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$1 Million for Alternative Fuel Vehicles for Bay Area Air District

In the largest of 20 grants nationwide to boost alternative fuel vehicles, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has received $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to help businesses and local governments transform their fleets.

-By Bay City News Service

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help more local companies and municipalities use alternative fuel for their vehicles and fleets.

The grant will go toward the California Fleets and Workplace Alternative Fuels Project, which aims to reduce barriers for companies and governments to use alternative fuel, such as issues with permitting, district spokesman Ralph Borrmann said.

The air district will be responsible for handling the grant and dividing the money up and dispensing it to partners that will provide service and support for fleets of vehicles, such as those used by cities, counties or businesses, director of strategic incentives at the district Damien Breen said.

"The core of the program is designed so that we're removing barriers for employers and fleets," he said. "So they can adopt these alternative fuel vehicles."

The grant, which serves partners throughout the state, will dedicate $300,000 to Bay Area cities, counties and businesses, Breen said.

The project plans to provide workshops to introduce best practices to employers and fleet owners, along with safety training to first responders who will come across alternative fuel vehicles as part of their work.

The grant hopes to continue and expand use of alternative fuels, renewable fuels and other measures that reduce air pollution by providing streamlined information and support.

The grant program will launch in February 2013 and will continue over a two-year period and includes plans after the first year for a statewide summit with the governor to discuss alternative fuel vehicle adoption, Breen said.

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