For the first time ever, the MSRC is offering ten million dollars in Clean Transportation Funding for their "Near Zero" Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Incentive Program. The Committee just approved funding incentives to buy down the purchase cost of the Cummins Westport ISL G Near Zero (ISL G NZ) Natural Gas Engine (pictured below) for transit buses and refuse collection trucks operating in the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which is home to some of the dirtiest air in the country. "The MSRC wants to be out front helping stakeholders deploy this technology because this near zero emission engine could be such a game changer in reducing mobile source emissions from heavy duty vehicles," explained Greg Pettis, Chair of the MSRC and Mayor Pro Tem of Cathedral City. "We like to find opportunities to fund innovative clean air projects like this. The flexible nature of our funding programs allows us to offer our project partners a chance to be among the first in the country to purchase the cleanest buses and refuse trucks available." Up to $7.5 million in incentives are available for transit buses. Eligible transit agencies can receive up to $15,000 per qualifying urban transit bus. Up to $2.5 million is being offered for the re-power of qualifying refuse collection vehicles, up to $25,000 per vehicle. According to the manufacturer Cummins, the engine's emissions are equivalent to those of a 100% battery electric truck using electricity from a modern combined cycle natural gas power plant. Additionally, the engine can run on renewable natural gas, making the lifecycle fuel emissions even cleaner. This new engine technology results in a remarkable emissions reduction - 90% lower than the current EPA heavy-duty engine standard, certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) below the optional NOx emissions standard of 0.02 grams per brake-horsepower hour (g/bhp-hr), which means that it offers "near zero" emission levels for ozone precursor and particulate matter criteria air pollutants. Applications will be accepted through January 6, 2017. However, the earliest date to submit is July 5, 2016, and applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible. Proposals must be submitted electronically in accordance with the MSRC's online application submittal process. The solicitation will be available at http://www.cleantransportationfunding.org.