HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE - Title 5 - SUBTITLE C. AIR QUALITY

Link to law: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/HS/htm/HS.394.HTM
Published: 2015-07-01

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HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE

TITLE 5. SANITATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

SUBTITLE C. AIR QUALITY

For expiration of this chapter, see Section 394.012.

CHAPTER 394. TEXAS NATURAL GAS VEHICLE GRANT PROGRAM



Sec. 394.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Advisory board" means the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan Advisory Board.

(2) "Commission" means the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

(3) "Executive director" means the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

(4) "Heavy-duty motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle with:

(A) a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 8,500 pounds; and

(B) an engine certified to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's standards for heavy-duty engines.

(5) "Incremental cost" means the difference between the manufacturer's suggested retail price of a baseline vehicle, the documented dealer price of a baseline vehicle, cost to lease or otherwise commercially finance a baseline vehicle, cost to repower with a baseline engine, or other appropriate baseline cost established by the commission, and the actual cost of the natural gas vehicle purchase, lease, or other commercial financing, or repower.

(6) "Medium-duty motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 8,500 pounds that:

(A) is certified to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's light-duty emissions standard; or

(B) has an engine certified to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's light-duty emissions standard.

(7) "Motor vehicle" has the meaning assigned by Section 386.151.

(8) "Natural gas vehicle" means a motor vehicle that receives not less than 75 percent of its power from compressed or liquefied natural gas.

(9) "Program" means the Texas natural gas vehicle grant program established under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 394.002. PROGRAM. The commission shall establish and administer the Texas natural gas vehicle grant program to encourage an entity that has a heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle to repower the vehicle with a natural gas engine or replace the vehicle with a natural gas vehicle. Under the program, the commission shall provide grants for eligible heavy-duty motor vehicles and medium-duty motor vehicles to offset the incremental cost for the entity of repowering or replacing the heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 394.003. QUALIFYING VEHICLES. (a) A vehicle is a qualifying vehicle that may be considered for a grant under the program if during the calendar year the entity:

(1) purchased, leased, or otherwise commercially financed the vehicle as a new on-road heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle that:

(A) is a natural gas vehicle;

(B) is certified to current federal emissions standards;

(C) replaces an on-road heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle of the same weight classification and use; and

(D) is powered by an engine certified to:

(i) emit not more than 0.2 grams of nitrogen oxides per brake horsepower hour; or

(ii) meet or exceed the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Bin 5 standard for light-duty engines when powering the vehicle; or

(2) repowered the on-road motor vehicle to a natural gas vehicle powered by a natural gas engine that:

(A) is certified to current federal emissions standards; and

(B) is:

(i) a heavy-duty engine that is certified to emit not more than 0.2 grams of nitrogen oxides per brake horsepower hour; or

(ii) certified to meet or exceed the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Bin 5 standard for light-duty engines when powering the vehicle.

(b) A heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle is not a qualifying vehicle if the vehicle or the natural gas engine powering the vehicle:

(1) has been awarded a grant under this chapter for a previous reporting period; or

(2) has received a similar grant or tax credit in another jurisdiction if that grant or tax credit program is relied on for credit in the state implementation plan.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 394.004. APPLICATION FOR GRANT. (a) Only an entity operating in this state that operates a heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle may apply for and receive a grant under this chapter.

(b) An application for a grant under this chapter must be made on a form provided by the commission and must contain the information required by the commission.

(c) The commission, after consulting stakeholders, shall:

(1) simplify the application form; and

(2) minimize, to the maximum extent possible, documentation required for an application.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 394.005. ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS. (a) The commission by rule shall establish criteria for prioritizing qualifying vehicles eligible to receive grants under this chapter. The commission shall review and revise the criteria as appropriate after consultation with the advisory board.

(b) To be eligible for a grant under the program:

(1) the use of the qualifying vehicle must be projected to result in a reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxides of at least 25 percent as compared to the motor vehicle or engine being replaced, based on:

(A) the baseline emission level set by the commission under Subsection (g); and

(B) the certified emission rate of the new vehicle; and

(2) the qualifying vehicle must:

(A) replace a heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle that:

(i) is an on-road vehicle that has been owned, leased, or otherwise commercially financed and registered and operated by the applicant in Texas for at least the two years immediately preceding the submission of a grant application;

(ii) satisfies any minimum average annual mileage or fuel usage requirements established by the commission;

(iii) satisfies any minimum percentage of annual usage requirements established by the commission; and

(iv) is in operating condition and has at least two years of remaining useful life, as determined in accordance with criteria established by the commission; or

(B) be a heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle repowered with a natural gas engine that:

(i) is installed in an on-road vehicle that has been owned, leased, or otherwise commercially financed and registered and operated by the applicant in Texas for at least the two years immediately preceding the submission of a grant application;

(ii) satisfies any minimum average annual mileage or fuel usage requirements established by the commission;

(iii) satisfies any minimum percentage of annual usage requirements established by the commission; and

(iv) is installed in an on-road vehicle that, at the time of the vehicle's repowering, was in operating condition and had at least two years of remaining useful life, as determined in accordance with criteria established by the commission.

(c) As a condition of receiving a grant, the qualifying vehicle must be continuously owned, leased, or otherwise commercially financed and registered and operated in the state by the grant recipient until the earlier of the fourth anniversary of the date of reimbursement of the grant-funded expenses or until the date the vehicle has been in operation for 400,000 miles after the date of reimbursement. Not less than 75 percent of the annual use of the qualifying vehicle, either mileage or fuel use as determined by the commission, must occur in:

(1) the counties any part of which are included in the area described by Section 394.010(a); or

(2) counties designated as nonattainment areas within the meaning of Section 107(d) of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Section 7407).

(d) The commission shall include and enforce the usage provisions in the grant contracts. The commission shall monitor compliance with the ownership, leasing, and usage requirements, including submission of reports on at least an annual basis, or more frequently as determined by the commission.

(e) The commission by contract may require the return of all or a portion of grant funds for a grant recipient's noncompliance with the usage and percentage of use requirements under this section.

(f) A heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle replaced under this program must be rendered permanently inoperable by crushing the vehicle, by making a hole in the engine block and permanently destroying the frame of the vehicle, or by another method approved by the commission that permanently removes the vehicle from operation in this state. The commission shall establish criteria for ensuring the permanent destruction of the engine or vehicle. The commission shall enforce the destruction requirements.

(g) The commission shall establish baseline emission levels for emissions of nitrogen oxides for on-road heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicles being replaced by using the emission certification for the engine or vehicle being replaced. The commission may consider deterioration of the emission performance of the engine of the vehicle being replaced in establishing the baseline emission level. The commission may consider and establish baseline emission rates for additional pollutants of concern, as determined by the commission after consultation with the advisory board.

(h) Mileage or fuel use requirements established by the commission under Subsection (b)(2)(A)(ii) may differ by vehicle weight categories and type of use.

(i) The executive director shall waive the requirements of Subsection (b)(2)(A)(i) on a finding of good cause, which may include short lapses in registration or operation due to economic conditions, seasonal work, or other circumstances.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 394.006. RESTRICTION ON USE OF GRANT. A recipient of a grant under this chapter shall use the grant to pay the incremental costs of the replacement for which the grant is made, which may include the initial cost of the natural gas vehicle or natural gas engine and the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the labor needed to install emissions-reducing equipment. The recipient may not use the grant to pay the recipient's administrative expenses.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 394.007. AMOUNT OF GRANT. (a) The commission shall develop a grant schedule that:

(1) assigns a standardized grant in an amount up to 90 percent of the incremental cost of a natural gas vehicle purchase, lease, other commercial finance, or repowering;

(2) is based on:

(A) the certified emission level of nitrogen oxides, or other pollutants as determined by the commission, of the engine powering the natural gas vehicle; and

(B) the usage of the natural gas vehicle; and

(3) may take into account the overall emissions reduction achieved by the natural gas vehicle.

(b) Not less than 60 percent of the total amount of grants awarded under this chapter for the purchase and repowering of motor vehicles must be awarded to motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 33,001 pounds. The minimum grant requirement under this subsection does not apply if the commission does not receive enough grant applications to satisfy the requirement for motor vehicles described by this subsection that are eligible to receive a grant under this chapter.

(c) A person may not receive a grant under this chapter that, when combined with any other grant, tax credit, or other governmental incentive, exceeds the incremental cost of the vehicle for which the grant is awarded. A person shall return to the commission the amount of a grant awarded under this chapter that, when combined with any other grant, tax credit, or other governmental incentive, exceeds the incremental cost of the vehicle for which the grant is awarded.

(d) The commission shall reduce the amount of a grant awarded under this chapter as necessary to keep the combined incentive total at or below the incremental cost of the vehicle for which the grant is awarded if the grant recipient is eligible to receive an automatic incentive at or before the time a grant is awarded under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1230 (S.B. 1727), Sec. 22, eff. June 14, 2013.



Sec. 394.008. GRANT PROCEDURES. (a) The commission shall adopt procedures for:

(1) awarding grants under this chapter in the form of rebates; and

(2) streamlining the grant application, contracting, reimbursement, and reporting process for qualifying natural gas vehicle purchases or repowers.

(b) Procedures adopted under this section must:

(1) provide for the commission to compile and regularly update a listing of preapproved natural gas vehicles:

(A) powered by natural gas engines certified to emit not more than 0.2 grams of nitrogen oxides per brake horsepower hour; or

(B) certified to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's light-duty Bin 5 standard or better;

(2) if a federal standard for the calculation of emissions reductions exists, provide a method to calculate the reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and sulfur compounds for each replacement or repowering;

(3) assign a standardized rebate amount for each qualifying vehicle under Section 394.007;

(4) allow for processing rebates on an ongoing first-come, first-served basis;

(5) provide for contracts between the commission and participating dealers under Section 394.009;

(6) allow grant recipients to assign their grant funds to participating dealers to offset the purchase or lease price;

(7) require grant applicants to identify natural gas fueling stations that are available to fuel the qualifying vehicle in the area of its use;

(8) provide for payment not later than the 30th day after the date the request for reimbursement for an approved grant is received;

(9) provide for application submission and application status checks to be made over the Internet; and

(10) consolidate, simplify, and reduce the administrative work for applicants and the commission associated with grant application, contracting, reimbursement, and reporting requirements.

(c) The commission, or its designee, shall oversee the grant process and is responsible for final approval of any grant.

(d) Grant recipients are responsible for meeting all grant conditions, including reporting and monitoring as required by the commission through the grant contract.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 394.009. PARTICIPATING DEALERS. (a) In this section, "participating dealer" means a person who:

(1) sells, leases, or otherwise commercially finances on-road heavy-duty or medium-duty natural gas vehicles or heavy-duty or medium-duty natural gas engines; and

(2) has satisfied all requirements established by the commission for participation in the program as a dealer.

(b) A participating dealer must agree to the terms and conditions of a standardized contract developed by the commission.

(c) A participating dealer shall:

(1) provide information regarding natural gas vehicle grants to fleet operators;

(2) assist an applicant who purchases, leases, or otherwise commercially finances a natural gas vehicle or engine from the dealer with the completion of the application; and

(3) submit completed applications and documentation to the commission on behalf of an applicant who purchases, leases, or otherwise commercially finances a natural gas vehicle or engine from the dealer.

(d) A participating dealer may not approve a grant.

(e) The commission shall:

(1) maintain and make available to the public online a list of all qualified dealers; and

(2) establish requirements for participation in the program by sellers of on-road heavy-duty or medium-duty natural gas vehicles and heavy-duty or medium-duty natural gas engines.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 394.010. CLEAN TRANSPORTATION TRIANGLE. (a) To ensure that natural gas vehicles purchased, leased, or otherwise commercially financed or repowered under the program have access to fuel, and to build the foundation for a self-sustaining market for natural gas vehicles in Texas, the commission shall award grants to support the development of a network of natural gas vehicle fueling stations along the interstate highways connecting Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth, and in nonattainment areas and affected counties of the state. In awarding the grants, the commission shall provide for:

(1) strategically placed natural gas vehicle fueling stations in and between the Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth areas, and in nonattainment areas and affected counties of the state, to enable a natural gas vehicle to travel in those areas relying solely on natural gas fuel;

(2) grants to be dispersed through a competitive bidding process to offset a portion of the cost of installation of the natural gas dispensing equipment;

(3) contracts that require the recipient stations to meet operational, maintenance, and reporting requirements as specified by the commission; and

(4) a listing, to be maintained by the commission and made available to the public online, of all natural gas vehicle fueling stations that have received grant funding, including location and hours of operation.

(b) The commission may not award more than one grant for each station.

(c) Grants awarded under this section may not exceed:

(1) $400,000 for a compressed natural gas station;

(2) $400,000 for a liquefied natural gas station; or

(3) $600,000 for a station providing both liquefied and compressed natural gas.

(d) Stations funded by grants under this section must be publicly accessible. The commission shall give preference to:

(1) stations providing both liquefied natural gas and compressed natural gas at a single location;

(2) stations located not more than one mile from an interstate highway system; and

(3) stations located in the triangular area between the Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth areas.

(e) To meet the goals of this section, the commission may solicit grant applications under this section for a new fueling station in a specific area or location.

(f) Grants made under this section are not subject to the requirements of Sections 394.002 through 394.008. The commission shall develop an application package and review applications in accordance with Sections 386.110 and 386.111.

(f-1) An application for a grant under this section must include a certification that the applicant complies with laws, rules, guidelines, and requirements applicable to taxation of fuel provided by the applicant at each fueling facility owned or operated by the applicant. The commission may terminate a grant awarded under this section without further obligation to the grant recipient if the commission determines that the recipient did not comply with a law, rule, guideline, or requirement described by this subsection. This subsection does not create a cause of action to contest an application or award of a grant.

(g) The commission, in consultation with the natural gas industry, shall determine the most efficient use of funding for the station grants under this section to maximize the availability of natural gas fueling stations.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1230 (S.B. 1727), Sec. 23, eff. June 14, 2013.



Sec. 394.011. ADMINISTRATION OF PROGRAM. The commission may contract with one or more entities for administration of the program.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.



Sec. 394.012. EXPIRATION. This chapter expires August 31, 2017.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 892 (S.B. 385), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.