The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is determined to build up the State’s natural gas vehicle population with the launch of a Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) website and plan to help municipal and commercial fleet owners make informed decisions about converting their fleets to compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), in advance of a related grant program.
“These web-based resources will educate fleet owners and other potential grant applicants in advance of workshops being scheduled for the fall,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “Website users have a unique opportunity to submit information to DEP about projects they may be considering, so that we can craft a program to best serve their needs and help make resulting grant applications competitive.” Prospective buyers are advised this program is first come, first served and funds are limited.
Act 13 of 2012 authorizes DEP to develop and implement a Natural Gas Energy Development Program to distribute up to $20 million in grants over three years to help pay for the incremental purchase and conversion costs of natural gas fleet vehicles.
“This new website will put information at the fingertips of those who are interested in learning more about natural gas vehicles,” Public Utility Commission Chairman Robert F. Powelson said. “As we found with our recent forum on alternative fuel vehicles, people are eager to explore the role of natural gas vehicles in Pennsylvania.
“At the same time, municipalities and employers have many questions about costs and benefits,” Powelson said. “This website will go a long way toward providing answers and allowing DEP to design a program that will best meet their needs.”
The new website offers information on the Natural Gas Energy Development Program as well as existing NGV fueling tools and resources, such as cost-savings calculators, fueling maps and technical assistance sites.
An important aspect of the site includes a survey section allowing applicants to share their ideas and prospective project information with DEP in advance of the autumn workshops.
“Sharing this information not only allows us to customize the program and workshop content, but it opens an early line of communication between DEP and potential applicants that allows us to work with and assist them throughout this process,” Krancer said.
Those interested are also encouraged to register on the website to be notified of workshop dates, the opening of the initial grant round and other outreach opportunities.
DEP will host six regional NGV seminars this fall and may also hold additional sessions for specific groups, such as municipal associations, school board associations and public transportation groups.