[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 141 (Friday, July 22, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47850-47852]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17132]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2016-0017]


Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act--Designation of 
Alternative Fuel Corridors

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice; solicitation of nominations.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Section 1413 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation 
(FAST) Act requires the Secretary of Transportation to designate 
national electric vehicle (EV) charging, hydrogen, propane, and natural 
gas fueling corridors. The FHWA is issuing this Federal Register Notice 
to invite nominations from State and local officials to assist in 
making such designations.

DATES: Submissions must be received on or before August 22, 2016. Late 
submissions will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the docket number 
FHWA-2016-0017 by any one of the following methods:
    Fax: 1-202-493-2251;
    Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 
West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590;
    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays; or electronically through the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name, docket 
name and docket number for this notice (FHWA-2016-0017). The DOT posts

[[Page 47851]]

these comments, without edit, including any personal information the 
commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system 
of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to 
U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20950, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diane Turchetta, Office of Natural 
Environment, (202) 493-0158, or via email at diane.turchetta@dot.gov. 
For legal questions, please contact Robert Black, Office of the Chief 
Counsel, (202) 366-1359, or via email at robert.black@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Section 1413 of the FAST Act (Section 1413), signed into law on 
December 4, 2015, requires the Secretary to designate national EV 
charging, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling corridors within 1 
year from the date of enactment (December 4, 2016). (23 U.S.C. 151). In 
accordance with 23 U.S.C. 151(a), corridor designations must identify 
near-and long-term need for, and location of, EV charging 
infrastructure, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, propane fueling 
infrastructure, and natural gas fueling infrastructure at strategic 
locations along major national highways to improve mobility of 
passenger and commercial vehicles that employ electric, hydrogen fuel 
cell, propane, and natural gas fueling technologies across the United 
States.
    The FHWA must solicit nominations for corridors from State and 
local officials and involve a range of stakeholders. (23 U.S.C. 151(b) 
and (c)). Within 5 years of establishing the corridors, and every 5 
years thereafter, DOT must update and re-designate the corridors. 
During the designation and re-designation of the corridors, the FHWA is 
to issue a report that identifies EV charging infrastructure, hydrogen 
fueling infrastructure, propane fueling infrastructure, and natural gas 
fueling infrastructure and standardization needs for electricity 
providers, industrial gas providers, natural gas providers, 
infrastructure providers, vehicle manufacturers, electricity purchases, 
and natural gas purchases. The report must also establish aspirational 
goals of achieving strategic deployment of EV charging infrastructure, 
hydrogen fueling infrastructure, propane fueling infrastructure, and 
natural gas fueling infrastructure in those corridors by the end of 
fiscal year 2020. The FHWA held two national Webinars (May 12, 2016, 
and May 16, 2016) at which stakeholders were invited to provide input 
to FHWA on the process, timeline, and specific topics related to the 
implementation of Section 1413. The presentation, transcript of chat 
pods, and Webinar recordings can be found at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/climate_change/mitigation/webinars/.

Information To Be Included in Nominations

    Any State or local agency is invited to nominate an alternative 
fuel corridor for designation. For the purposes of this solicitation, 
an eligible corridor is defined as a segment of the National Highway 
System (NHS).\1\ However, to encourage the creation of a national 
network of alternative fuel infrastructure, a corridor may also include 
feeder routes/roads that connect to that NHS segment. Both corridors 
within a single State and multistate corridors are eligible, with the 
goal of connecting communities, cities, and regions to develop a 
national network of alternative fuel facilities. A State or local 
agency interested in submitting a nomination for a corridor designation 
should develop a 20-page maximum nomination (nothing beyond the first 
20 pages will be considered, including attachments) containing the 
following elements/information:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See following FHWA Web site for definitions and descriptions 
of the NHS: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/national_highway_system/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Corridor being proposed for designation (include the 
official name of the NHS segment and beginning and end points of the 
proposed corridor);
     Name of lead State or local agency originating the 
nomination;
     Name of the entity (or entities) with jurisdiction over 
the proposed corridor (i.e., State, local government, Indian tribe and/
or Federal land management agency);
     Description of corridor, including the major metropolitan 
areas and/or intermodal facilities located along the corridor, how the 
corridor contributes to the national network, and why it is being 
proposed for designation;
     Corridor use (i.e., mainly freight, mainly passenger, or 
both);
     Approximate population along proposed corridor or in 
general area/region, including median income and basic demographic 
information;
     Benefits to disadvantaged groups and/or communities, which 
may include low-income groups, persons with visible or hidden 
disabilities, elderly individuals, and minority persons and 
populations;
     Existing and projected usage of the corridor (i.e., 
vehicle miles traveled and/or freight congestion/tonnage moved);
     Goals for increasing the use of alternative fuels;
     Type of alternative fuel(s) currently used and/or 
projected to be used along the corridor;
     Estimated/projected cost of planned alternative fuel 
facilities on proposed corridor, if known;
     Type, number, and distance between existing and planned 
alternative fuel facilities by fuel type located along proposed 
corridor (e.g., for electric vehicle charging corridors or CNG 
facilities, the type and level of charging technology in use or 
planned);
     Demonstrated interest and support for alternative fuel 
facilities from stakeholders;
     Standardization needs for fuel/charging providers, 
manufacturers, and purchasers; and
     Goals for strategic deployment of refueling/recharging 
infrastructure along corridor and/or network for short-term (by the end 
of fiscal year 2020), and long-term (by the end of fiscal year 2040).

Criteria for Designating Alternative Fuel Corridors 2
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Section 111 of Title 23 United States Code prohibits 
Interstate rest areas built after January 1, 1960 from offering 
commercial services such as fuel and food on the Interstate right-
of-way. In light of this provision, an alternative fuel facility can 
be located on an Interstate right-of-way, but a fee may not be 
charged for the facility.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA plans to designate alternative fuel corridors based on the 
criteria outlined in this solicitation. Corridor designations will be 
selected based on the following criteria, which are listed in priority 
order and indicated by numbered and bolded headings. Sub-bullets are 
not in priority order:

1. Alternative Fuel Facilities

     Number of existing alternative fuel facilities on 
corridor;
     Number of additional planned/projected alternative fuel 
facilities on corridor;
     Distance between existing and planned/projected 
alternative fuel facilities on corridor;
     Visibility, convenience, and accessibility to the users on 
the corridor; and

[[Page 47852]]

     Explanation of successfully developing new alternative 
fuel facilities along the corridor based on past activity/success.

2. Corridor Scale/Impact

     Connections to other segments of the NHS in order to 
create/develop a national network of alternative fuel infrastructure;
     Whether the corridor connects to one or more major 
metropolitan areas and/or multiple States (multiple States that submit 
a joint application must identify a lead applicant as the primary point 
of contact); and/or
     Whether the corridor connects to one or more major 
intermodal facilities (i.e. freight, transit, etc.).

3. Emission Reductions

     Estimated reductions in greenhouse gas and/or criteria 
pollutant emissions along the corridor, or in the area, due to existing 
and projected alternative fuel facilities.

4. Development of Team and Degree of Collaboration and Support

     Degree of collaboration, and formation of partnerships, 
regarding alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure with both public 
and private sector entities, which should include:
    [ssquf] State and local officials (nomination must include support 
from the transportation agency or agencies with jurisdiction over the 
proposed corridor such as the State, local government, Indian tribe, 
and/or Federal land management agency;
    [ssquf] Other Federal agencies;
    [ssquf] Department of Energy's (DOE) Clean Cities Program, as well 
as its associated network of coalitions and stakeholders); and
    [ssquf] Representatives of energy utilities; electric, fuel cell 
electric, propane, and natural gas vehicle industries; equipment 
manufacturers; fuel suppliers; Original Equipment Manufacturers; public 
or private fleets; auto dealerships; energy marketers; utilities/energy 
companies; alternative fuel and clean air advocacy organizations; local 
and regional planning entities; freight and shipping industry; clean 
technology firms; hospitality industry; highway rest stop vendors; 
industrial gas and hydrogen manufacturers; and
     Demonstrated interest and support. For example, support 
demonstrated through past work in the area on alternative fuels, 
support from local elected officials, public support, stakeholder 
support, development of incentives, etc.
     Whether the proposed corridor is an existing electric 
vehicle charging, hydrogen fueling, propane fueling or natural gas 
corridor been designated by a State or group of States.

Optional Information and Considerations

     Consideration of Clean Cities coalition \3\ locations/
existing alternative fuel markets;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ https://cleancities.energy.gov/coalitions/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Whether the corridor or segments of the corridor are 
located in in ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter 
nonattainment or maintenance areas;
     Goals for greenhouse gas and/or criteria pollutant 
emission reductions;
     Available State and/or local alternative fuel vehicle 
incentives/programs;
     Current and future demand for alternative fuel facilities 
based on current and predicted usage patterns (passenger, freight, and 
other commercial vehicles). The analysis of future demand/alternative 
fuel facilities should include description of how the corridor will be 
extended and/or how distances between stations will be shortened (i.e., 
gaps closed);
     Other alternative fuels included under the Energy Policy 
Act of 2005 but not included in Section 1413, or vehicle technologies 
such as Truck Stop Electrification used along corridor that contribute 
to greenhouse gas or criteria air pollutant emission reductions;
     Availability of alternative fuel vehicle support services 
in the vicinity/region (e.g. maintenance and repair shops, first 
responders, safety officials, towing and road-side rescue services, 
etc.);
     Potential of designation to serve as a national case to 
document lessons learned/best practices.

Support for Designated Corridors

    Although Section 1413 does not provide dedicated funding for 
designated corridors, FHWA believes the designation of such corridors 
can serve important public purposes. For instance, the United States 
has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 26-28 percent by 
2025 and 80 percent or more by 2050. The transportation sector is a 
significant source of U.S. GHG emissions, (tailpipe GHG emissions from 
transportation sources accounted for 27 percent of total U.S. GHG 
emissions), and achieving reductions in these emissions will be needed 
to support national commitments. Alternative fuel corridors with 
support for lower-emitting vehicles can assist in this effort.
    Furthermore, it is FHWA's goal and intent to create and expand a 
national network of alternative fueling and charging infrastructure 
along NHS corridors by developing a process that provides the 
opportunity for a formal corridor designation once the criteria set 
forth in the solicitation are met, and on a rolling basis, without a 
cap on the number of corridors; ensures that corridor designations are 
selected based on criteria that promote the ``build out'' of a national 
network; develops national signage and branding to help catalyze 
applicant and public interest; encourages multistate and regional 
cooperation and collaboration; and, brings together a consortium of 
stakeholders including State agencies, utilities, alternative fuel 
providers, and car manufacturers to promote and advance alternative 
fuel corridor designations in conjunction with the DOE.
    In support of this goal, the FHWA intends to develop appropriate 
signage that may be placed on designated corridors in accordance with 
the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).\4\ The FHWA 
anticipates that any such signage will distinguish between ``zero 
emission'' corridors (supported by electric vehicle charging or 
hydrogen fueling infrastructure) and ``alternative fuel'' corridors 
(supported by propane or natural gas fueling infrastructure), to make 
clear the nature of the alternative fuel supported in each corridor.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ For information on the MUTCD please see the following Web 
site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timeline

    The deadline for this initial solicitation is August 22, 2016. 
After this deadline, FHWA will establish a process for future 
nominations and designations on a rolling basis.

    Authority:  Section 1413 of the FAST Act (Pub. L. 114-94).

    Issued on: July 8, 2016.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-17132 Filed 7-21-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-22-P