Pennsylvania State Department of Environmental Protection Awards Grants to Promote Alternative Fuels

February 02, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

The Pennsylvania State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced nearly $1.2 million in grants to nine organizations in six counties to purchase and promote the use of alternative-fuel vehicles, and to develop new alternative-fuel technology.

The grant program was established to help improve Pennsylvania's air quality and reduce consumption of imported oil through the use of alternative fuels. These include compressed and liquefied natural gas, liquid petroleum gas, alcohol fuels (methanol and ethanol), hydrogen, hythane, electricity, biomass, coal, and soybean fuels. The grants will cover 30 percent of the total project costs.

The Pittsburg Region Clean Cities Program was granted $150,000 to establish a rebate program to help eligible Pittsburg Airport Corridor shuttle fleets to offset the incremental cost of purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles.

ECycle Inc. (Reading, PA) received a $73,170 grant to design, build and demonstrate a hybrid-electric motorcycle, while Penn State University Gate Center for Advanced Energy Storage received $500,000 to design, build and demonstrate direct-methanol fuel-stacks as a range extender for battery-powered trucks and buses. The Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities Program received $90,000 to establish a rebate program to help public and private fleets offset incremental costs when purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles.

"Cleaner-burning alternative fuels help reduce vehicle tailpipe emissions that contribute to unhealthy ground-level ozone," said James M. Seif, DEP secretary. "As the infrastructure for alternative-fuel vehicles grows, so will the public's acceptance and use of these environmentally sound and sometimes cheaper alternatives."