Thursday, August 31, 2023

DEP Awards $2.9 Million In Grants To Schools, Businesses, Local Governments To Switch To Zero- Or Low-Emission Vehicles; Next Round Of Applications Due Dec. 15

On August 31, the Department of Environmental Protection awarded
$2.9 million in Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant funding to municipalities, schools, and businesses around the state to switch to zero- or low-emission vehicles. 

Click Here for a list of grants awarded in Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Lebanon, Mercer, Montgomery, Westmoreland counties and to trucking fleets serving Montgomery, Schuylkill and York counties.

Fifteen of the projects will serve environmental justice communities.

The DEP Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program supports projects to replace older gasoline or diesel fueled vehicles with cleaner fuel vehicles and install related fueling infrastructure to improve air quality in Pennsylvania. 

It builds on Gov. Shapiro’s agenda to create a bold, comprehensive climate and energy plan that will grow Pennsylvania’s economy, protect and create jobs, and address climate change.

The 28 funded projects will install 32 electric vehicle chargers for private and public use and put 95 electric vehicles, 24 compressed or renewable natural gas vehicles, and 11 propane vehicles on the road. 

Nine of the vehicles will be fully electric long-haul tractor trailers, the first supported by the AFIG program. 

Several other projects are for transit buses and garbage trucks. These three types of vehicles are the biggest consumers of gasoline, according to the U.S. Department of Energy webpage on average annual gasoline use by vehicle type.

The projects will be fully paid for with DEP funds. DEP receives approximately $5 million in funding each year through the utilities gross receipts tax collected during each fiscal year to carry out the provisions of the Alternative Fuels Incentive Act.

“The Shapiro Administration is committed to supporting municipalities, school districts, and businesses that want to make zero- or low-emission transportation part of their operations,” said DEP Secretary Rich Negrin. “The range of funded projects—our first funded electric 18-wheelers, a 40-car electric taxi fleet, electric scooters for a residential development, propane and electric buses and garbage trucks, and more—shows that interest in clean transportation is burgeoning among business and community leaders in Pennsylvania. DEP is excited to help them include healthier air quality in their mission.” 

The AFIG program supports the transition to alternative fuels including electricity, compressed natural gas, renewable natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, hydrogen, hythane, biodiesel, ethanol, methanol, and other advanced biofuels. 

Getting more zero- and low-emission vehicles on the road in Pennsylvania helps reduce harmful air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. It also helps lower the level of carbon dioxide, helping to address climate change.

Gasoline and diesel vehicles generate 47 percent of nitrogen oxides emissions in Pennsylvania, contributing to ground-level ozone. 

This affects the health of children, older people, people who work or are active outdoors, and people with asthma, emphysema, or other lung conditions. 

The transportation sector makes up 22 percent of Pennsylvania’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Next Grant Rounds Open

DEP is now accepting applications for the next round of Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants.  The deadline is December 15. 

DEP is also accepting applications for the Driving PA Forward Clean Diesel Grant Program.  The deadline is October 20.

For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter, sign up for DEP Connects events, sign up for DEP’s eNotice, visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

Related Articles:

-- PA Solar Center To Honor 10 Organizations For Their Solar Energy Leadership In Chester County On Sept. 28  [PaEN]

-- PA Solar Center Issues RFP For Solar Developers To Assist 11 Allegheny County Municipalities, Pittsburgh Water Authority Connect To Solar Energy  [PaEN]

-- PJM Interconnection Hears Testimony On Making Electricity Market Reforms To Address Nonperformance Of Natural Gas And Other Generators During Winter Storm Elliot; Transition To Clean Energy  [PaEN] 

[Posted: August 31, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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