HARRISBURG Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger announced the opening of reimbursement grant funding for clean, alternative fuel transportation projects in Pennsylvania, and investment in Pennsylvania's energy sector.

"The primary goals of the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program, or AFIG, are to improve Pennsylvania's air quality and reduce consumption of imported oil through the use of homegrown alternative transportation fuels like biodiesel, natural gas and electricity that will help the state's economy and environment," Hanger said.

A total of $7 million is available for innovative, advanced fuel and vehicle technology projects resulting in cleaner advanced transportation within the state. Funding is available for school districts, municipal authorities, political subdivisions, nonprofit entities, corporations, limited liability companies or partnerships incorporated or registered in Pennsylvania to retrofit fleet vehicles to operate on alternative fuels, subsidize the cost of the purchase of an alternative fuel vehicle for a fleet or subsidize the cost to install fleet refueling equipment for alternative fuel vehicles or support next phase advanced research, development and training related to alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles.

AFIG grants also subsidize school districts, political subdivisions and nonprofit entities for the incremental cost to purchase refueling and storage equipment or related tank cleaning.

Funding is also available for qualified renewable fuel producers to receive reimbursement of up to 10 cents per gallon of renewable fuels produced in a calendar year up to 12.5 million gallons.

"We have the resources and the know-how to promote and build markets for advanced or renewable energy transportation technologies," said Hanger. "Stimulating ways to power vehicles with domestic, cleaner fuels is vital to the security and health of all Pennsylvanians."

Projects may have started on or after July 1, 2009. No project may exceed 24 months and must be completed by June 30, 2011. Applications must be postmarked or received by 4 p.m. on Nov. 6. Faxed applications will not be accepted.

The application package including guidance, instructions and application forms is available electronically at www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: "Alternative Fuels" or by contacting the Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Energy and Technology Deployment, 15th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, P.O. Box 8772, Harrisburg, PA 15105-8772; (717) 783-8411.