The Wolf Administration announced $2.1 million in Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants (AFIG) to municipalities and businesses for clean fuel transportation projects to improve air quality in their communities. The AFIG program provides funding to help municipalities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania replace older gasoline- or diesel-fueled vehicles with electric, renewable natural gas, CNG, ethanol, biodiesel, or LPG fueled vehicles. It also funds installation of fueling equipment for these vehicles.
“Transportation is one of the biggest sources of air pollution in Pennsylvania. That’s why investing in zero- and low-emission transportation pays off big: It helps us breathe healthier air and slow down climate change,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Executive Deputy Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. “Through AFIG, DEP assists businesses and organizations of all sizes in pursuing their clean fuel transportation goals.”
New grant funding went to 13 municipalities and businesses for 15 projects. Collectively the funded projects are anticipated to reduce gasoline use by 478,000 gallons per year over their lifetimes. They are expected to cut NOx emissions by 6,429 kilograms and CO2 emissions by 2,642 metric tons per year. Eleven projects are located in or serve Environmental Justice areas, or census tracts where 20% or more residents live at or below the federal poverty line or 30% or more residents identify as a non-white minority, according to federal data.
The funded projects include:
• MJ Transport Logistics (Centre County): $300,000 for eight CNG tractor trailers to haul waste from transfer stations to the landfill.
• Francis J. Palo, Inc. (Clarion County): $30,000 to convert four F-150 pickup trucks to run on CNG.
• Chestnut Valley Landfill (Fayette County): $300,000 for eight CNG trash collection trucks.
• Amazon Logistics (Luzerne County): $300,000 for 10 renewable natural gas tractor trailers to move goods from a factory or warehouse to its Hazleton Fulfillment Center.
Transportation generates 47% of NOx emissions in Pennsylvania, contributing to formation of 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 Pennsylvania Department of Health has found that asthma-related emergency room visits increase when air quality is very poor.
Source: State of Pennsylvania