Pennsylvania allocates $2.7 million in clean fuel transportation projects
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced funding for more than $2.7 million in Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIGs) to 18 cleaner fuel transportation projects statewide that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other air pollutants. “These projects will help every single Pennsylvanian breathe cleaner air at school, in their communities, and at their workplaces,” said DEP Executive Deputy Secretary Ramez Ziadeh.
The AFIG Program funds projects that replace older gasoline- or diesel-fueled vehicles with cleaner fuel units. It supports the deployment of CNG, electric, ethanol, biodiesel, LPG, and other alternative fuel vehicles, as well as the installation of fueling stations for these vehicles.
AFIG grants are awarded for projects in three categories: Vehicle Retrofit and/or Purchasing; Refueling Infrastructure; and Innovative Technology. The 2021 AFIG funded projects will put 87 cleaner fuel school buses, package delivery trucks, and other vehicles in use, and save an estimated 262,798 gasoline equivalents (GGE) from the atmosphere. The projects are collectively anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 600 metric tons per year.
One of the 2021 funded projects is LT Verrastro, Inc., in Lackawanna County, which will receive $300,000 in AFIG for the purchase of eight CNG tractor trailers. The estimated GGE saved per year is 28,571.
Over two-thirds of this year’s funding will go towards projects either in or serving Environmental Justice areas. These communities are defined by DEP as any census tract where 20% or more of residents live at or below the federal poverty line, and/or 30% or more of the population identifies as a non-white minority. Low income and minorities are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of pollution, and focusing resources in these areas is an essential step in mitigating these disproportionate effects.