BRYN MAWR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aqua America Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis said that the company’s sustainability efforts are representative of the water-energy nexus that is taking place across the country. DeBenedictis’ statement was made as he moderated the organization’s “Policy and People, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs” panel.
“Who would have thought a decade or more ago that water companies would be providing the ‘fuel’ necessary to extract the natural gas from the earth needed to fuel not only homes, but automobiles,” DeBenedictis asked rhetorically. “Ensuring that water is delivered to drillers through an environmentally conscious and efficient method has required water companies like Aqua America and gas companies to develop a collaborative infrastructure from which local communities and drillers have already realized the economic benefits.”
DeBenedictis was referring to its joint venture with Penn Virginia operating subsidiaries, which constructed and operates a private pipeline system to supply fresh water to certain natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale in north-central Pennsylvania. Aqua has supported a CNG fleet for more than a decade, purchasing its first bi-fuel pickup in 1997.
“In addition to ‘fueling’ the natural gas industry, we are also using the natural gas to fuel our fleet. Since 2011, we have invested nearly $3 million in CNG through vehicle purchases and the construction of time-fill fueling stations,” said DeBenedictis. Aqua has committed to transitioning its Pennsylvania large vehicle fleet to CNG within 5 years.
“Investment in energy infrastructure will enable Pennsylvania to play a key role in the energy and economic development that will assure a vibrant economic future for our country,” said DeBenedictis. “We live in an energy-rich state and with smart and prudent infrastructure investment, we can assure a healthy economic future that includes, among other things, energy independence and living-wage jobs for residents throughout the Commonwealth.”
Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly traded water utilities and serves nearly 3 million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information, or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica.