HARRISBURG, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR) today announced that its Chairman and CEO, Nicholas DeBenedictis, will be a featured speaker at the Marcellus Works press conference hosted by Pennsylvania State Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) on Wednesday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. at the Capitol Fountain on Commonwealth Avenue in Harrisburg. DeBenedictis will discuss the company’s Pennsylvania subsidiary’s (Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc.) fleet conversion to compressed natural gas (CNG) and call attention to the state’s abundant, clean-burning Marcellus Shale natural gas resources.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is currently considering nine bills collectively known as the “Marcellus Works” package, which are sponsored in part by Rep. Saylor. The package is focused on developing a cleaner, more affordable transportation system, creating jobs within the Commonwealth, and using homegrown natural resources to work toward energy independence.
DeBenedictis will join Rep. Saylor and speakers from several other private industries at the news conference. DeBenedictis will discuss Aqua Pennsylvania’s (Aqua) decision to transition its larger vehicle fleet to CNG. Aqua has pilot-tested five CNG vans, two dump trucks and two bio-fuel pick-up trucks. Aqua has invested $657,000 in CNG to date, including vehicles and infrastructure, and expects to have 90 CNG vehicles in operation within the next five years.
“As a former DEP and Economic Development Secretary for the Commonwealth, I strongly believe that Pennsylvania home-gown compressed natural gas is the fuel of the future for transportation,” said DeBenedictis. “I applaud the ongoing efforts of the DEP for making drilling for natural gas safe and an environmentally sound alternative to petroleum-based fuels. Besides creating jobs, stimulating our economy and saving money on fuel costs, it just is the right thing to do environmentally because the payoff is less pollution when more CNG vehicles are on the road.”
CNG is credited with creating more than 88,000 jobs in Pennsylvania to date, enhancing air quality and lowering energy costs, all while generating more than $389 million in state and local tax revenue.
Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utilities and serves almost three million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida and Georgia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR. Visit www.aquaamerica.com for more information.