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Pennsylvania Ag News Headlines
Grant-Funded, Pollution-Reducing CNG Buses Arrive
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 03/08/2018

The Wolf Administration celebrated the arrival of ten buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) at River Valley Transit (RVT), which purchased the buses in part using funding from DEP's Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) Program. Attendees were also given a tour of RVT's CNG fueling station, also partially funded through AFIG.

DEP North-central Regional Director Marcus Kohl and staff joined representatives from RVT, the fixed-route public transit provider in Lycoming County, and Gillig, the manufacturer of the CNG buses, to discuss the project and its environmental benefits. Color-coded balloons were used at the event to represent the net reduction of air pollutants that will be achieved by using the cleaner-burning fuel.

"The deployment of these ten CNG buses into the RVT fleet is estimated to result in a net reduction of eight pounds per minute of carbon dioxide, five pounds per hour of nitrogen oxides (NOx), four pounds per day of particulate matter, and two pounds per day of sulphur oxides (SOx)," said Kohl. "The CNG buses will also reduce liquid fuel costs, support jobs in the community, and increase the use of fuels generated domestically."

"Exhaust emissions from vehicles are one of the single greatest sources of air pollution," said Michelle Ferguson, Regional Energy Manager in DEP's North-central Regional Office. "Alternative fuels improve air quality by reducing tailpipe emissions. Maintaining our good air quality by reducing vehicle emissions benefits public health and the cost of living, too."

Ferguson explained that Lycoming County is an air quality attainment area. Under federal rules, vehicle owners are only required to have a gas cap check for emissions testing annually, saving residents the expense of paying for additional emissions testing on their vehicles.

RVT was awarded an AFIG grant of $200,000 in 2017 toward the purchase of the vehicles. DEP also provided RVT with an AFIG grant of $400,000 in 2011 to assist with the construction of their CNG fueling station, which is open to the public. AFIG supports the development of infrastructure necessary for the expanded use of alternative fuel vehicles in the commonwealth.

The AFIG Program, established in 1992 under Act 166, helps to create new markets for alternative fuels in Pennsylvania by investing in the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles, fleets, and technologies. It provides an average of $5-6 million annually to support alternative fuels fleet vehicle purchases and conversions and the development of alternative fuel refueling stations.

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