Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance News

April 2024

Stakeholder News

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is one of the fastest-growing airports in the United States, undergoing constant development to meet the demand of travelers. The Austin Airport has captured what it means to grow as a worldwide operation while remaining committed to sustainability. We met with BJ Carpenter, the New Airport Environment & Sustainability Officer, and learned more about how Austin’s Airport has put the environment as a guiding pillar since its opening in 1999. BJ Carpenter, the New Airport Environmental Sustainability Officer BJ is an expert in Environmental Resource Management with over 25 years of experience working in the Environmental and Sustainability sector and over 14 years working with the City of Austin. He has worked at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport since 2016, and in February took on a new role as the Airport Environment & Sustainability Officer. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport's Environmental Division has an award-winning compliance program that not only meets but also exceeds local, state, and federal regulations. The compliance team works closely with many onsite tenants and regulators to ensure all regulatory requirements are being met. The sustainability side of the division focuses on carbon reduction, resource conservation, and waste diversion, as well as stakeholder engagement to help tenants and the airport achieve their sustainability goals. Positions like BJ’s help to keep all aspects of growth and development in line with the Environmental regulations and Sustainability goals of the City of Austin and the Airport. Over the years, BJ has seen the Airport’s Environmental and Sustainability department grow from six people to eleven in just over seven years. BJ shares his excitement about working together with his team towards a sustainable future. He states, “True sustainability isn’t just about the environment as many people think. It has many definitions, but all of them boil down to one concept…survival. It means surviving as an individual, an organization or even a planet with a focus on the future. Environment is a big part of it, but there are other components as well.” AUS has a sustainable philosophy based on four pillars: Finance, Community, Operations, and Environment, all of which form the foundation upon which all decisions are made. They hold up the roof, which is AUS, and if any pillar falls, so does the roof. Each decision must consider all pillars with equal importance with a goal of minimizing negative impacts across them. The Environmental Division has been working hard for many years to engrain this philosophy throughout the organization as they work with both internal and external stakeholders to improve sustainability at AUS.

Since opening in 1999, all shuttles owned and operated by the Austin Airport have utilized Alternative Fuel using either Propane or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses. In January 2020, the airport was recognized by the Airport Council International (ACI) - Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Program as Level 3+ Carbon Neutral and is currently working towards Level 4+ Transition. One major achievement for cutting carbon emissions was in 2012 thanks to the City of Austin mandate for all local government facilities to transition to using Renewable Green Choice Energy. This helped the airport drop their total emissions by 70%. The Airport’s sustainability efforts expand far beyond just their energy use, making room to be more sustainable in every aspect of operations. Meeting with BJ, we learned more about why AUS is a great example of how to utilize Alternative Fuels in various applications.

The Use of Alternative Fuels in Daily Operations

To keep up with local population growth in Central Texas AUS has doubled its passenger throughput since opening in 1999, in 2023, over 22 million passengers traveled through AUS. Over the years, AUS’s Shuttle Bus Fleet has grown to 35 buses, servicing passengers from the Barbara Jordan Terminal to and from the ground lots. In 2023, using a $400,000 grant from the Government Alternative Fuel Fleet Program (GAFF), administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, AUS purchased 10 new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses. Through their partnership with Clean Energy, AUS now utilizes Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) which is created from captured methane gas, primarily from landfills, farms, and wastewater treatment facilities. Beginning in January 2020, switching to carbon-neutral RNG has reduced total CO2 emissions of the airport by 7%. AUS has also created an RNG sharing program, helping other onsite CNG users reduce their carbon footprints by 60%. As a result of the determination to make sustainable transportation a standard at AUS and continuing to partner with onsite stakeholders, many have alternative fuel fleets, utilizing either Propane, CNG, or EV vehicles.

Ground Service Equipment (GSE)

In 2013 AUS purchased and installed 10 new fast charging stations for ground service equipment (GSE) effectively adding a total of 20 charge points. In 2014 AUS worked with airline partners to receive grant funding through the EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) to help airlines replace 12 diesel GSE units with electric. In 2016, 5 more diesel GSE units were replaced with electric through DERA grants. By installing these charging stations, many airlines were able to transition to utilizing EV vehicles for their Ground Service Equipment, while also creating a safer work environment for employees. Electrification of GSE at the Austin airport continues to grow.

Facility Operations

Facility Operations The use of alternative fuels does not stop at Grounds Service Equipment; it also extends to the fleets used in Operations and Land Management. The airport is in the process of creating an Electrification Roadmap to guide electrification across campus for both the airside and landside areas. The airport currently has an EV Fleet containing: 8 Chevy Bolts 3 Ford Lightings on order for use during daily operations 3 EV bikes for employees to use as an alternate mode of transportation between the various buildings on site. There are now chargers at all primary buildings for employee and fleet vehicles, as well as chargers for the public and tenants, such as rental car companies, parking facilities, and hotels. On the landside: 20 level 1 charge points 150 level 2 charge points 2 level 3 DC fast charge points In maintaining the landscape, the airport utilizes propane lawn equipment like mowers, showing the commitment to utilizing alternative fuels in effective ways. As the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport continues to grow, so will its carbon footprint, and the Environmental Division will continue to implement new and innovative ways to reduce that footprint. We are proud of BJ and the whole Environmental Division Team for ingraining Austin’s Culture of Sustainability and pushing AUS to become one of the most sustainable airports in the world. Thank you BJ for sharing with us!

Thank you to those who have completed and returned their 2023 Fleet & Fuel Recognition Survey!

Coalition News

Jackie Mason is the Education & Marketing Director at the Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT). She is an expert in the propane industry with over 21 years of dedication to ProCOT. Jackie’s role encompasses many responsibilities aimed at educating communities about the benefits of propane. Jackie has been involved with our Clean Cities Coalition since 2013.

Propane Council of Texas works to educate various sectors including universities, schools, and companies on the diverse applications of propane. The Council can assist fleets and organizations in finding EPA certified propane conversion kits, propane OEM platforms and propane equipment. In addition to providing complimentary grant consultation and grant writing services through a partnership with the American Energy Institute.

For more information, fleets and organizations can reach out to Propane Council of Texas at 800-325-7427 text 2 or email them at info@propanecounciloftexas.org

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the $500 million Renew America’s Schools Program to promote the implementation of clean energy improvements at K-12 public schools across the country. The Renew America’s Schools Program aims to to help school communities make energy upgrades that will decrease energy use and costs, improve indoor air quality, and foster healthier learning environments.  

Eligible projects include energy infrastructure improvements that reduce building operating costs—like new HVAC and ventilation systems, building envelope and lighting projects, and renewable energy technologies. Funding is also available for alternative fueled vehicles and alternative fueled vehicle infrastructure. 

Applications are NOW OPEN for the second round of funding (The Renew America’s Schools Prize) and are due June 13, 2024, at 5PM ET.

More information on the program can be found on the Renew America’s Schools Program webpage.

Learn more about the Clean Bus Planning Awards (CBPA) from our most recent Lunch and Learn Webinar!

  • FREE Technical Assistance

  • Custom Electrification Plan tailored to YOUR fleet

  • Grant Preparedness and more!

Learn more here.

Grants & Funding

Texas Clean School Bus Program (TCSB) Funding $13.6M

Grants to Replace or Retrofit School Buses

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) is now accepting applications for the Texas Clean School Bus (TCSB) program, which is designed to reduce school children’s exposure to diesel exhaust from school buses. Grants are available statewide for eligible public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools in Texas. Private schools do not qualify for funding.

Eligible Projects:

  • Replacing pre-2007, diesel-fueled school buses with buses that are the current or previous model year at the time you apply. If a bus is used under a lease or lease-purchase agreement, it only qualifies as a retrofit project.

  • Purchasing and installing a retrofit system on an eligible school bus.

    Applications will be accepted and considered on a first-come, first-served basis until  October 14, 2024 or until all available funds have been awarded.  

    Here are the step-by-step instrustions to apply.

Seaport and Rail Yard Areas Emissions Reduction Program (SPRY) Funding $20.3M

Grants for Drayage and Cargo Handling Equipment*

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) is now accepting applications for the Seaport and Rail Yard Areas Emissions Reduction Program (SPRY) provides grants for upgrading or replacing older drayage and container handling equipment. Grants are available for individuals, corporations, organizations, governments, government agencies, and any other legal entity, which aslo may include a corporation headquartered outside of Texas that operates eligible equipment in Texas.

Eligible Projects:

  • Replacing or repowering drayage and cargo handling equipment and vehicles with newer ones.

  • New vehicles and equipment must emit nitrogen oxides (NOX) at a rate that is at least 25% less than the vehicles or equipment being replaced.

  • Applicants must have owned or leased eligible vehicles and equipment for at least the two years preceding the signature date on the application. Examples: aerial lifts and cranes, forklifts, crawler tractors, container handling equipment, haul trucks and yard trucks.

    Here are the step-by-step instrustions to apply.

    *SPRY may be open depending on when you open the newsletter.

New Program Offers Free Technical Assistance to Develop Bus Fleet Electrification Plans

 Technical Expert Assistance to Support Planning for Bus Electrification

The National Renewable Energy Labortory (NREL) and The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation are working together to provide The Clean Bus Planning Awards (CBPA) Program. The CBPA is not an incentive program, and fleets do not receive direct funding—rather, selected applicants will be allocated technical assistance resources by NREL.

Eligiblity to Apply:

  • All State and Local governmental entities providing bus service, including public school districts and charter schools.

  • Private school bus fleets with an active contractual agreement to serve a public school district

  • Nonprofit school transportation associations.

  • Tribes, tribal organizations, or tribally controlled schools responsible for the purchase of school buses or providing school bus service for a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)-funded school.

  • Direct or designated recipients of FTA grants, including state and local governmental authorities, and tribes

    Applications for assistance are open on a rolling basis through Sept. 30, 2024, giving fleets an opportunity to fully understand their needs before applying for support. This new program will reduce the burden of electrification by helping fleet managers create a step-by-step plan to transition their bus fleet. Learn more.


May 29th, 2024 10:30 AM- 3:00 PM CST

Located at Oncor Service Center in Hutto

After registering, RSVP “yes” on Outlook invite for FREE Lunch.

For more information and to register

EV Charging Study

Oncor’s Energy Efficiency group is sponsoring an EV charging study with incentives for enrollment up to $10,000, participation up to $10,000, with a maximum incentive of $25,000.

There are still a few spots left, so please come to the EVolution session to learn more.

Thank you to our members!

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