In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Congress appropriated $100 million for a new, discretionary grant program for public transportation projects that result in a decrease in a transit system’s energy use or reduce a transit system’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The new stimulus program is known as the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER). Complete proposals for the TIGGER grant program are due May 22, 2009.
The evaluation criteria are outlined in a notice published in the Federal Register on March 24, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 12447). Grant funds may be awarded for two purposes: first, for capital investments that will assist in reducing the energy consumption of a transit system; or, second, for capital investments that will reduce GHG emissions of a public transportation system. Projects will be evaluated for either or both categories.
Other evaluation criteria include: (1) return on investment; (2) project readiness; (3) applicant’s capacity to carry out the project; (4) project innovation; and (5) national applicability. Priority will be given to projects that identify a “unique, significant or innovative approach to reducing energy consumption or [GHG] emissions not currently in widespread practice within the transit industry or an approach distinct from other proposals received….” Projects that can be “replicated by other transit agencies regionally or nationally” will also be given priority.
The cost of proposed projects must range from a low of $2 million to a high of $25 million. Individual projects costing less than $2 million may be combined in a consolidated proposal to meet the $2 million minimum. There is no cost-sharing or matching requirement. The federal government will pay 100% of the cost.
Examples of eligible projects might consist of replacing ten buses in a 100 vehicle bus fleet with more energy-efficient buses or including wayside energy storage for a rail system to capture regenerated energy. An example of multiple investments might be compact fluorescents and solar panels to reduce that energy use of a bus maintenance facility. Capital projects that increase transit agency energy consumption or GHG emissions, such as fleet expansion or fixed guideway extensions, are not eligible.
Projects must also meet general requirements for grant programs funded by ARRA, including reporting requirements. For example, grant recipients must submit quarterly reports on the use of the funds and on the status of compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These reports from grant recipients are used to compile 90-day reports to certain congressional committees on the status and progress of projects funded or proposed for funding under the ARRA with the respect to compliance with NEPA and its implementing regulations.
For additional information on the TIGGER grant program, contact Gale Lea Rubrecht at (304) 340-1200 or email@example.com.
This article was authored by Gale Lea Rubrecht, Jackson Kelly PLLC. For more information on the author see here.