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LehighValleyLive: LANTA Commits to Use Landfill Natural Gas to Power 80-Bus Fleet

According to an article from LehighValleyLive, “landfill gas created by decomposing trash is now powering public transit in the Lehigh Valley.” The article continues, “Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority announced last week it signed a contract with UGI Energy Services Inc. LLC to purchase Pennsylvania-sourced clean biogas fed into the natural gas distribution system from area landfills.”



[Read full article from LehighValleyLive: Landfill biofuel gas now used to power LANTA’s 80-plus bus fleet”].


According to LehighValleyLive, LANTA spokesman Chuck Genna said, “the deal is for four years and renewable.” Renewable Natural Gas, or RNG, is produced during the organic breakdown of waste material such as from a landfill. This raw methane is then treated and refined to reach purity levels more than 95%. After treatment, RNG is injected into and transported through the local natural gas pipeline networks and is indistinguishable from natural gas.


LehighValleyLive quoted UGI Energy Services President Joe Hertz, who said, “we are excited to partner with LANTA in providing RNG to fuel their transportation fleet. This project marks a milestone for UGI Energy Services as this is the first agreement in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a transportation authority to fuel their vehicles with RNG.”


“As we continue to focus on the need to remove carbon from the atmosphere, it is partnerships like the between UGI Energy Services and LANTA that we need more of throughout the Commonwealth,” state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Lehigh/Northampton, said in a statement. “The transportation sector must be a focus of new state policies to address emissions and it is my belief that we must work to implement incentives that bring about more partnerships such as the UGIES and LANTA that we celebrate today.”


“While other transit agencies in Pennsylvania use CNG [compressed natural gas] buses, LANTA is the first to commit by contract to purchase renewable biofuel produced by existing landfills in the Commonwealth.”


According to the website for the Bethlehem Landfill, “landfills continuously generate landfill gas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide through a natural decay process. The gas generated at Bethlehem Landfill is collected and controlled. With the addition of the Renewable Natural Gas facility, it will tie into the existing landfill gas system, process, and treat the gas to a pipeline quality standard for injection of the natural gas into pipelines used by the local community.”


Bethlehem Landfill and Aria Energy have proposed further developing the RNG capturing capabilities at the landfill, citing numerous benefits, such as providing enough natural gas to power approximately 6,250 local households annually while also providing enough energy for approximately 12,000 cars annually.

Lower Saucon Township residents would benefit directly, as past and current community host agreements with Bethlehem Landfill have allotted a percentage of RNG sales to the Township. Recent reporting suggests the plant will be operational sometime next month and will be contributing RNG into UGI lines which are supplying the LANTA fleet with renewable natural gas.


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