What is SECAT?

What is SECAT?



FAQ - SECAT by the numbers

Who can apply?

What technologies are eligible?

How does the program work?


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Comments about SECAT are welcomed here.


The Sacramento Emergency Clean Air & Transportation program (SECAT) is a unique response to an urgent problem. SECAT provides $70 million in transportation funds to clean up the region's heavy-duty diesel truck fleet by 2005, with most of the work done by 2002.

The SECAT program is authorized by the State Legislature in AB2511, and funded by $50 million set aside by Governor Gray Davis, and $20 million in local transportation funds (from the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality, or CMAQ fund) allocated by the SACOG Board of Directors to match the state funding.

AB2511 also created a similar program to be administered by the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, allocating $25 million set aside by Governor Davis to help that area achieve State Implementation Plan (SIP) goals for reducing mobile source emissions.

Why do we need it?

Our region is under tight federal deadlines to clean up our air. Mobile source emissions, mainly from cars and trucks, are the source of more than 70% of the problem. Federal law requires that our region's transportation plan must be in conformity with our air quality plan. If we do not show significant progress in cleaning up our air by 2002, our region's federal transportation funding will be in jeopardy. Failure to meet clean air goals could impact $15 billion of transportation projects.

How did we get here?

The SIP is our region's blueprint for meeting the Federal Clean Air Act's health standards for ozone by 2005. The SIP includes a local requirement to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from mobile sources by 5 tons per day by 2005. Of that number, 3 tons per day must come from on-road sources, and the remaining 2 from off-road sources such as construction equipment. To show progress toward this goal, we must meet a milestone of 2 tons per day in emission reductions from on-road mobile sources by 2002.

Why target heavy-duty vehicles?

State standards for cars are already the strictest in the nation. Our region relies on those standards, and the state's smog check program, to get big reductions in NOx from the on-road fleet. The next biggest source of NOx is the heavy-duty truck fleet. But state and federal standards for heavy-duty truck engines and fuels have lagged far behind similar requirements for cars. In fact, the next reduction in emission levels from heavy-duty truck engines won't even begin to take effect until 2002. That's too late to help our region meet either its 2002 milestone, or our 2005 attainment date.

Because SECAT is an entirely voluntary program, there is no way to know which fleets will participate. Our best estimate is that we will need 3,000 to 6,000 heavy-duty vehicles (depending on the specific strategies selected by the fleet operators) participating in SECAT in order to meet our goals. In addition to heavy-duty trucks, transit and school buses are eligible for SECAT funding.

What will SECAT do?

SECAT provides funds to help heavy-duty vehicle owners offset the cost of buying cleaner engines and fuels earlier than they would otherwise. SECAT will provide funds directly to both public and private fleet owners to:

  • Buy new, low-emission vehicles;
  • Repower existing diesel vehicles with new, lower-emission engines;
  • Retrofit heavy duty vehicles with aftertreatment systems that reduce NOx;
  • Use lower emission diesel fuel, including emulsion fuels; and
  • Apply any other cost-effective and verifiable technology for reducing NOx emissions from heavy-duty on-road vehicles.

SECAT recognizes that it will cost fleet owners more, in many cases, to buy and operate cleaner equipment. The program provides for funding to offset not only the incremental cost difference for the equipment, but some of the other costs of early turnover such as facility modifications, increased operating costs, and out-of-cycle vehicle replacement costs.

How do we know we'll get the emission reductions we need from SECAT?

Quantifying and verifying emission reductions from several thousand trucks is a huge job, but not impossible. Emissions from each engine type and model are a known quantity. Emission reductions achieved by applying specific technologies will be calculated using methods approved by CARB and verified by the Air Districts.

SECAT has been developed in close cooperation with the Air Districts of the Sacramento Federal Nonattainment Region, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) and the California Air Resources Board. A policy group including those agencies, plus the U.S.EPA and Federal Highway Administration, will continue to guide the program as it is implemented.

Retrofit technologies have not yet been verified by CARB so that emission reductions from this source can be quantified. CARB has published final guidelines for quantifying emission reductions for both retrofit and diesel emulsion fuel technologies and several candidate technologies are currently in the CARB verification process.

How will we get the word out, and convince truck owners to participate?

We will rely heavily on the people truck owners trust to provide them with information -- the vendors who sell them equipment. These vendors are already aware of SECAT, and we are working with them to develop marketing tools to get the word out. Engine, fuel and retrofit manufacturers have been involved in developing the SECAT program, and are aware that only their cleanest, most advanced emission-reducing technologies are eligible for funding. SECAT program staff will work closely with vendors and truck owners to help them complete successful applications.

Most public fleet operators are already aware of SECAT, and are making plans to submit applications for funding of specific projects. The program will continue to work with these agencies to get the word out, and help them complete successful applications.

Businesses and public agencies that contract with companies to deliver goods also have a role to play, and SECAT will work with them to develop contracting language that encourages bidders to use clean fleets.

How soon will SECAT begin funding projects?

SECAT will reimburse truck owners for their purchase of low emission engines and fuels. Therefore a quick turnaround in funding is absolutely critical to their participation in the program. Our goal is to fund projects within 45 days of an approved application.

Projected Timeline:

September 21, 2000 SACOG Board acts on SECAT program submission to California Transportation Commission

September 28, 2000 CTC approved SACOG's application for $50 million to fund SECAT program

October 11, 2000 Request for Applications released

October 25, 2000 Workshop for program applicants

November 15, 2000 Applications due for first round of funding

Applications will be accepted continuously as long as funding is available. November 15 is the deadline for your project to be considered for funding in the first round.

December, 2000 First funding round awards announced

May, 2001 Applications due for second round of funding

June, 2001 Second funding round awards announced

November, 2001 Applications due for third round of funding

December, 2001 Final awards announced

January 1 - November 15, 2002 Final Projects implemented

November 15, 2002 Deadline for achieving 2 tpd NOx

November 15, 2005 Deadline for achieving total NOx reductions needed from on-road sources (3 tpd NOx)

David Young, SACOG, Senior Planner, phone: 916.733.3232 e-mail:
Tom Swenson, SMAQD, Program Coordinator, phone: 916.874.4889
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