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Pennsylvania DEP Accepting Applications for Nitrogen Tire Inflation Grants Through August 28

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 17 Encouraging motorists to check the pressure in their vehicles' tires on a frequent basis, DEP Secretary John Hanger today announced the opening of the Nitrogen Tire Inflation System Grant program.

"Tires inflated with nitrogen can produce short- and long-term benefits through better fuel efficiency and improved tire wear," said Hanger. "Over time, tires on all vehicles lose pressure. Tests show tires inflated with nitrogen maintain their pressure up to four times longer than tires inflated with air alone. Under-inflation causes a decrease in fuel mileage due to more surface contact and friction which forces the engine to run harder and burn more fuel."

Nitrogen inflation can also improve tire wear. Nitrogen is an inert gas and is less reactive than oxygen with rubber inner liners and metal wheels. Nitrogen also reduces a tire's moisture content which results in cooler operating temperatures. That combination can improve a vehicle's handling ability and reduce the possibility of blowouts.

Automotive service providers who sell tires in Pennsylvania can apply to be reimbursed for a portion of their cost to purchase tire inflation systems that deliver at least 95 percent nitrogen according to manufacturer specifications. Eligible applicants with a 50 percent match of the total cost may request up to $5,000 for systems purchased and installed after July 1, 2008. A total of $100,000 is available for grants in each of the next three years.

"All motorists should regularly check their vehicle's tire pressure. Properly maintained pressure levels lead to better fuel mileage which also decreases our dependence upon foreign oil," said Hanger. "Deployment of fuel saving technologies provides opportunities to better manage our fuel and natural resources in a way that also improves our environment and enhances our quality of life."