Friday, September 28, 2018

Gov. Wolf: First Round Of Grants Awarded From EPA Volkswagen Settlement To Reduce Diesel Pollution

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday announced the first round of grant approvals through his Driving PA Forward initiative, funded by Pennsylvania’s share of the settlement with Volkswagen Group of America for cheating on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions tests.
Six transportation projects designed to improve air quality in Pennsylvania are expected to permanently reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions statewide by 27 tons by accelerating the replacement of older, polluting diesel engines with cleaner technologies.
The projects include--
-- Allegheny County
-- The City of Pittsburgh received $170,000 to replace two older diesel trash trucks with new trucks fueled by compressed natural gas.
-- Elizabeth Township received $38,639 to replace an older diesel-powered construction vehicle with a new diesel-powered model.
-- Allegheny Transportation Services, Inc. received $22,286 to replace an older diesel school bus with a newer diesel-powered bus. This family-owned business provides transportation for the -- City of Pittsburgh, two school districts, and community organizations.
-- Lackawanna County
-- The City of Scranton received $128,723 to replace two older diesel-powered street sweepers with two newer diesel-powered street sweepers.
-- Lancaster County
-- Shultz Transportation, which services four school districts, received $200,000 to replace 10 older diesel-powered school buses with 10 newer diesel school buses.
-- Northampton County
-- Lehigh Valley Rail Management LLC received $30,086 to install idling-reduction units in six locomotives. The short-line railroad operates 20 hours daily over 40 miles of track in Bethlehem.
“We are making strategic investments that will bolster our continued efforts to improve air quality throughout the Commonwealth with the funding awarded from the VW emissions cheating scandal,” said Gov. Wolf. “The projects announced today are only the first wave of projects that will be funded to build the next generation of cleaner transportation options.”
Over 25 percent of NOx pollution in Pennsylvania comes from diesel engines in trucks, buses, forklifts, and other mobile sources. The emissions contribute to ground-level ozone, or smog, which the EPA has shown can have negative health impacts, including asthma attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“Through these first projects, old diesel-powered school buses, locomotives, and municipal vehicles will be replaced or updated with newer, cleaner transportation technologies for a sizable reduction in nitrogen oxide,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Hydrocarbons, fine particulate matter, and carbon monoxide will also be reduced. All of this will help improve air quality in communities across Pennsylvania.”
The projects are the first for the governor’s Driving PA Forward initiative, launched in May with the goal of permanently reducing NOx pollution by 27,700 tons by supporting clean transportation projects with funding from Pennsylvania’s $118 million settlement with Volkswagen.  
The VW settlement will also support the roll out of grant and rebate programs for electric vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell equipment; shore-based electric power systems for ocean-going vessels; and replacement or repowering of heavy-duty trucks and transit buses; medium-duty trucks, school buses, shuttle buses, and port drayage trucks; and forklifts, airport ground support equipment, port cargo handling equipment, ferries, tugboats, and freight switcher locomotives.
Other Driving PA Grants Open
These other Driving PA Grant/Rebate Programs are now accepting applications--
-- Electric and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Charging Project Rebate Program: Deadlines-- January 15, July 15 and December 16.
-- Level 2 Charging Station Rebate Program: March 31 (first-come, first-served)
Click Here for information on upcoming webinars on October 9 and 25 on these programs.
For more information on programs related to the Volkswagen Settlement, visit DEP’s Driving PA Forward webpage.
Other Alternative Fuel Grant Programs
These other grant and rebate programs are now open for applications--
-- December 14: DEP Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates (First-Come)
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