The state Department of Environmental Protection has announced new grant awards going to support the expansion of compressed natural gas (CNG) for transportation.
“These grants will help to diversify our vehicle fleet, while expanding the use of natural gas produced right here in Pennsylvania,” Governor Corbett said in a statement.
McAneny Brothers Inc. of Cambria County will receive $173,307 to buy eight CNG vehicles.
Lehigh Gas Wholesale LLC will get $391,445 to buy or convert 35 vehicles to run on natural gas. The company will partner with United Parcel Service, Mid-Atlantic AAA, Lehigh Gas and Philadelphia Gas Works.
Plans include opening the first public CNG fueling station in the City of Philadelphia. There are currently about two dozen stations statewide.
Under the state’s year-old Act 13 law regulating gas drilling, $20 million was set aside for grants to promote CNG use over a three year span.
A second round of grants will open up this fall. The money should be awarded by next spring.
Lynda Rebarchak is a DEP spokeswoman who says the next round of money will be targeted toward local municiaplties.
“That’s the final round where money is specifically set aside for local transportation, like school buses or garbage trucks,” she says.
This round of funding also included $64,752 from the federal Department of Energy.
The DEP has a separate program which provides $10 million for alternative fuel vehicles, including CNG, propane, and electric vehicles.