Pennsylvania American Water officials joined with Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Sam Smith and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection officials today to mark the company’s launch of a compressed natural gas (CNG) pilot for its vehicle fleet. The company displayed four new CNG-powered Ford F-250 trucks at its kickoff event, which will be piloted in Punxsutawney and Coatesville. “CNG provides Pennsylvania American Water with an exciting alternative fuel option that will help us better control our operational expenses, reduce our carbon footprint, and capitalize on the abundant supply of natural gas right here in the Commonwealth,” said President Kathy L. Pape of Pennsylvania American Water. In contrast to gasoline prices that currently range around $3.50 per gallon, Pennsylvania American Water officials noted that fueling with CNG costs approximately $2.00 per gallon. Pennsylvania American Water Vice President of Operations Steve Tambini said the company is also sold on CNG’s environmental benefits. “The new CNG vehicles operate on the same basic principle as traditionally fueled trucks, but they generate significantly less particulate matter,” said Tambini. “This means cleaner air and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which will benefit the environment and the communities we serve.” “It is very encouraging to see companies like Pennsylvania American Water begin to convert their fleets to compressed natural gas (CNG),” said Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Sam Smith. “This is exactly the trend we hope to see continuing across the state. More CNG vehicles on the road leads to a greater need for fueling stations, and that ultimately results in less dependence on foreign oil and more jobs in the energy sector here in Pennsylvania. I congratulate Pennsylvania American Water for being a leader in this area.” Pennsylvania American Water also announced that it is applying for a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to add more CNG-powered vehicles to its fleet. Tambini also said Pennsylvania American Water will construct a company-owned fueling station in Scranton that will support up to 36 CNG vehicles in 2014.