South Shore Clean Cities Expanding Statewide

South Shore Clean Cities Expanding Statewide

South Shore Clean Cities is expanding its Northern Indiana nonprofit sustainable transportation organization to serve the entire state of Indiana, representatives announced.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy, which operates the national Clean Cities initiative, selected Indiana to participate in a statewide Clean Cities coalition pilot program focused on expanding Clean Cities outreach activities and technical assistance in a way that provides enhanced, coordinated and efficient support to stakeholders and participants on a statewide basis.

As a U.S. Department of Energy-designated Clean Cities coalition, South Shore Clean Cities was invited to submit an operating plan for designation as a statewide coalition.

The U.S. Department of Energy selected South Shore Clean Cities to manage the new statewide Clean Cities program.

“We are thrilled and humbled to be selected to manage a Clean Cities program serving the entire state of Indiana,” South Shore Clean Cities Executive Director Carl Lisek said. “Replicating our successful model of working with stakeholders to increase adoption of sustainable transportation fuels, vehicles and equipment will benefit all Hoosiers and we are excited about what lies ahead. We thank the U.S. Department of Energy for this honor.”

South Shore Clean Cities – headquartered in St. John, Indiana — is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization managed by Legacy Environmental Services, Inc., an Indiana Certified Women’s Business Enterprise. Designated as the 71st Clean Cities coalition on June 15, 1999, South Shore Clean Cities is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s more than 75 Clean Cities coalitions.

At the time of its founding in 1999, South Shore Clean Cities served just Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties and later expanded its reach to 18 counties in Indiana, including Benton, DeKalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben and Whitley counties.

Clean Cities organizations support the nation’s energy and economic security by building partnerships to advance affordable domestic transportation fuels, energy efficient mobility systems and other fuel-saving technologies and practices. The coalitions achieve this in a number of ways, including the advancement of alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicles and sustainable vehicle technologies such as electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure. The efforts reduce the nation’s dependence on imported oil, improve air quality, support local jobs, drive economic development and promote improved quality of life.

The nonprofit organization intends to expand its successful model statewide, including its Green Fleet program. South Shore Clean Cities manages the Green Fleet program for two metropolitan planning organizations, the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) and the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC). The goal of the program is to significantly improve the environmental performance of business and government vehicle fleets across each respective metropolitan planning organization’s territory through diesel retrofits and other strategies. South Shore Clean Cities works with and guides these fleets to help mitigate barriers preventing the adoption of alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles while creating policies supporting petroleum and vehicle-emission reductions.

In 2020 alone, South Shore Clean Cities assisted its stakeholders with the successful acquisition of more than $9.3 million in grant funds for more than 175 vehicles and pieces of equipment, including fueling and charging infrastructure. The nonprofit’s stakeholders have displaced more than 93 million gallons of gasoline since 2009. That’s the emissions reduction equivalent of removing roughly 180,000 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.

“The credit for this move to lead a statewide organization goes in large part to our members and partners in Northern Indiana who have so enthusiastically embraced sustainable transportation fuels, vehicles, equipment and their fueling and charging infrastructure,” Board President Don Hadley of Bosak Motors said. “We often say our success is your success and that has never been more evident than in this selection for statewide designation. We’re looking forward to sharing your success with our new stakeholders as examples of what can be achieved across Indiana.”

A name change for the statewide organization is anticipated in the near future. The nonprofit intends to maintain headquarters in St. John, Indiana and to utilize its arrangement with Purdue University Research Park for operations across the state.

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