Pennsylvania Launches $2.9 Million Initiative to Cut Diesel Emissions & Promote Clean Transportation

Sheetz, a grant recipient, is set to develop electrified parking spaces for transportation refrigerated tractor trailers.
Danielle Romano
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HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is making a significant investment in the state's environmental health with a $2.9 million allocation to seven applicants through the PA State Clean Diesel Grant program. 

The initiative represents a concerted effort to combat air pollution by incentivizing fleet owners and operators to modernize their vehicles, transitioning from heavy diesel engines to low- or zero-emission alternatives.

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Vehicles account for nearly half of nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere. These pollutants contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, posing health risks particularly to children, the elderly and individuals with respiratory conditions, DEP Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley stated.

[Read more: Demand for EV Charging at the Workplace Increases]

She highlighted the grant program's role in advancing the state's clean transportation infrastructure, thereby mitigating the adverse effects of nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide emissions across Pennsylvania.

The PA State Clean Diesel Grant program supports projects that promise impactful fleet transitions, focusing on cost-effective, zero-emission technology replacements. These projects are not only aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of vehicle fleets but also at improving air quality in high-traffic and Environmental Justice communities. 

Among the notable recipients of this year's grants are initiatives encompassing battery-electric vehicle (BEV) delivery trucks; plug-in electric metal recycling handlers; BEV terminal tractors; and electrified parking spaces to support refrigerated freight distribution.

This year's funding will aid a diverse array of projects aimed at diminishing diesel emissions. Among the grant recipients is Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc., which is set to develop 28 electrified parking spaces for transportation refrigerated tractor trailers with a grant of $102,484.

[Read more: Three Retailers, Three Technology Journeys]

Additional beneficiaries include:

  • United Parcel Service has been awarded $1,349,000 to replace diesel delivery trucks and terminal tractors with electric counterparts. 
  • United Scrap Metal and Ben Weitsman of Scranton are replacing diesel material handlers with cleaner alternatives.
  • Collins Pine Co. and Fullington School Bus LLC are updating their fleets with new clean diesel buses and forklifts.
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