Updated: May 21, 2013
As safe, tightly regulated natural gas development continues to benefit every corner of Pennsylvania with low-cost energy and new opportunity, we were reminded this week of the far-reaching impacts of Act 13, the revenue generated by this bipartisan piece of legislation and how it is advancing clean transportation alternatives. Funded through impact fee revenue and administered by the Natural Gas Energy Development Program, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will award $20 million in grants over the next three years for natural gas vehicles conversions, acquisitions and infrastructure.
The first round of the grants announced this week totaled $6.7 million, with 18 companies and organizations from 15 counties receiving funding.
Here’s what newspapers and media outlets across the commonwealth are reporting in today’s papers:
- Blair County Benefiting from Act 13 NGV Grants. “As part of a legislative effort to develop shale gas infrastructure, energy independence and environmental responsibility, the state has awarded grants to help two Blair County companies each buy 12 natural gas vehicles. The Department of Environmental Protection has allocated $288,000 to Burgmeier’s Hauling for compressed natural gas trash trucks and $300,000 to Smith Transport for 12 liquefied natural gas vehicles. The local money is part of a $6.7 million allocation from impact fees from gas operations that will fund 18 projects statewide, according to a DEP news release. … Compressed natural gas is about 20 percent cheaper as a fuel than diesel… and is less volatile in price. It results in lower pollutant emissions…the trucks are also quieter.” (Altoona Mirror, 5/17/13)
- Waste Authority in Lancaster County to Purchase 14 New Trucks, Thanks to Act 13 Revenue. “Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority has received a $350,000 state grant to help fund switching its fleet to natural-gas power. The grant, announced Thursday, will help pay for 14 new trash-transfer trucks fueled by compressed natural gas… In a related move, LCSWMA also is installing a natural-gas fueling station at its transfer station complex on Harrisburg Pike. The station will be used by its fleet, the authority’s customers and select groups including businesses and government organizations. The total cost of the new vehicles and fueling station is estimated to be $4 million. The 14 new trucks will cost $1.5 million; the fueling station will cost $2.5 million, an authority spokeswoman said.” (Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, 5/16/13)
- Philadelphia, Delaware County Organizations Receive $1M in Act 13 Dollars for CNG Vehicles. “About $1 million in Marcellus Shale money will make its way to the Philadelphia area to subsidize the purchase of natural-gas-fueled school buses and trucks. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awarded a total of $6.7 million in grants Thursday to 18 organizations selected from among 49 applicants. … The grants, which will support the purchase or conversion of 288 heavy vehicles across the state, are financed from the $206 million collected last year from the Marcellus Shale impact fee. …The $499,994 award to the Rose Tree Media schools will help reduce the $4.8 million cost for the district to covert 14 existing diesel buses to compressed natural gas (CNG), and to buy eight new CNG buses. … The CNG vehicles are expected to save at least $1 million over 20 years in lower fuel costs. “In addition to the savings,” said Superintendent James M. Wigo Sr., “we are committed to contributing to the clean-air efforts in Delaware County and the commonwealth.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/17/13)
- Cambria County Trucking Firm Receives Act 13 Funding for CNG Vehicles. “A Cambria County trucking company and a Blair County-based trash hauler with customers in Cambria and Somerset counties are big winners in money handed out by the state from the Marcellus Shale impact fees. … The grant program is significant because the more trucks running on compressed natural gas will result in refueling stations that will open the door for passenger vehicles, said state Sen. John Wozniak, D-Westmont. “This helps in a big way toward increasing demand for refueling stations,” Wozniak said Thursday… “We also have to promote new markets for natural gas, and Act 13 set aside money to accomplish it…” The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry-based group formed to promote development of the unconventional gas industry, views the grants as proof of the benefits of Marcellus drilling. “These grants further demonstrate the far-reaching benefits of Marcellus Shale in communities across the commonwealth,” coalition spokesman Patrick Creighton said.” (The Tribune-Democrat, 5/16/13)
- Natural Gas Station Under Construction in Allegheny County. “Natural gas production continues to increase across Western Pennsylvania. As a result, more companies are looking at compressed natural gas as the vehicle fuel of the future. Part of Act 13 of 2012 provides millions of dollars in oil and gas generated funds for converting commercial vehicles to natural gas. Burgmeier’s Hauling is one of the local companies benefitting from the program. … work is under way on a new fueling station for large commercial trucks…The new fueling station is part of a vehicle conversion to compressed natural gas effort that will cut costs and benefit its customers. … Burgmeier’s will be using $300,000 to help with the purchase of twelve new compressed natural gas refuse trucks. In addition to being quieter and more efficient, the new trucks are expected to provide a significant environmental benefit.” (WTAJ-TV, 5/16/13)
- Delaware County School District Receives Natural Gas Grant for New CNG Buses. “State officials have awarded the Rose Tree Media School District a $499,994 Natural Gas Vehicle Development Program grant which will go toward an upgrade of the district’s school bus fleet. … Rose Tree Media School District Superintendent James Wigo Sr. said the district is thrilled it is the first district in Delaware County to move in this direction with its buses. Wigo said the district is excited about receiving the funds not only because of the dollar savings associated with it but also because it will help the environment. … “This allows us to make a significant impact and we believe very strongly in our civic responsibility to do all we can to clean up the environment,” Wigo said. The school district has plans to use the funds to upgrade the district’s school bus fleet to natural gas vehicles, convert 14 existing diesel buses to compressed natural gas and begin the process of purchasing eight new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) built buses. The fuel capacity will be supported by a new hybrid fueling station that will be owned and operated by the district, according to district officials.” (Delaware County Times, 5/20/13)
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