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Giant Eagle among recipients of grants supporting 'alternative' fuels

Stephen Huba
| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, 3:51 p.m.
Bob Freeman, lead technician with National Express, refuels a Westmoreland County Transit Authority bus with compressed natural gas in December 2017 while transit authority board Chairman Frank Tosto and County Commissioner Ted Kopas look on.
Stephen Huba | Tribune-Review
Bob Freeman, lead technician with National Express, refuels a Westmoreland County Transit Authority bus with compressed natural gas in December 2017 while transit authority board Chairman Frank Tosto and County Commissioner Ted Kopas look on.

A new round of grants supporting the use of alternative fuels will benefit 16 projects across the state, including a plan by Giant Eagle to purchase 20 compressed natural gas delivery trucks.

The $300,000 grant for Giant Eagle comes from the state’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants program, which seeks to reduce emissions by facilitating the use of alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas by local municipalities and businesses.

The Giant Eagle project will save an estimated 355,000 gasoline gallon equivalents per year, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

A total of $2.6 million in funding was awarded on Thursday and will support 16 projects to replace older shuttles, school buses, waste-hauling trucks and other vehicles with cleaner natural gas and electric vehicles, as well as install fueling stations for such vehicles.

“Promoting the use of alternative fuels helps businesses lower costs while taking advantage of advances in clean energy vehicle technology,” said Secretary Dennis Davin of the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Elsewhere in southwestern Pennsylvania, the following projects received grant funding:

BUTLER COUNTY

  • Vogel Disposal Service: $286,163 for the purchase of eight compressed natural gas trucks, saving 56,000 gasoline gallon equivalents per year. Part of the dual-plug station will be open to the public.

WASHINGTON COUNTY

  • Waste Management: $300,000 to purchase eight compressed natural gas vehicles, saving an estimated 68,500 gasoline gallon equivalents per year.
  • Monark Student Transportation: $76,000 to purchase eight propane school buses, saving an estimated 22,800 gasoline gallon equivalents per year.

The Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants program is funded by the annual gross receipts tax on utilities.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, shuba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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