The U.S. Department of Energy will designate the partnership between USF, the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County and TECO Energy as a Clean Cities Coalition at a ceremony today in the Patel Center for Global Solutions.
The Tampa Bay Clean Cities Coalition’s (TBCCC) goal is to coordinate the use of alternative energy in transportation that is less toxic to the environment than traditional fuels such as petroleum or diesel.
TBCCC Coordinator Steve Reich, a researcher at USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), said the federal recognition is a testament to the effectiveness of Tampa’s coalition.
Reich said joining the national coalition would give TBCCC a network for technical assistance, training and funding.
“By getting this designation, the region now has access to all sorts of resources to support the goal of reducing gasoline and diesel in transportation,” he said. “It’s an important step to help our region get on the map and make these tools available.”
After the ceremony, TBCCC will join more than 100 Clean Cities Coalitions across the U.S. to earn the federal designation.
The national Clean Cities program was founded as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to encourage local partnerships throughout the U.S. in the promotion of environmental and energy security.
The Clean Cities program has saved nearly 6.5 billion gallons of petroleum since 1993, according to its website.
Though TBCCC is joining a federal coalition, its outreach will still focus on the local community.
“It’s a part of what the university’s mission is,” Reich said. “We take our expertise and transfer that knowledge … and have a positive impact on our local region.”
Since its founding in 2012, TBCCC has held alternative fuel expos, seminars and training for Tampa residents and includes over 30 public and private organizations, such as Tampa International Airport, Clearwater Gas System and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit.