1st Quarter - 2016
In This Issue
SANBAG Offices Closed
Memorial Day

Monday, May 30, 2016 

Save the Date
I-10/Pepper Bridge Replacement Project Groundbreaking Ceremony
Friday, March 11, 2016
10:00 a.m.
North Vineyard Grade Separation Dedication
Friday, March 18, 2016
10:00 a.m. 
2016 City/County Conference
Thursday, March 30 & Friday, April 1, 2016 
Quick Links

This is a joint publication of the Council of Governments and Office of Legislative and Public Affairs.

For more info regarding Council of Governments activities please contact Duane Baker.
2016 City/County Conference Registration NOW OPEN

Registration is now open for the 2016 City/County
Conference to be held March 31 through April 1, 2016.
The conference will feature several sessions of interest from crisis communications, what's next for Ontario International Airport (ONT), dealing with new laws on medical marijuana, local economic forecast, unfunded retirement liability, and how to be more competitive in receiving grants and attracting private giving to our community.
The conference will also host the innovation showcase where cities and the county can highlight an innovative program or project in a poster display that will be up during the duration of the conference.

In addition, there will be a pre-conference session for City/County Managers and Public Information Officers on crisis communications presented by Kelly Huston, Deputy Director in the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.


HERO Program Update

The HERO Program has now surpassed the $200 million mark. Since HERO began in October 2013, nearly 12,000 energy efficiency, clean energy, and water conservation projects have been completed totaling over $222 million. These projects have helped residents save 86.2 million kWh of electricity and 29.6 million gallons of water annually.

In response to feedback from residents and the real estate community, the HERO Program now has a subordination process for when a lender is requiring that the HERO Assessment be subordinated to carry out a sale or refinance. Property owners simply fill out an application and submit it to HERO. The HERO Program will then prepare a subordination agreement and provide that to escrow. The HERO Program will not deny a subordination request but they must be for lenders that are banks or credit unions. And they won't subordinate behind a second mortgage, only a first. To date HERO has completed over 300 subordinations with about 80% of those being for refinancing.

Board Approves Joint Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Feasibility Study 
The Board recently approved SANBAG participating in a joint feasibility study with the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) and Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG). CCA is a way that local governments or Joint Powers Authorities (JPAs) can provide electricity to customers, instead of SCE. SCE will still own, operate, and be paid for the maintenance and operation of the transmission line but the CCA would purchase electricity.
Where this has been done elsewhere in California, the CCA has been able to provide electricity at lower rates for residents and businesses. The study will collect information to see if this model makes economic sense in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The findings will be presented to the Board to help them decide on any next steps.

SANBAG Project Selected for National and Statewide Case Study  

The Department of Energy Clean Cities Program selected SANBAG's collaboration with Ryder Trucks to put a fleet of 204 natural gas fueled trucks into service in Southern California for a case study. The case study was done by the Argonne National Laboratory.
SANBAG's project was selected because of the detail included in the final grant report that SANBAG submitted on this project.
In addition, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has engaged RAND Corporation to evaluate the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVT) program. As part of this evaluation, they are conducting site visits with grantees to assess the extent to which the grants have accelerated the development and deployment of alternative fuels and vehicles. The CEC contributed $9,308,000 toward SANBAG's project, which purchased 184 heavy-duty Freightliner-M2112 natural gas trucks and 20 heavy-duty Peterbilt-386 natural gas trucks and constructed two publicly accessible liquefied natural gas fueling stations at the Ryder facilities in San Bernardino and in Orange County.

Board Approves Additional COG Funding and Staff for FY 16/17

At the December Board meeting the Board approved a plan to increase COG funding to provide resources for two dedicated COG staff members. The funding plan is to increase COG dues by $133,418 phased in over the next three years. This increased funding will allow SANBAG to hire two staff members to be entirely dedicated to COG activities.
COG Section Added to SANBAG Website    

A dedicated section detailing specific COG activities has now been added to the SANBAG website. Visitors to the SANBAG website can now learn more about COG programs, partnerships, events, and resources. Content will continue to be added in the coming months.  

SANBAG Notified of Grant Award for Electric Trucks at Rail Yard and Logistics Facility     

SANBAG has been preliminarily awarded $9,100,800 for the Multi-class heavy duty zero emission Truck Development Project for intermodal and warehouse facilities. 
This project will demonstrate 23 battery-electric Class 8 heavy duty Yard Tractors and four battery-electric Class 5 medium duty Service Trucks. These are the most commonly used trucks at every major freight location in the United States, thus will provide a model for truck electrification that can be scaled to any facility.
The project operators will include BNSF, a Class 1 railroad, and Daylight Transport, a leading national LTL (Less than truckload shipping) carrier. CALSTART, who is North America's leading advanced transportation technologies consortium will assist with testing and commercialization efforts. 
Each of the three project locations (Fontana, Commerce, and San Bernardino) will demonstrate both vehicle types and provide a range of data in emissions reductions; and each truck in this project will provide benefits to the top 25% disadvantaged communities in California. BYD is the original equipment manufacturer for this project. All trucks in this project will be manufactured and operated in California.

Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations       

SANBAG is preparing to submit a funding proposal to the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) for the planning, purchase, and installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at three locations. The funding request is in conjunction with construction work for the Downtown San Bernardino Passenger Rail Project and, if successful, will assist SANBAG with providing EV charging at the following locations:  
  • San Bernardino Transit Center (Seven Level 2 Chargers)
  • SANBAG Employee Lot (Five Level 2 Charger and Two DC Fast Chargers)
  • San Bernardino Metrolink Station at the Santa Fe Depot (Four Level 2 Chargers)
SANBAG is also preparing to issue an RFP for the development of a Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness and Deployment plan for San Bernardino County, which will assist in applying for EV infrastructure grants from the California Energy Commission.

San Bernardino Regional Energy Partnership Update      
The San Bernardino Regional Energy Partnership (SBREP) has successfully selected Willdan Energy Solutions to provide technical assistance services to SBREP member cities. Willdan
Energy Solutions was one of three firms interviewed by a panel consisting of SANBAG, Southern California Edison, SoCal Gas, and the City of Rancho Cucamonga.
SBREP members will have the opportunity to utilize Willdan Energy Solutions for comprehensive facility audits, targeted energy efficiency measure evaluation and project identification, incentive application assistance, and RFP development assistance for energy efficiency projects.

In other SBREP news, SoCal Gas has announced new changes to their incentive and rebate programs for local government partnerships. Effective January 1, 2016, SoCal Gas increased their calculated incentive rate and rebate amounts by 50% for local government partnerships. SBREP members now have an opportunity to earn $1.50 per therm saved or 80% of equipment cost, and an additional 50% on energy efficiency rebates per measure (Ex: Pool Heater Rebate $2.00 per MBTUH would increase $1.00 to $3.00 per MBTUH)

Habitat Conservation Planning Effort       

In February 2015, SANBAG and the Environment Element Group of the Countywide Vision completed the Countywide Habitat Preservation/Conservation Framework Study (Framework Study). The first phase of the Framework Study concentrated on developing a guidance document outlining the conservation issues and concerns, existing conservation, conservation opportunities, and data gaps associated with current approaches to habitat conservation.
One of the sections identified in the first phase of the study was the "next steps". The Environment Element Group requested that the County and SANBAG provide funding and support for several of the "next steps" of the Framework Study. Subsequent discussions between the County, SANBAG, and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) have resulted in funding and a proposed Scope of Work for a second phase of the Framework Study. SANBAG is currently in the process of procurement to hire a firm to manage the second phase of the Framework Study.
Phase Two will build on the first phase by completing the following:
  • Developing a habitat tracking system;
  • Conducting a more detailed conservation "gap analysis"; and
  • Initiating development of a reserve design.
These items were defined by the Environment Element Group as the most critical next steps in structuring a more comprehensive countywide framework for habitat preservation/conservation going forward. The objective is to structure this comprehensive approach in a way that is a "win-win" for the health of the environment, the economy, and the residents of San Bernardino County.

Live Like a Desert Native
For our desert communities we wanted to share this message from Mojave Water Agency.

We are in a historic time dealing with water use. It's going to require all of us to adapt to new ways of living...and to incorporate lasting life-style changes if we're going to live sustainably and comfortably into the future.

We all need to be aware of one basic fact: We live in the desert. 

Our deserts support a higher diversity of plants and animals than most other places on earth. In 
spite of the stressful extremes of weather and climate, a huge variety of native desert creatures  have lived here successfully for eons.  
These plants and animals don't just survive here, they thrive. How have they done it? What's their secret? How do we achieve the goal of living comfortably and successfully in the desert?

We can learn from our desert environment ... we can thrive here.

Please click on the image below for more information. 

Content provided by Alliance for Water Awareness and Conservation.