On June 3, 2020, Empire Clean Cities, Energy Vision and New York City (NYC) Department of Transportation hosted an educational webinar, “Advancing Clean Air and Climate Goals with Clean Fuel Trucks” on how truck fleet owners and operators can bring healthier air to residents of the South Bronx by transitioning to affordable, clean, alternatively fueled medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Over 100 attendees heard from seven different alternative fuel stakeholders, including New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, NYC Department of Transportation, Clean Energy Fuels, Manhattan Beer Distributors, Energy Vision
and Empire Clean Cities.
The webinar focused on renewable natural gas (RNG) and its benefits as a vehicle fuel. RNG is currently available for public and private fleets in New York City from a fueling station in Hunts Point, the Bronx operated by Clean Energy Fuels. Fleets in New York City are encouraged to use the station as an important piece of infrastructure in their alternative fuel vehicle operations.
The webinar also featured an overview of the New York City (NYC) Clean Trucks Program. Administered by the NYC Department of Transportation, the program makes $12,000 to $185,000 available for applicants in Industrial Business Zones (IBZs) to replace older, diesel trucks with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission compliant electric, alternative fuel or new diesel trucks. By prioritizing truck replacement projects in IBZ areas such as Hunts Point and the South Bronx, the NYC Clean Trucks Program ensures that available Volkswagen Settlement funding addresses health and race disparities related to our transportation industry.
The current COVID-19 pandemic and national protests shine a light on systemic discrimination and injustices against the Black community, such as suffering disproportionate health impacts caused in part by harmful vehicle emissions and congested roadways near environmental justice communities. A combination of available alternative fueling stations and incentive opportunities makes the transition to alternative fuels as affordable and accessible as ever.