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State offering $8M in grants for alternative-fuel vehicles

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Gov. Tom Corbett on Saturday began accepting applications for $8 million available through the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant program.

The program is designed to allow a wide range of vehicle owners — school districts, municipal authorities, political subdivisions, incorporated nonprofit entities, corporations and limited liability companies or partnerships registered to do business in Pennsylvania — the chance to convert their gasoline-burning vehicle fleets to alternative fuels.

That could be buying new alternative-fuel vehicles or upgrading existing vehicles to use alternative fuels. Grants are available for the conversion or purchase of natural gas vehicles weighing 26,000 pounds or less, as well as the conversion or purchase of electric, propane or other alternative-fuel vehicles of any size.

Lynda Rebarchak, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection, which is administering the grants, said vehicles that weigh less than 13 tons would include things like small buses, trash trucks or even some fire trucks.

"Not 18-wheelers, et cetera," she said . "A lot of those are overweight, but they could be eligible for other kinds of grants."

The program was established in 1992, but it's not been offered every year, Rebarchak said.

The deadline to submit an application is 4 p.m. May 30. Grants will be awarded in the fall. Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in a related webinar, scheduled for Tuesday, March 11, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., according to a news release.

If a business or organization wants to buy only one or two alternative-fuel vehicles, it is allowed to apply with others on one application to meet the state's five-vehicle minimum.

For more information and to register for the webinar, visit

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