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Giant Eagle adding car-charging stations thanks to $660K in state grants

Paul Peirce
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The state Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday announced $660,000 in grants for Giant Eagle to add electric car charging stations in Allegheny, Butler and Washington counties aimed at expansion of the state’s alternative fuel highway network.

“Pennsylvanians are increasingly interested in protecting the environment and saving money by driving clean-fuel vehicles such as electric or compressed natural gas powered cars, buses and trucks,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

When completed, the eight charging stations are expected to eliminate 242 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, according to a joint news release by DEP and PennDOT.

According to McDonnell, the stations will continue increasing options for fast charging along Interstate 79, designated last year as an Alternative Fuel Corridor by the Federal Highway Administration . The FHA permits states to designate highways as Alternative Fuel Corridors if they meet federal criteria for the availability of EV charging, CNG, propane, liquid natural gas or hydrogen fuel stations.

PennDOT and DEP partnered to secure designations in April for about 560 more miles in eastern and central Pennsylvania.

The designated highways have EV charging stations every 50 miles and CNG fueling stations every 150 miles. Stations are within five miles to the road.

“Pennsylvania is now a leading producer of natural gas, and the Alternative Fuel Corridor initiative aims to take advantage of this new, cleaner burning fuel source,” added PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards

Among newly designated as corridors for EV charging are Interstate 70 from the Ohio border to New Stanton; Interstate 83 from New Cumberland to the Maryland border and U.S. Route 30-Interstate 676 from Gettysburg to the New Jersey border.

Newly designated as corridors for CNG are Interstate 70 from the Ohio border to the intersection with the turnpike in New Stanton and from the turnpike to Breezewood exit to the Maryland border; Interstate 81 from Carlisle to the New York border, Interstate 78 from the intersection with I-81 to Allentown and U.S. Route 30-Interstate 676 from York to the New Jersey border.

These latest routes, combined with those designated in 2016 and 2017, give Pennsylvania a total of 14 Alternative Fuel Corridors, covering 1,763 miles, according to DEP and PennDOT.

Corridor designation allows roads to have additional signage indicating that specific types of alternative fuel stations are available.

PennDOT is developing a signage package. The agencies will pursue opportunities for further corridor designations as alternative fuel stations increase.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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