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Pennsylvania greenhouse gas-cutting transportation projects get $2.7 million from the state

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Kiley Koscinski
/
90.5 WESA
The state funded the purchase of several electric vehicle charging stations in Allegheny County in 2021.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will offer $2.7 million in grant funding for 18 transportation projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in 2022. The funding is part of the state’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant program.

“These projects will help every single Pennsylvanian breathe cleaner air at school, in their communities, and at their workplaces,” said DEP executive deputy secretary Ramez Ziadeh. “The impact of these grants is not limited to a specific city block or bound by a municipal property line.”

The grant program had previously helped local government, schools and organizations purchase electric, ethanol, biodiesel and other cleaner fuel vehicles. It has also supported the installation of charging and fuel stations for those vehicles.

The projects supported by the program last year are estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 600 metric tons per year, according to the state.

The majority of the funds for 2022 will be earmarked for projects that target pollution in communities with high poverty rates or with larger minority populations. Lower income communities are disproportionately vulnerable to the negative impacts of pollution.

Transportation generates nearly half of nitrogen oxide emissions in Pennsylvania, according to the state. Vehicles account for 21% of carbon dioxide emissions in the commonwealth.

Greenhouse gas emissions contributes to climate change and negatively affects the health of children, older Pennsylvanians and those with lung diseases.

The program funded new electric vans, school buses and charging stations in Allegheny and Beaver counties in 2021. The East Washington Borough Police Department in Washington County purchased an electric vehicle for its fleet with support from a grant.

Funds from the program supported the installation of two fast charging stations able to charge four vehicles each in Homestead and Pleasant Hills last year.

Local governments, schools, businesses and organizations can apply for a 2022 grant at the Department of Environmental Protection’s website.