After being notified of a new three-year Natural Gas Vehicle Development Program grant administered by the Department of Environmental Protection, Rose Tree Media School District, with the support and encouragement of the Board of School Directors and State Representative Thomas Killion, applied for the grant that would distribute up to $20 million in competitive grants over the next three years for natural gas vehicle purchase and conversion. In round one last year, the District was awarded $499, 994 in grant funds. The intent of this grant program is to spur the demand for natural gas as an alternative to petroleum fuel and to take advantage of the benefits of a cleaner, cheaper, domestic transportation fuel source. As unconventional gas development continues across Pennsylvania, Act 13 enacts stronger environmental standards and builds upon the state’s ongoing efforts to move toward energy independence. There is an abundance of shale gas available in PA that will keep natural gas prices low for the foreseeable future.
It is Rose Tree Media School Districts motto, “Excellence Today for Tomorrow” that drives the administration and teaching staff at the District to uphold the highest level of education standards for its students. The same value rings true for RTMSD’s view on preserving the environment. District policy outlines efforts to conserve energy and natural resources while exercising sound financial management. The grant funds will enable RTMSD to live up to its motto by contributing to the environmental impact on our community.
As a result of last year’s round one grant award and this year’s round two grant award, the District will receive a total of $799,994 in grant funds. The grants will provide resources towards the purchase of 27 new CNG buses and the conversion of eight diesel buses over the next two years. With the purchase of twelve additional CNG buses the District will make an even greater environmental impact on our community. Natural gas buses are quieter and cleaner. These twelve new buses will reduce CO2 emissions that would be equivalent to: 16,692 tree seedlings grown for 10 years, 528 acres of pine or fir forest, 132 passenger vehicles, 1,512 barrels of oil consumed, energy of 36 homes for one year and burning 12 coal railcars. A much broader benefit is reducing our country’s reliance on foreign oil and helping to create a more sustainable world. With a CNG transition from diesel, the district can save money for the local community and taxpayers since the life-cycle cost of CNG vehicles are substantially lower than standard vehicles.
The fuel capacity will be supported by a new fueling station owned and operated by the district.
The District has partnered with Johnson Controls’ as the design/build contractor for the construction of the fueling station and program manager of the overall CNG transition plan. The district looks forward to working with Johnson Controls’ for the completion of this project that will benefit the community, the schools and the environment. If you have any questions, please contact James M. Wigo, Sr., Superintendent of Schools.