Thursday, August 27, 2020

DEP Provides $5.1 Million In Volkswagen Settlement Funding For Cleaner Air, Cleaner Transportation Projects

On August 27, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has awarded $5,118,502 in Driving PA Forward grants to 13 cleaner fuel transportation projects that will improve air quality in communities around the state. 
The funding comes from the Commonwealth’s share of the national settlement with Volkswagen Group of America for cheating on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions tests.
“By replacing old diesel engines, these Driving PA Forward projects will lower air pollution levels to help Pennsylvanians breathe healthier air while they’re at home, at work, and in transit in high-traffic, high-population areas,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
Located at shopping centers, ports, warehouses, and other business sites, the projects will install 16 fast charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs); replace 16 pieces of old diesel port and airport equipment with all electric versions; and replace 46 old diesel trucks with new, clean diesel ones. 
Eleven of the projects are located in Environmental Justice areas, defined by DEP as communities where 20 percent or more individuals live in poverty and/or 30 percent or more of the population are residents of color according to the U.S. Census.
The following projects received grants in this round of awards:
-- Multi-county
--  R+L Transfer, Inc.: $275,580 to replace 12 old diesel tractors with 12 new clean diesel tractors at its freight shipping sites in Lebanon, Lebanon County; Pittston, Luzerne County; and Hatfield, Montgomery County.
-- SYSCO Leasing, LLC: $598,500 to replace 30 old diesel heavy-duty trucks with 30 clean diesel heavy-duty trucks at its food and food-related product warehouse and distribution centers in Harmony, Butler County; Harrisburg, Dauphin County; and Philadelphia.
-- Allegheny County
-- Giant Eagle: $490,129 to replace two diesel yard trucks with electric yard trucks at its warehouse on Beechnut Drive in Pittsburgh.
-- Dauphin County
-- Department of General Services: $468,419 to replace four old diesel Class 8 trucks with four clean diesel trucks at its Harrisburg site.
-- Rail Management Services LLC: $1,047,599 to replace five old diesel yard hostlers with five electric yard hostlers at sites in Harrisburg and Swatara Township.
-- Montgomery County
-- Charwash LLC: $253,575 to install two fast chargers for EVs at a gas station and convenience store at 2595 Maryland Road in Willow Grove.
-- EVgo Services LLC (three projects): $195,231 to install two fast chargers for EVs for public use at Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center; $191,388 to install two fast chargers for public use at  Brixmor Plymouth Square in Conshohocken; and $194,794 to install two faster chargers for public use at Wynnewood Shopping Center in Wynnewood, which has one of the highest concentrations of registered EVs in the state.
-- Philadelphia County
-- EVgo Services LLC: $275,339 to install four fast chargers for EVs for public use at Sullivan Progress Plaza.
-- Philadelphia Regional Port Authority: $435,960 to replace two old diesel terminal tractors with electric ones at the Port of Philadelphia.
-- U-Go Stations, Inc.: $375,000 to install four fast chargers to replace an existing charger that gets heavy use at 1600 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia. The project will include an energy storage system to help with peak demand times and provide backup in case of power failure.
-- United Airlines: $319,987 to replace seven old diesel cargo handlers and equipment tugs with all electric versions of this ground support equipment at Philadelphia International Airport.
Over their lifetimes, the projects are expected to prevent emission of approximately 206 tons of nitrogen oxide, 116 tons of carbon monoxide, 36.5 tons of fine particulate matter, and 15.5 tons of hydrocarbon. 
These pollutants contribute to ground-level ozone (smog), which the EPA has shown has multiple negative health impacts, especially for children, older people, people with lung diseases such as asthma and emphysema, and those who work or are active outdoors.
In cities and other areas with air pollution problems, emergency department visits for asthma episodes increase when air quality is very poor, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The 13 Driving PA Forward funded projects also will prevent emission of 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide, the leading cause of climate change.
“As we work to improve air quality and protect Pennsylvanians’ health, we’re also working to address climate change, advancing Pennsylvania on the road toward a future of zero emissions transportation,” said Secretary McDonnell.
Driving PA Forward launched in 2018 with the goal of permanently removing 27,700 tons of nitrogen oxide from the air in Pennsylvania by funding cleaner fuel transportation projects with the Commonwealth’s $118.5 million share of the Volkswagen settlement. DEP has awarded over $13.6 million for 37 grant projects and approved over $13.4 million in project rebates to date.
There are eight different funding programs, most of which are currently open for applications or expected to open by the end of the year. 
State and local governments, businesses, schools, and organizations may apply. 
Find out the types of transportation projects that are supported, when applications are accepted, and more information at DEP’s Driving PA Forward webpage.
Other Grants
Other clean transportation grants available include--
September 4-- DEP Fast Charging Hydrogen Fueling Grants (first-come, first-served)
February 26-- DEP Fast Charging Hydrogen Fueling Grants (first-come, first-served)
[Posted: August 27, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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