The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Dec.1 announced that scrap metal processor Metalico was awarded a nearly $500,000 grant to upgrade equipment.
The money will be used to replace one older diesel material handler and one older diesel material loader with a new all-electric handler and a new clean-diesel loader at its facility on Neville Island.
According to the DEP release, the project annually will remove an estimated 5.25 tons of NOx, 52 tons of carbon monoxide, 596 pounds of PM2.5, 400 tons of CO2, and other pollutants from the air.
“This is such welcome news and we don’t know if it would have happened without the pressure our friends at Allegheny County Clean Air Now have applied over the past few years to Metalico top brass, as well as the Allegheny County Health Department,” GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell said. “They have really gone to bat for residents who live and work near the facility, demanding that the company clean up its act and demanding regulators step up inspections and enforcement activity.”
He added: “Hopefully the equipment upgrades will help assuage some of the air quality issues ACCAN has documented over the years and residents can finally get some relief from the seemingly ever-present emissions episodes at the scrap yard.”
The press release announcing the grant was part of a larger initiative launched by DEP called, “Electrifying Truck Fleets for Cleaner Air in Our Communities.” The $12.7 million Driving PA Forward initiative is expected to improve air quality by supporting local freight truck electrification. Projects serving environmental justice areas, high traffic density areas, and Act 47 financially distressed municipalities are a top priority for funding.
Grant funding is available to local governments, businesses, and nonprofits to replace at least five older diesel trucks with new all-electric versions. (For smaller fleets, an exception may be made to support three electric trucks.) Funding will cover local freight trucks, such as garbage, recycling, utility, and delivery trucks, as well as charging infrastructure and installation.
Grantees will have two years to scrap their old diesel vehicles and get the new electric truck fleets on the road.