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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: February 6, 2017


  • Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Clocks 1 Million Gallons at CNG Station
  • Report Finds New Natural Gas Engines Provide Significant Emissions Reductions
  • SoCalGas and CR&R Environmental to Construct New RNG Pipeline
  • VIA Metropolitan Transit Secures $82 Million for 270 CNG Buses Fleet Conversion
  • Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District Switches to CNG for Collection Trucks
  • Greenkraft Plans to Expand to a Bigger Factory, Introduce Larger Model Trucks
  • Virginia Clean Cities Hosting 4th Annual Rally at the Raceway
  • CalEPA and CARB Discuss California Climate Investments Initiative
  • Eagle LNG Files FERC Application for Jacksonville LNG Project


Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Clocks 1 Million Gallons at CNG Station

January 27, 2017

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) reached a milestone this month after RideKC buses used the equivalent of 1 million DGEs of CNG since starting to use the clean-burning fuel in August 2014.

The move from diesel to CNG fuel is creating cost savings and environmental benefits for KCATA. The transit authority says by reaching the milestone of 1 million DGEs of natural gas, it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 1,870 metric tons. KCATA also estimates it has saved $1.2 million over the cost of diesel fuel since making the change.

“The decision to switch to compressed natural gas allows us to be even better stewards of taxpayer money and of the environment,” said President and CEO Robbie Makinen. “We will continue to add look at innovative fleet options to build on this success.”

KCATA has a partnership with Clean Energy Fuels to monitor and maintain the fueling station. At the time it was built, the CNG fueling station was the largest fast-fill station in Missouri and is still the largest in the Kansas City region. The station allows buses to be fueled in less than seven minutes.

The agency currently has 44 CNG buses in its fleet, and is adding 20 more that will arrive this year. CNG vehicles have been phased in as older diesel buses are retired.



Report Finds New Natural Gas Engines Provide Significant Emissions Reductions

February 1, 2017

A report released by the University of California Riverside’s College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) found that new ultra-low emission natural gas heavy duty vehicles met and exceeded their certification standards during a full range of duty cycles. This finding is in stark contrast to previously released CE-CERT data and a recently released report by the California Air Resources Board that found heavy duty diesel trucks emitted higher levels of NOx than their certification standards in the same duty cycles. With the near-zero emission factors demonstrated for natural gas vehicles, it is expected that these vehicles could play an important role in providing much needed emissions reductions required for the South Coast Air Basin and California to reach federal air quality attainment standards.

“When comparing the data of the cleanest available heavy-duty diesel vehicles versus the cleanest available heavy-duty natural vehicles, it is clear that natural gas vehicles provide unmatched reductions of smog-forming emissions,” stated Dr. Kent Johnson, author of the report. “These near-zero emission natural gas vehicles are especially effective in applications that require low speeds, such as short-haul goods movement.”

Diesel-fueled medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are the number one source of smog-forming emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in almost every single metropolitan region in the country. NOx emissions lead to the formation of ozone and small particulate matter (PM2.5), each of which contributes to significant health impacts, including asthma and heart disease. In areas with the most severe air quality problems – such as southern and central California – achieving healthy air quality will require a transition of heavy-duty vehicles to ones that emit zero or near-zero emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has systematically reduced the allowable emissions of NOx from new heavy-duty engines since 1994 through application of progressively lower federal standards. With the 2010 NOx certification limit of 0.2g/bhp-hr, NOx emissions dropped 90 percent compared to 2006 and older heavy-duty vehicles. Additional NOx reductions of another 90 percent are desired for the South Coast Air Basin to meet its 2023 NOx inventory requirements.

A report authored by Dr. Kent Johnson (PI), College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) at the University of California Riverside, evaluated the Cummins Westport ISL G near-zero (NZ) engine emissions during typical in-use conditions. The engine was certified in the fall of 2016 by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to 0.02 g/bhp-hr, which is 90 percent cleaner than EPA’s current NOx emission standard and 90 percent cleaner than the cleanest available diesel engine.

The report tested the ISL G near-zero engine on duty cycles that represent operations in the South Coast Air Basin. These cycles included the urban dynamometer driving schedule (i.e., city driving conditions), port cycles (including near dock, local and regional), refuse cycles, and central business district cycles. The report concludes that ISL G near-zero natural gas engines perform with NOx emissions below their certification level and that emissions decrease as the duty cycles decrease, meaning that in lower speed scenarios, such as stop-and-go traffic commonly found throughout the South Coast region, the emissions decreased.

A separate report published in 2013 by the same author evaluated the in-use emissions of heavy-duty diesel vehicles with modern emission control systems in the same duty cycles found that the diesel engines performed with up to 5 times higher NOx emissions on average than their EPA certification standard and emissions increased as the duty cycle decreased. A report released in October 2016 by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reported similar findings—that in-use NOx emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks were 1.7 to 9 times higher than the NOx certification standard. As the UCR and CARB reports found, these high in-use NOx emissions occurred primarily during low speed operations, which is a concern in California where low speed operations are common, such as near port operations.

For more information about the report, visit the fact sheet on the ultra-low NOx natural gas vehicle evaluation report here. The full report of the ultra-low NOx natural gas vehicle evaluation can be found here, and the previously released CE-CERT report on heavy-duty diesel trucks referenced above can be found here.


SoCalGas and CR&R Environmental to Construct New RNG Pipeline

January 31, 2017

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and waste management company CR&R Environmental broke ground on construction of an eight-inch pipeline that will bring carbon-neutral renewable natural gas (RNG) into the SoCalGas distribution system for the first time. Renewable natural gas from the digestion facility will be designated specifically to power CR&R’s fleet of approximately 900 waste hauling trucks.

The connecting pipeline, funded by CR&R Environmental, will reach approximately 1.4 miles from an existing SoCalGas pipeline to a new CR&R anaerobic digestion facility in Perris, California slated to be complete this spring.

“Bringing renewable gas into our pipeline system is a big step forward for SoCalGas and for California,” said Lisa Alexander, SoCalGas’ vice president, customer solutions and communications.  “Using our pipeline infrastructure to distribute this carbon-neutral fuel will help to slow climate change and meet state goals for increasing use of renewable fuels. We see this de-carbonization of our pipeline system as the way of the future.”

CR&R’s Perris anaerobic digester, supplied by Eisenmann USA and Greenlane Biogas and constructed by W.M. Lyles, will use source-separated organic waste collected in cities’ green collection carts to produced carbon-neutral renewable methane. This gas will then be further refined using pollution-free technology and distributed through SoCalGas’s pipeline infrastructure. CR&R’s Perris digestion facility is believed to be the largest in the world.

Studies indicate California could produce almost 300 billion cubic feet of RNG per year just from organic waste. Instead of landfilling or burning that waste, California could use it to replace 75 percent of all the diesel fuel used by motor vehicles in California.

SoCalGas expects it will be able to bring renewable gas from the facility into its pipelines by June of this year.


VIA Metropolitan Transit Secures $82 Million for 270 CNG Buses Fleet Conversion

February 3, 2017

VIA Metropolitan Transit announced the sale of $82 million in MTA Contractual Obligation Bonds to help finance the purchase of 270 CNG buses as part of the agency’s SmartMove five-year capital plan.

VIA’s multi-year plan to purchase these clean-energy vehicles is designed to replace aging buses in its current fleet. The vehicles scheduled for replacement are at least 15 years old. The agency’s fleet expansion will reduce operating costs and allow the agency to carry out planned service enhancements.

VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority earned a “AAA” rating from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Service, which allows VIA to take advantage of the lowest interest rates available. Only 5 percent of municipal entities achieve a AAA rating, according to bond analysts. VIA says its AAA rating reflects the agency’s sound stewardship of public resources, and is also reflective of the agency’s strong management and financial practices.

“Replacing the oldest vehicles in our fleet with CNG buses will result in a significant emissions reduction for the region and furthers VIA’s commitment to environmental sustainability,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said.”


Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District Switches to CNG for Collection Trucks

January 30, 2017

Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District (WFWRD), which serves Salt Lake County, Utah, has converted their entire fleet of residential collection trucks to compressed natural gas. WFWRD’s entire fleet of 46 residential collection vehicles runs on CNG after completing a five-year transition.

“We service over 82,000 homes every week. This equates to over 1.3 million miles every year,” said Mike Allan, WFWRD Deputy Director over Operations. “By using CNG vehicles, we can dramatically reduce the negative impact to our environment.”

WFWRD says that over the past two years it has saved approximately $780,000 in fuel costs, making the transition both environmentally and economically advantageous. Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District proudly serves the Copperton, Emigration, Kearns, Magna and White City Metro Townships; the cities of Cottonwood Heights, Herriman, Holladay, Millcreek, Taylorsville, and portions of Murray and Sandy; and the unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County.


Greenkraft Plans to Expand to a Bigger Factory, Introduce Larger Model Trucks

February 1, 2017

Greenkraft, a provider of alternative fuel engines and vehicles, announced its plans to expand to a bigger factory in 2017 and also introduce a new line of trucks called the G3 and G4, which are larger-sized trucks with weights of 26,000 lbs. and 33,000 lbs. respectively.

The new factory expansion will be located close to the current Greenkraft headquarters to make for a seamless transition and an easier rollout of the new truck lines. The new facility will include several overhead cranes, assembly lines, and an expanded parts division.  This new expansion is to fulfill demand on both current models and the new ones.

“The only way we can meet the increased demand for Greenkraft products is to expand our current factory,” said George Gemayel, CEO of Greenkraft. “This expansion is one of many factors that will substantially increase the Company’s revenue in 2017.”


Virginia Clean Cities Hosting 4th Annual Rally at the Raceway

February 6, 2017

Virginia Clean Cities will be holding the 4th Annual Rally at the Raceway at the Richmond International Raceway on April 6, 2017. Virginia Clean Cities will be joined by the City of Richmond, NGV Motori, ICOM, Tidewater Fibre Corporation, Derive Efficiency, and others for the annual alternative fuel vehicle event.

The Rally at the Raceway event provides the opportunity for participants to show off their alternative fuel vehicles, talk to business and government leaders in the field of alternative fuels, and to attend one of the free informational workshops.

Participants will have access to the day’s events, refreshments, and with the purchase of a track pass, the opportunity to drive their alternative fuel vehicle on the racetrack. To register for the event, visit the registration page here. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, contact Alleyn Harned at 510.568.8896 or Emma Lundeen at 540.568.4854.

CalEPA and CARB Discuss California Climate Investments Initiative

February 6, 2017

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) are inviting members of the public to participate in community meetings to discuss use of proceeds raised through the state’s Cap-and-Trade auctions to fund projects that reduce greenhouse gases in disadvantaged and low-income communities through the California Climate Investments initiative. The meetings focus on two questions: how to identify disadvantaged communities and how to assess benefits of proposed projects to individuals living in these communities.

This week, CalEPA and CARB staff are hosting a meeting in Oakland, California to share their initial thinking on these issues and seek public input. The meeting is part of the implementation of Senate Bill 535 (De León, 2012) and Assembly Bill 1550 (Gomez, 2016).

Meeting Details: 6–8 p.m., Monday, February 6 at the Elihu Harris Building at 1515 Clay Street in Oakland, California.

In addition, a webinar will be presented on Tuesday February 7, 2017, from 2–4 p.m. The webinar may be accessed here. Notice of public meetings and additional materials are available here.


Eagle LNG Files FERC Application for Jacksonville LNG Project

January 31, 2017

Eagle LNG Partners announced it has filed its formal application with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authorization to construct and operate natural gas liquefaction and export facilities located at a site on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida. The proposed Project consists of three liquefaction trains, and at full build-out, will be capable of producing up to 1.65 million gallons of LNG per day.

The produced LNG will be delivered to local and regional markets, including marine bunkering and high horsepower applications for domestic consumption, as well as transported to markets in the Caribbean and Latin America for power generation.

“The dramatic growth of natural gas supply in the United States has created abundant and affordable natural gas reserves that make LNG a competitively priced fuel alternative to diesel and heavy fuel oil,” said Dick Brown, CEO of Eagle LNG. “In addition, natural gas fuel has significant environmental benefits, reducing air pollution and carbon emissions.”

Eagle LNG says this project supports their interest to have a cleaner energy solution that provides a direct and reliable supply of LNG from a liquefaction source at predictable cost. LNG from this project also complements greater penetration of renewables in the region leading to an environmentally sustainable future.

Those interested will be able to monitor the Jacksonville Project application process via their website.