PITTSBURGH - The Townships of Peters, Upper St. Clair, and North Strabane are participating in an alternative fuel study with Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities (PRCC) to determine the feasibility of converting their fleets to alternative fuel. Other participants are Peters Township Sanitary Authority, the Peters Township Ambulance Service, and Tri-Community South EMS.

The fleets  include vehicles such as public works trucks, police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances.

"We're looking at their vehicles and developing a model that will tell them what is the best fuel," said PRCC Executive Director Richard Price. "They're really interested in CNG, being here in Pennsylvania with all the [available] shale, but we're looking at all other technologies as well." There will be about 15-20 CNG stations in the area in the next year or so, he said.

PRCC is the recipient of a grant from the Heinz Endowments to cover the cost of the study. The four-month study, performed by two contracted companies, is already under way and is expected to be available to the agencies in February or March, Price said.

While the outcome of the study is to be a guide for the conversion of the participants' municipal fleets, it will also serve as a roadmap for municipalities throughout Western Pennsylvania for fleet conversion, according to the PRCC.

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