost in the
grant. FTA will also minimize the burden of the collection of
information on the applicants, through the use of automated collection
techniques (e.g., filing applications via facsimile (fax), electronic
mail or other forms of information technology).
The Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) of 1998 requires
all Federal agencies to have an electronic means of reporting to the
government as an alternative to reporting on paper by October 2003.
Because of logistical difficulties, all means of electronic filing are
not immediately available. However, FTA intends to develop the
authentication infrastructure to receive worksheets through additional
electronic means, such as web-based forms and electronic file transfer
by October 2003.
This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 and it has been determined
that the proposed rule does not have sufficient Federalism implications
to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment because it sets
forth application procedures for a discretionary grant program.
This program will have a positive impact on the environment. It
promotes the alternative use of clean fuels in vehicles used for mass
Mass transit has a positive impact on energy consumption as it
promotes an alternative to the single occupant vehicle.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
This program is a voluntary grant program and will not result in
the expenditure by state, local and tribal governments, in the
aggregate, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year.
List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 624
Grant Programs--Transportation, Mass transportation, Reporting and
Accordingly, for the reasons cited above, the FTA amends title 49
of the CFR by adding a new part 624, as set forth below:
PART 624--CLEAN FUELS FORMULA GRANT PROGRAM
624.1 Eligible applicant.
624.3 Eligible activities.
624.5 Application process.
Appendix A to Part 624--Pre-Application Worksheet
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 5308; 49 CFR 1.51.
Sec. 624.1 Eligible applicant.
(a) An eligible applicant is a designated recipient (designated
recipient has the same meaning as in 49 U.S.C. 5307(a)(2)) in either
(1) Ozone and carbon monoxide nonattainment areas that have the
specific classifications established by the 1990 Clean Air Act
Amendments [Public Law 101-549], or
(2) Ozone and carbon monoxide (CO) ``maintenance'' areas that,
before they were redesignated to attainment by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), had these same classifications.
(b) The nonattainment classifications for ozone are ``marginal,''
``moderate,'' ``serious,'' ``severe,'' and ``extreme.'' The
nonattainment classifications for CO are ``moderate'' and ``serious.''
Sec. 624.3 Eligible activities.
(a) Eligible activities include the purchase or lease of clean fuel
buses and facilities, repowering or retrofitting buses to operate on
clean fuels, and the improvement of existing facilities to accommodate
clean fuel buses.
(b)The term ``clean fuel vehicle'' means a vehicle that--
(1) Is powered by --
(i) Compressed natural gas;
(ii) Liquefied natural gas;
(iii) Biodiesel fuels;
(v) Alcohol-based fuels;
(vi) Hybrid electric;
(vii) Fuel cells;
(viii) Clean diesel, to the extent allowed under this section; or
(ix) Other low or zero emissions technology; and
(2) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has
certified sufficiently reduces harmful emissions.
(c) Eligible projects are the following:
(1) Purchasing or leasing clean fuel buses, including buses that
employ a lightweight composite primary structure, and vans for use in
revenue service. The purchase or lease of non-revenue vehicles is not
an eligible project.
(2) Constructing or leasing clean fuel bus facilities or electrical
recharging facilities and related equipment. Facilities and related
equipment for clean diesel buses are not eligible.
(3) Improving existing mass transportation facilities to
accommodate clean fuel buses.
(4) Repowering pre-1993 engines with clean fuel technology that
meets the current urban bus emission standards. Repowering means the
removal of an engine from a bus followed by the installation of another
engine and applies to engines that are replaced with new, previously
unused, engines as well as those exchanged from an inventory of rebuilt
(5) Retrofitting or rebuilding pre-1993 engines if before half life
(e.g., prior to six years of bus life) to rebuild; ``retrofit'' means
use of the latest after-market technology such as ``upgrade kits,'' or
after-treatment devices that treat the exhaust after it has left the
engine, such as catalytic converters and particulate filters.
(6) At the discretion of FTA, projects relating to clean fuel,
biodiesel, hybrid electric, or zero emissions technology vehicles that
achieve emissions reductions equivalent or superior to existing clean
fuel or hybrid electric technologies.
Sec. 624.5 Application process.
(a) Pre-applications must be submitted to the appropriate FTA
regional office no later than January 1 of each fiscal year. Subject to
the availability of funds, FTA will apportion the funds based on the
formula and the pool of applicants, no later than February 1 of each
year. Once the applicant has been notified of the apportionment of
funds and the eligibility of its application, it should proceed to
complete and file the final application. The final application must be
submitted electronically if the grantee is using the electronic
application process (i.e., TEAM).
(b) The pre-application consists of a Letter of Interest and a Pre-
application Worksheet as described as follows:
(1) Letter of interest. This letter serves as the cover letter for
the Pre-application Worksheet, expressing interest in submitting an
application. It describes the overall clean fuel technology program of
including the technology selected, describes the necessary
infrastructure to support the program and the long-range objectives of
the program including the eventual size of the clean fuel fleet. It
summarizes the eligible activities for which the agency is applying and
the amount of funds that the agency is seeking.
(2) Pre-application worksheet. Applicants must use the worksheet
found in Appendix A to this part.
Sec. 624.7 Certification.
The applicant must use the certification contained in the Annual
Notice of Assurances and Certifications published in the Federal
Register each October.
Sec. 624.9 Formula.
(a) Areas with population 1,000,000 and above. Two thirds of the
funds available each fiscal year shall be apportioned to applicants
with eligible projects in urban areas with a population of 1,000,000
and above. Of this, 50 percent shall be apportioned so that each
applicant receives a grant in an amount equal to the ratio between:
(1) The number of vehicles in the bus fleet of the eligible
applicant, weighted by the severity of nonattainment for the area in
which the eligible applicant is located; and
(2) The total number of vehicles in the bus fleets of all eligible
applicants in areas with a population of 1,000,000 and above, weighted
by the severity of nonattainment for all areas in which those eligible
projects are located as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this
section. The remaining 50 percent shall be apportioned such that each
designated recipient receives a grant in an amount equal to the ratio
(i) The number of bus passenger miles of the eligible designated
recipient, weighted by the severity of nonattainment of the area in
which the eligible applicant is located as provided in paragraphs (c)
and (d) of this section.
(ii) The total number of bus passenger miles of all eligible
applicants in areas with a population of 1,000,000 and above, weighted
by the severity of nonattainment of all areas in which those eligible
applicants are located as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this
(b) Areas under 1,000,000 population. The formula for areas under
1,000,000 in population is the same as paragraph (a) of this section,
except the formula removes the pool of eligible applicants in areas
with a population of 1,000,000 and above and replaces it with the pool
of eligible applicants in areas with populations under 1,000,000.
(c) Weighting factors. (1) The weighting factor for ozone shall be
determined based on the following factors.
(i) 1.0 if, at the time of the apportionment, the area is a
maintenance area for ozone;
(ii) 1.1 if, at the time of the apportionment, the area is
classified as a marginal ozone nonattainment area;
(iii) 1.2 if, at the time of the apportionment, the area is
classified as a moderate ozone nonattainment area;
(iv) 1.3 if, at the time of the apportionment, the area is
classified as a serious ozone nonattainment area;
(v) 1.4 if, at the time of the apportionment, the area is
classified as a severe ozone nonattainment area;
(vi) 1.5 if, at the time of the apportionment, the area is
classified as an extreme ozone nonattainment area;
(2) The weighting factor for CO shall be determined based on the
(i) 1.0 if, at the time of the apportionment, the area is a
maintenance area for carbon monoxide;
(ii) 1.2 if, at the time of the apportionment, the area is
classified as a moderate carbon monoxide nonattainment area;
(iii) 1.3 if, at the time of the apportionment, the area is
classified as a serious carbon monoxide nonattainment area.
(3) The number of buses in the fleet and the bus passenger miles
shall be multiplied by the higher of the ozone or CO factors.
(d) Additional adjustment. The number of buses in the fleet and the
bus passenger miles shall be further multiplied by a factor of 1.2 if
the area is both nonattainment for CO and either nonattainment or
maintenance for ozone.
(e) Limitation on uses. (1) Not less than 5 percent of the amount
made available by or appropriated under 49 U.S.C. 5338 in each fiscal
year to carry out this section shall be available for any eligible
projects for which an application is received from a designated
recipient for the purchase or construction of hybrid electric or
battery-powered buses or facilities specifically designed to service
(2) Not more than 35 percent of the amount made available by or
appropriated under 49 U.S.C. 5338 in each fiscal year to carry out this
section may be made available to fund clean diesel buses.
(3) Not more than 5 percent of the amount made available by or
appropriated under 49 U.S.C. 5338 in each fiscal year to carry out this
section may be made available to fund 21 retrofitting or replacement of
the engines of buses that do not meet the clean air standards of the
Environmental Protection Agency, as in effect on the date on which the
application for such retrofitting or replacement is submitted under
Note to Sec. 624.9. Maximum grant amount. The amount of a grant
made to a designated recipient under this section shall not exceed
the lesser of--for an eligible project in an area with a population
of less than 1,000,000, $15,000,000,--and for an eligible project in
an area with a population of at least 1,000,000, $25,000,000; or 80
percent of the total cost of the eligible project. Any amounts that
would otherwise be apportioned to a designated reciipient under this
Note that exceed the amount described in this Note shall be
reapportioned among other designated recipients in accordance with
The Clean Fuels Formula funds will be apportioned according to
the following formula:
Sec. 624.11 Reporting.
(a) Recipients of financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. 5308 who
purchase or lease hybrid electric, battery electric and fuel cell
vehicles must report to the appropriate FTA regional office on a
quarterly basis for the first three years of the useful life of the
vehicle with the following information:
(1) Vehicle miles traveled;
(2) Fuel/energy costs;
(3) Vehicle fuel/energy consumption and oil consumption;
(4) Number of road calls or breakdowns resulting from clean fuel
and advanced propulsion technology systems, and
(5) Maintenance costs associated with the clean fuels or advanced
(b) Recipients of financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. 5308 who
purchase or lease compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas
(LNG), and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vehicles may report the
information described in paragraph (a) of this section, but this
reporting is voluntary.
(c) Recipients of financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. 5308 who
purchase or lease clean diesel vehicles should not report information
beyond the normal FTA quarterly reporting requirements.
APPENDIX A TO PART 624--PRE-APPLICATION WORKSHEET
The following are instructions for completing the pre-
(1) Requesting Agency. Fill in the name of the applicant. The
applicant must be a designated recipient.
(2) UZA (or Urban Area). List the name of the urbanized area if
the applicant is located in an urbanized area. Otherwise, indicate
the name of the city or town.
(3) Nonattainment or Maintenance Area Name. List the name of the
nonattainment or maintenance area in which your agency provides
(4) Classification for Ozone. List the current EPA nonattainment
classification for your service area. (The classification must be of
the following terms: marginal, moderate, serious, severe, or
(5) Classification for Carbon Monoxide. List the current EPA
nonattainment classification for your service area. (The
classification must be either moderate or serious.)
I. Proposed activity.
(1) New Bus Purchase/Lease. Enter the number of vans or buses by
fuel category in the pre-application. For hybrid electric vehicles,
include fuel types. Indicate whether the structure is lightweight
composite or traditional structure and weight. Enter the total and
Federal amount for each fuel type.
(2) Construct/Lease New Clean Fuel Facility and Related
Equipment. Indicate the Federal and total amount for a clean fuels
facility, related equipment or electrical recharging facility. Enter
any descriptive or explanatory information on the lines for
additional information, including what fuel type is being
accommodated. Facilities to accommodate clean diesel are not
(3) Indicate the Federal amount and total amount for
improvements to existing facilities to accommodate clean fuel buses.
Enter any descriptive or explanatory information on the line for
additional items, including what fuel type is being accommodated.
(4) Indicate the Federal amount and total amount for repowering/
replacing pre-1993 engines with engines that meet current emissions
standards when installed. Please include a separate entry for each
fuel type. For the purposes of this program, repowering/replacement
means the removal of an engine from the bus followed by the
installation of another engine. This applies to engines that are
replaced with new, previously unused engines, as well as those
exchanged from an inventory of rebuilt engines.
(5) Enter a quantity, Federal amount, and total amount by fuel
type for retrofit/rebuild of pre-1993 engines to comply with latest
EPA-certified emissions standards. For the purposes of this program,
``retrofit'' means the use of the latest after-market technology
such as ``upgrade kits,'' or after-treatment device(s) that treat
the exhaust after it has left the engine, such as catalytic
converters or particulate filters. ``Before the half-life rebuild''
means that the retrofitting would need to occur before the bus is
six years old. Since this provision applies to pre-1993 engines,
this provision is of limited time availability.
(6) This section should describe any proposed clean fuel project
not included in the categories above. Since any project not included
above requires approval at the discretion of FTA, projects included
here should also be described in the letter of interest. Include the
Federal amount and total.
(7) Summary. Indicate the Totals for the Federal and Total
Amounts requested for all projects listed in this Section I.
This section contains the active bus fleet and annual bus
passenger miles information that is required to run the Clean Fuels
(1) Enter the number of buses in the active fixed route fleet.
For this purpose, ``bus'' includes articulated motorbus, Class A bus
(35 seats), Class B bus (25-35 seats), Class C bus (<25
seats), double-decked bus, school bus, and electric trolley bus. Use
NTD data that was reported 2 years prior (e.g., if applying in FY
2003, use data from FY 2001). For UZAs that have already submitted
information to the National Transit Database (NTD), add the data
from column H of Form 408 for the following vehicle types: AB, BA,
BB, BC, DD, SB, and TB. (These vehicle types are defined in
reporter's guidance for the NTD.)
(2) Enter the fixed route annual bus passenger miles for 2 years
prior (e.g., if applying in FY 2003, use data from FY 2001. This may
include motorbus (see types above) or trolley bus. For UZAs that
have submitted NTD data, add the information from column I of line
25 of Form 406 for the modes MB and TB.
III. Projects Subject to Minimum/Maximum Apportionments
This section provides a dollar total for the areas that are
affected by either maximum or minimum constraints. These constraints
apply to the entire program and not to individual applicants.
However, in order to comply with these constraints, FTA must know
how much each applicant is applying for in each of these areas.
(1) Enter the total Federal dollar amount for the purchase/lease
of clean diesel vehicles.
(2) Enter the total Federal dollar amount for project elements
that fall into the category of purchasing hybrid electric or
battery-powered buses or constructing facilities designed to service
(3) Enter the total Federal dollar amount for project elements
that fall into the category of retrofitting or replacing bus engines
that do not meet the clean air standards of the EPA.
Note: Because of the uncertainty of how many grantees will
apply, the actual amount that a grantee receives in an apportionment
may be different from the amount requested in the application that
was submitted. Furthermore, because clean diesel and retrofit/
replacement of bus engines are subject to maximum constraints, the
amounts specifically apportioned for those purposes may not resemble
the proportionality of the application. For example, suppose Grantee
A's application included $500,000 for clean diesel and $100,000 for
a compressed natural gas bus. If the 35 percent ceiling for clean
diesel is exceeded by the total applications, Grantee A may only be
allowed $50,000 to be used specifically for clean diesel because of
the ceiling. The remainder of the funds apportioned to Grantee A
(say, $300,000) would have to be used in areas without a maximum
constraint, i.e., in areas other than clean diesel or retrofit/
replacement of bus engines if applied for.
The chief executive officer or the general manager of the
transit agency should sign this certification.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR11JN02.000
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR11JN02.001
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR11JN02.002
Issued: June 4, 2002.
Jennifer L. Dorn,
Administrator, Federal Transit Administration.
[FR Doc. 02-14547 Filed 6-10-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P