Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant to fund 14 environmentally-friendly vans
BRYN MAWR, PA--Nov. 10, 2013: Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. (Aqua) today announced that it received a grant of $86,812 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) will be applied to the purchase of 14 new vans, which will run on clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG). The vans will be added to Aqua’s growing fleet of CNG vehicles, including two bi-fuel pickup trucks, two dump trucks and five additional vans. Aqua will use the new vans to serve water customers in the inspection of pipeline restoration work.
“This grant reinforces Aqua’s commitment to reduce our use of conventional fuels and help diminish the air pollution contributed by our service vehicles in everyday business practices”
The grant was awarded to Aqua at an event today at Johnson College in Scranton, Pa., where Christopher Abruzzo, Secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection, and state Senator John Blake were featured speakers.
“This grant reinforces Aqua’s commitment to reduce our use of conventional fuels and help diminish the air pollution contributed by our service vehicles in everyday business practices,” said Charles Stevenson, fleet manager for Aqua America. “The grant will help to sustain our venture into using compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel and will help determine the future of using CNG in our Pennsylvania fleet of vehicles.”
Aqua has been a longtime supporter of CNG vehicles. The company purchased its first bi-fuel pickup in 1997 and expects to have 90 CNG vehicles in operation within the next five years. In 2012, an initial investment of $130,000 was made in a time-fill station at Aqua’s Springfield, Delaware County, operations center. Plans are also in the works to install time-fill stations at the company’s Willow Grove, Montgomery County, and West Chester, Chester County, operations centers. To date, the company has invested $675,000 in CNG through vehicle purchases and infrastructure upgrades.
“As a former DEP secretary and economic development director for the Commonwealth, I strongly believe that Pennsylvania’s home-gown compressed natural gas is the fuel of the future for transportation,” said Nicholas DeBenedictis, chairman and CEO of Aqua America. “I applaud the ongoing efforts of the DEP for making drilling for natural gas a safe and environmentally-sound alternative to petroleum-based fuels. Besides creating jobs, stimulating our economy and saving money on fuel costs, it is just the right thing to do environmentally because the payoff is less pollution when more CNG vehicles are on the road.”
In 2011, Aqua America announced a joint venture to construct a private pipeline supplying fresh water to natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale in north-central Pennsylvania. The company has been vocal about its commitment to ensuring the proper management of this important resource.
Aqua Pennsylvania serves approximately 1.4 million people in 31 counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.