Thursday, May 13, 2021

DEP Awards $3.4 Million+ To Support Cleaner Fuel Transportation Projects To Improve Air Quality, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On May 13, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the
award of more than $3.4 million in 2020 Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIGs) to 20 cleaner fuel transportation projects statewide that will help improve air quality and public health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change.

Projects were funded in Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Indiana, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

“These grants help cities, counties, school districts, colleges, as well as delivery, trash hauling, and other companies across Pennsylvania that want to be proactive in reducing air pollution from transportation,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.  “Their projects will help Pennsylvanians breathe cleaner air at school, in their communities, and at their workplaces.”

The AFIG Program funds projects that replace older gasoline- or diesel-fueled vehicles with cleaner fuel vehicles to reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide, a principal greenhouse gas. 

The program supports electric, ethanol, biodiesel, compressed natural gas (CNG), propane gas, and other cleaner fuel vehicles. It also supports installation of fueling stations for these vehicles.  

Transportation generates 47 percent of nitrogen oxides emissions in Pennsylvania, contributing to the formation of ground-level ozone. This affects the health of children; older people; people with lung diseases, such as asthma and emphysema; and those who work or are active outdoors. 

The state Department of Health has found that asthma-related emergency room visits increase when air quality is very poor. 

Vehicles release 21 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the state, contributing to climate change. 

The 2020 AFIG funded projects will put 209 cleaner fuel school buses, garbage trucks, package delivery trucks, and other vehicles in use, including the first electric tractor-trailer to receive AFIG funding. 

Four projects will install a propane fueling station and 10 electric vehicle (EV) chargers, including two that will be solar powered. 

More than half the projects will help improve air quality in Environmental Justice communities, or census tracts where 20 percent or more individuals live at or below the federal poverty line and/or 30 percent or more individuals identify as a non-white minority, according to federal data. 

Collectively the projects are anticipated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 900 metric tons per year. 

Click Here for a list of projects supported.

For more information on this program, visit DEP’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants webpage.

Other Clean Vehicle Funding

These grant and rebate programs to support clean fuel projects are now accepting applications--

December 31-- DEP Alternative Fueled Vehicle Rebates (apply anytime)

December 31-- DEP Fast Charging Hydrogen Fueling Grants (first-come, first-served)

December 31-- DEP Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rebates (apply anytime)

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.


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[Posted: May 13, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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