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In the News: News from July 2016

Air Quality funding available for New Technology Implementation projects

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Source: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has made available $3.5 million in grants to individuals and businesses to offset the incremental cost of emissions reductions of air pollutants from facilities and other stationary sources in Texas.

The New Technology Implementation Grant (NTIG) program is part of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) and is offered to eligible entities that intend to build, own, and operate new technologies to reduce emissions from point sources or store electricity related to renewable energy.

There are three NTIG project categories:

  • Advanced Clean Energy projects that involve the use of certain hydrocarbons (coal, natural gas, or petcoke), biomass, solid waste, or derived-hydrogen fuel cells, while meeting minimum emissions reductions requirements.
  • New Technology projects that reduce emissions of regulated pollutants (such as criteria pollutants or hazardous air pollutants) from point sources.
  • Electricity Storage projects that store electrical energy related to renewable energy sources.

The TCEQ will accept applications until 5 p.m., Oct. 18, 2016.

It has scheduled a grant application workshop to review the grant requirements and the application process from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Aug. 17 at the TCEQ headquarters, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Building F, Conference Room 2210A, in Austin.

> Learn more about the grant.
> Find more TERP grants.
> Read about CAPCOG’s Air Quality Program.

Homeland Security increases training opportunities

Monday, July 25, 2016

CAPCOG’s Homeland Security Division is ramping up its coordination of training events and workshops. Its goal is to offer training on specialized topics at least once a quarter, but three courses are already scheduled for August.

“We want to sponsor training workshops that provide an engaging experience for those who respond to hazards in our region,” said Eric Carter, CAPCOG Homeland Security Division director. “These training classes are places for emergency personnel to learn, talk about, and share the skills needed to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.”

CAPCOG’s 10-county region consists of diverse communities with differing training needs. While some courses are beneficial to all local jurisdictions, it also strives to host specialized training for its urban and rural partners and for all levels of an organization’s personnel from first responders to elected public officials.

The three training courses scheduled for August are Mass Fatalities Planning & Response for Rural Communities, Continuity of Government Operations Planning for Rural Communities, and Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents.

> Learn about these courses or to find future training opportunities.
> Read more about the CAPCOG Homeland Security Division.

Caregivers to get hands-on experience

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP), Nurses Unlimited, Health Training Services, and the City of San Marcos will host “Hands On, Caregiving at Home”, a seminar to support families caring for elderly loved ones in the home. The seminar will start at 9 a.m., July 22, at the City of San Marcos Activity Center, 501 E. Hopkins St.

“’Hands On, Caregiving at Home’ is designed to uplift local caregivers and boost their confidence in providing care by giving them instructions on assisting family members or friends with routine tasks and activities needed for daily living,” said Jill Findlay, AAACAP assistant director.

Staff from Health Training Services will demo proper techniques used to perform day-to-day activities. These include assisting someone in and out of bed and safely bathing. Caregivers also will learn proper use of adaptive equipment such as walkers, canes and gait belts, and receive an instructional handbook.

AAACAP will open the seminar by presenting several local services and programs available to people older than 60 and family caregivers. Other caregiving topics will be discussed.

Lunch will be provided. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required by calling 512-392-4662 or 512-916-6041.

> Learn more about AAACAP.
> Discover more about local caregiving resources.

TERP Texas Clean School Bus Program seeks Grant Applications

Friday, July 15, 2016
Source: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Program is accepting applications for the Texas Clean School Bus (TCSB) Program. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis with a deadline to submit them by 5 p.m. Nov. 1, 2016.

More than $5.9 million in grant funds are available to cover the cost of retrofitting diesel-powered school buses with emission-reduction devices to reduce children’s exposure to diesel exhaust.

School buses remain the safest way to transport children, and their diesel engines are both durable and economical. However, the Texas Education Agency reports more than 40 percent of the school buses in local fleets are more than 10 years old. In the years since these vehicles were purchased, several advancements in vehicle and engine technology have helped reduce emissions from school buses.

The TCSB Program may make funding available to help school districts when purchasing and installing emissions reduction technologies such as diesel particulate filters, diesel oxidation catalysts, and crankcase filters. School districts located in designated counties also may qualify for funding to replace existing school buses with newer, lower-emitting buses through one of several grants from TERP.

> Apply for the TCSB Grant.

Applications submitted using application forms from previous TCSB grant rounds will not be accepted. Eligible applicants must be a public school district or charter school in the state of Texas that operate diesel-powered school buses on a daily route to and from schools.

> Read the TCSB Grant flier for more details.
> Learn about CAPCOG’s Air Quality Program.
> Discover CAPCOG Air Quality Grant opportunities.

CAPCOG brings national call taker training to region

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

For the first time in years, the nationally recognized and popularly requested Public Safety Training Consultants (PSTC) will educate emergency telecommunicators from around the region in July and August on professional development topics that complements CAPCOG’s already robust telecommunicator training.

CAPCOG requested PSTC teach five courses:

  • Progressive Supervision on July 12
  • It’s Your Ship - Navigating Communications Center Leadership on July 13
  • Complacency, Cannibalism, and Critical Thinking on July 14
  • Providing Exceptional Service - “What if it Were Family?” on Aug. 25
  • Active Shooter on Aug. 26

“Leadership and customer service are two very valuable skills for all 9-1-1 dispatchers,” said Kelsey Dean, CAPCOG PSAP specialist. “Emergency telecommunicators have to provide outstanding customer service while also controlling the call with someone who is often in a high stress situation. They have to appropriately calm the caller and know how to not only explain an agency’s response but sometimes how to save a life.”

Like CAPCOG’s telecommunicator courses, PSTC’s courses help attendees maintain and hone those critical skills dispatchers and supervisors use daily. They also reinforce best practices for meeting the public’s expectation of telecommunicators.

> The July classes have limited space, but call takers can contact Dean about enrolling.
> Register for the August classes.
> Read about the CAPCOG Emergency Communications Division.

Funding available for Austin-Round Rock MSA air quality projects

Friday, July 08, 2016

CAPCOG is commencing its second round of funding opportunities for projects to improve air quality in the Austin-Round-Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area — Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. The funding opportunity has an application deadline of Aug. 19, 2016.

The Regional Air Quality Grant program will allow for a broader range of projects to be funded than the Local Emissions Reduction Grant program completed earlier in 2016. It will fund projects supporting the goals of the regional air quality plan, the Ozone Advance Program Action Plan. A project’s funding will be based on its cost, instead of the amount of Nitrogen Oxides (NOX), a major contributor to the creation of ground level ozone, it reduces. Clean Air Coalition members and action plan participants are eligible for the grant. Other organizations must submit a letter committing to the action plan to qualify.

Through the Local Emissions Reduction Grant Program, CAPCOG awarded Austin Community College a $29,450 grant to install solar panels on the roof of the Highland Learning Center campus. The project is expected to reduce the amount NOX emitted by about 1.2 tons during its lifespan. The installation will include 324 320-watt solar panels which will be able to create 100 kilowatt hours of power per hour of sunlight.

> Read more about the grant. 
> Discover the CAPCOG Air Quality Program.

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