The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, shall establish a competitive grant pilot program (referred to in this subpart as the "pilot program"), to be administered through the Clean Cities Program of the Department, to provide not more than 30 geographically dispersed project grants to State governments, local governments, or metropolitan transportation authorities to carry out a project or projects for the purposes described in subsection (b).
A grant under this section may be used for the following purposes:
(1) The acquisition of alternative fueled vehicles or fuel cell vehicles, including—
(A) passenger vehicles (including neighborhood electric vehicles); and
(B) motorized 2-wheel bicycles or other vehicles for use by law enforcement personnel or other State or local government or metropolitan transportation authority employees.
(2) The acquisition of alternative fueled vehicles, hybrid vehicles, or fuel cell vehicles, including—
(A) buses used for public transportation or transportation to and from schools;
(B) delivery vehicles for goods or services; and
(C) ground support vehicles at public airports (including vehicles to carry baggage or push or pull airplanes toward or away from terminal gates).
(3) The acquisition of ultra-low sulfur diesel vehicles.
(4) Installation or acquisition of infrastructure necessary to directly support an alternative fueled vehicle, fuel cell vehicle, or hybrid vehicle project funded by the grant, including fueling and other support equipment.
(5) Operation and maintenance of vehicles, infrastructure, and equipment acquired as part of a project funded by the grant.
The Secretary shall issue requirements for applying for grants under the pilot program.
At a minimum, the Secretary shall require that an application for a grant—
(i) be submitted by the head of a State or local government or a metropolitan transportation authority, or any combination thereof, and a registered participant in the Clean Cities Program of the Department; and
(I) a description of the project proposed in the application, including how the project meets the requirements of this subpart;
(II) an estimate of the ridership or degree of use of the project;
(III) an estimate of the air pollution emissions reduced and fossil fuel displaced as a result of the project, and a plan to collect and disseminate environmental data, related to the project to be funded under the grant, over the life of the project;
(IV) a description of how the project will be sustainable without Federal assistance after the completion of the term of the grant;
(V) a complete description of the costs of the project, including acquisition, construction, operation, and maintenance costs over the expected life of the project;
(VI) a description of which costs of the project will be supported by Federal assistance under this subpart; and
(VII) documentation to the satisfaction of the Secretary that diesel fuel containing sulfur at not more than 15 parts per million is available for carrying out the project, and a commitment by the applicant to use such fuel in carrying out the project.
An applicant under paragraph (1) may carry out a project under the pilot program in partnership with public and private entities.
In evaluating applications under the pilot program, the Secretary shall—
(1) consider each applicant's previous experience with similar projects; and
(2) give priority consideration to applications that—
(A) are most likely to maximize protection of the environment;
(B) demonstrate the greatest commitment on the part of the applicant to ensure funding for the proposed project and the greatest likelihood that the project will be maintained or expanded after Federal assistance under this subpart is completed; and
(C) exceed the minimum requirements of subsection (c)(1)(B)(ii).
The Secretary shall not provide more than $15,000,000 in Federal assistance under the pilot program to any applicant.
The Secretary shall not provide more than 50 percent of the cost, incurred during the period of the grant, of any project under the pilot program.
The Secretary shall not fund any applicant under the pilot program for more than 5 years.
The Secretary shall seek to the maximum extent practicable to ensure a broad geographic distribution of project sites.
The Secretary shall establish mechanisms to ensure that the information and knowledge gained by participants in the pilot program are transferred among the pilot program participants and to other interested parties, including other applicants that submitted applications.
Not later than 90 days after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register, Commerce Business Daily, and elsewhere as appropriate, a request for applications to undertake projects under the pilot program. Applications shall be due not later than 180 days after the date of publication of the notice.
Not later than 180 days after the date by which applications for grants are due, the Secretary shall select by competitive, peer reviewed proposal, all applications for projects to be awarded a grant under the pilot program.
For purposes of carrying out the pilot program, the Secretary shall issue regulations defining any term, as the Secretary determines to be necessary.
(Pub. L. 109–58, title VII, §721, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 818.)