DeKalb, Atlanta awarded $14.9 million federal grant

By Maria Saporta

DeKalb County and the Clean Cities Atlanta Coalition has been awarded a $14.9 million grant by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The grant will fund programming designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels in transportation vehicles.

In a statement, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin said: “I want to personally thank the Department of Energy and the Office of the Vice President for pushing this program forward and making this award to the City of Atlanta and its partners. These funds will advance our goal of reducing the City’s carbon footprint.”

The two-year program will increase the supply of renewable Compressed Natural Gas as well as the number of available CNG fueling stations.

The grant was awarded to a public-private partnership of several Atlanta based institutions including the City of Atlanta, Coca-Cola Enterprises, DeKalb County, Emory University, Georgia Tech, PS Energy Group, Sustainable Atlanta and UPS.

The proposed program to expand the use of alternative-fueled vehicles in metro Atlanta is readily implemented and commercially viable, according to the release.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Atlanta’s public health environment will benefit greatly from the reduction in emissions that will be a result of this project.

“The Clean Cities program is helping give state and local governments the tools they need to build a greener transportation system that will create new jobs and help to put America on the path to a clean energy future,” said Don Francis, Clean Cities-Atlanta Coordinator, in a statement.

“Advancing the number of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles on the road will increase our energy security, decrease our dependence on oil, and reduce pollution across the country,” Francis added.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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