NGVAmerica Presents 2021 NGV Achievement Awards at Annual Meeting & Industry Summit
Twelve Organizations and Individuals Honored for Their Contributions to Advance the Natural Gas in Transportation Industry
Litchfield Park, AZ – Twelve organizations and individuals were honored at Natural Gas Vehicles for America’s (NGVAmerica) 2021 Industry Summit and Annual Meeting for their contributions toward the advancement of natural gas as a transportation fuel.
These annual awards are awarded to nominees from all stakeholder segments, including but not limited to: NGV industry equipment and service suppliers, policymakers, customers and clean air/clean transportation advocates. Nominees’ disciplines include education, government relations/policy development, public relations/communications, marketing, technology and operations/applications, among others.
“We are genuinely proud to award these hardworking individuals and organizations for the work that they do and the communities that they serve,” said NGVAmerica Chairman Jim Arthurs. “Because of their contributions, we are moving to make communities healthier with fewer emissions through the increased use of readily available, carbon-negative renewable natural gas as a transportation fuel.”
The 2021 NGV Achievement Award Recipients are:
- AJR Trucking Natural Gas Fleet Program
- Matheson Trucking Natural Gas Fleet Program
- Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc. Natural Gas Fleet Program
- National Ready Mixed Concrete Co. Natural Gas Fleet Program
- Foothill Transit Natural Gas Transit Fleet Program
- TransLink – Coast Mountain Bus Co. Natural Gas Transit Fleet Program
- City of Lake Jackson, TX Natural Gas Public Fleet Program
- Southern California Gas Company NGV Utility Leadership
- Tom Sewell Lifetime Achievement Award
- Eddie Murray NGV Horizon Award
- Dave Clement NGV Horizon Award
- State Rep. J.M. Lozano (TX-43) NGV Public Policy Champion
NGV21 – NGVAmerica’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Industry Summit – continues through October 21st at The Wigwam Resort in Greater Phoenix, AZ.
ABOUT OUR AWARDEES:
AJR Trucking, Natural Gas Fleet Program
It’s one thing to adopt alternative fuel because you haveto, but it’s another to do so because you want to. Falling into the latter category, AJR Trucking, a carrier for the United States Postal Service (USPS), first began transitioning its fleet from diesel to natural gas in 2017. With operations throughout the State of California, AJR Trucking amplified its decarbonization efforts by mirroring these practices for its sister company, MDB Transportation which serves the drayage market at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Currently, over 60 of their Class 8 vehicles – 37 percent of the overall fleet portfolio – leverage Cummins Near-Zero natural gas engine technology. And all are fueled today with RNG, which AJR first initiated with NGVAmerica member company U.S. Gain in 2018. In August of this year, AJR Trucking opened a new, public RNG fueling station in Compton, strategically located near the 710 freeway and built to accommodate Port traffic and other area fleets. AJR recently broke ground on another RNG fueling station in Los Angeles. AJR Trucking is one of the USPS’ Top 10 largest suppliers, with a vast footprint, and this year, the company placed an order for an additional 200 ultra-low carbon near-zero emission CNG trucks and intends to fuel them with 100 percent RNG once delivered and deployed.
Matheson Trucking, Natural Gas Fleet Program
Matheson is an excellent example of a trucking company using natural gas trucks from coast to coast to transport mail for the United States Postal Service. Matheson prides itself on being among the most reliable mail carriers in the industry. Using CNG trucks in their operations has allowed them to move away from diesel while still maintaining strict delivery timelines. As a result, Matheson is a leading figure in the Class 8 trucking market to show companies that the switch to CNG is reliable, economical, and effective. Matheson fueling operations are unique because they will not go more than 2 miles off their set route to fuel. The drivers know exactly where to fuel and how long it will take them to do so. Matheson plans their trips down to the minute, so the mail gets where it needs to go, on time. Matheson’s CNG fleet currently consists of 95 natural gas trucks, with 40 more on order due to be deployed in 2022. The Matheson CNG fleet currently logs more than 16.4 million miles annually. Good for the planet, and good for business.
Pac Anchor Transportation, Natural Gas Fleet Program
Pac Anchor’s contributions to cleaner air in the South Bay could best be described as monumental. In an industry fraught with razor thin margins and skyrocketing equipment costs, this legacy carrier has made substantial investments in renewable natural gas trucks and continues to expand on its initial investment of 42 trucks running up and down the South Bay hauling freight from the ports to the Inland Empire. Family-owned, Pac Anchor has served Southern California for nearly 19 years. Pac Anchor currently awaits an order of 23 additional trucks which will expand its current Ultra-Low NOx fleet to 66 trucks in total.
National Ready Mixed Concrete Company, Natural Gas Fleet Program
National Ready Mixed Concrete Company (NRMCC) has replaced 89 diesel mixer trucks with Cummins Westport 9L Near-Zero natural gas mixers and 28 two axle tractors with Cummins Westport 12L Near-Zero haulers. All 117 NGVs are fueled with 100 percent RNG. To support this clean fleet, NRMCC built and commissioned a private natural gas refueling station at its Vernon, California plant – with both slow and fast fill capabilities – in June 2020. NRMCC currently has another refueling facility under construction at its Irwindale facility, which is expected to be online by the end of this year, and two additional stations under contract and in permit review for its Glendale and Santa Clarita facilities. So far in 2021 alone, National Ready Mixed Concrete Company has replaced over 1 million gallons of diesel fuel with RNG, reducing close to 20,000 metric tons of CO2. NRMCC’s investment in sustainable transportation was supported by more than $15.7 million in grant funding through the Carl Moyer and Proposition 1B Goods Movement Emission Reduction Programs. In addition to its on-road fleet, NRMCC has invested in advancing sustainable products and industry leading technology. National Ready Mixed Concrete Company was the first in Southern California to implement instant, on-demand digital, third party verified Environmental Product Declarations on all concrete mix designs and the first to offer a comprehensive suite of digital applications to meet customer demands of designing lower carbon mix designs. NRMCC utilizes Portland Limestone Cement (PLC) to further reduce overall embodied carbon in its concrete products. Architects and engineers can now build with confidence and rely on product strength, beauty and sustainability of concrete in the most demanding carbon reduced projects because of National Ready Mixed Concrete Company’s efforts.
Foothill Transit, Natural Gas Transit Fleet Program
Foothill Transit is a medium-sized municipal operator in Los Angeles County, California, second in fleet size only to regional provider LA Metro. It operates 376 buses in service on 39 local and express routes in a 327 square area of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valley. On average, Foothill Transit serves more than 48,000 riders per weekday and approximately 14 million riders per year. Foothill opened its first CNG station at its Pomona bus maintenance yard in 2002 with support from NGVAmerica member company Clean Energy Fuels. In 2003 a public access CNG station was added in Pomona, and an additional private CNG fueling station with public access was constructed at its Arcadia facility in 2011. Today Foothill has a total of four CNG fueling stations serving its overall CNG vehicle fleet of 328 buses. Foothill’s bus fleet drives approximately 12 million vehicle service miles each year. In 2020, NGVAmerica issued its Maximize Clean Transit Investment study based largely on data presented in the multi-year Foothill Transit Electric Bus Evaluation, a project by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) – a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. NREL released its final technical report on the Foothill battery electric versus natural gas bus fleet comparison in June 2021.
TransLink – Coast Mountain Bus Company, Natural Gas Transit Fleet Program
TransLink, along with Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC), the company operating and maintaining over 95 percent of bus service for the Metro Vancouver region, has been at the forefront of natural gas transit bus operations for over twenty-five years. In fact, it can be argued that CMBC was among the first transit agencies in North America to operate a fleet of Detroit Diesel buses converted to natural gas power. This first generation of clean natural gas buses presented some challenges, but the transit agency never gave up. And when Cummins entered the market with its next generation, dedicated, spark-ignited, 8.9L CNG engine a little over a decade ago, CMBC was among the first to recognize this step forward, introducing the new natural gas buses to its Port Coquitlam facility. Shortly thereafter, CMBC introduced them at its revamped and upgraded Surrey and brand new, New Westminster facilities. Throughout this time, CMBC demonstrated how natural gas buses are a cost-effective, operational and environmentally effective alternative to diesel and diesel electric hybrid buses. CMBC currently operates the largest fleet of natural gas buses in Canada. Most recently it has introduced renewable natural gas as their fuel of choice. Spurring them on is the ability to use British Columbia’s recently established Low Carbon Fuel Standard program to monetize carbon credits.
City of Lake Jackson, Texas, Natural Gas Public Fleet Program
Since 2001, the City of Jackson Lake has relied on natural gas to fuel its municipal vehicles, making it the oldest public NGV fleet in the State of Texas. With just over 50 natural gas vehicles, this city of 27,000 people has embraced and grown its natural gas fleeting over the last twenty years, operating its own CNG station and purchasing its fuel through the State of Texas General Land Office Program. Currently, Lake Jackson is incorporating CNG forklifts and street sweepers into its operations. Fleet Manager Gaye Shockley deserves special recognition for her advocacy and commitment for clean natural gas transportation technology.
Southern California Gas Company, NGV Utility Leadership
For over 30 years, SoCalGas has advanced the alternative fuels transportation industry by offering public access to CNG refueling stations at many of its operating bases. In 2020, over 92% of natural gas trucks in California were fueled by renewable gas delivered by SoCalGas pipelines, some of which was facilitated through SoCalGas base stations. Also, as of 2021 all 16 of SoCalGas’ refueling stations are supplied with RNG from landfill and dairy farm methane. In line with SoCalGas’ innovative approach, SoCalGas was a critical partner in California’s first ever dairy digester pipeline cluster, which supplies 100% renewable natural gas to its pipeline.
SoCalGas was an early adopter of natural gas use as vehicle fuel. Currently, more than 1,000 of its vehicles are powered by renewable compressed natural gas (RNG or RCNG) and over 400 units are alternatively fueled via solar, electric, hybrid, propane, and bi-fuel renewable natural gas, demonstrating leading business practices in alignment with SoCalGas’ core mission. In April of this year, SoCalGas announced plans to convert 200 Ford F-250 service pick-up trucks to run on RNG. With the addition of these trucks, nearly 40% of SoCalGas’ fleet will be operating on clean fuels. In April, SoCalGas partnered with the SunLine Transit Agency to test two technologies that will produce hydrogen from renewable natural gas at SunLine Transit Agency’s hydrogen fueling station in Thousand Palms, California. The research project, called “H2 SilverSTARS,” will produce renewable hydrogen to fuel SunLine’s fleet of 17 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses.
In addition, SoCalGas has worked with fleet owners to secure millions of dollars in incentive funding for the replacement of diesel trucks with cleaner, new near-zero emissions natural gas trucks. Each new natural gas truck that replaces a traditional diesel truck is the equivalent of taking 57 passenger cars off the road.
Tom Sewell, Lifetime Achievement Award
Tom Sewell is a lifelong resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma and graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in electrical electronics technology. In 1984, Tom started his own company, Sewell Electrical, a small electric company which he ran and operated with a few employees. Tom began his involvement in the compressed natural gas (CNG) industry in 1989 when a major oil company approached him to build a CNG station at the Midway Truck Stop between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. As a result, Tulsa Gas Technologies (TGT) was established and the first TGT CNG dispenser was manufactured in July 1990. The next year Tom and TGT joined what is now NGVAmerica. By 2000, Tom was chosen to help lead the largest gas company in India in starting a CNG program within the city of New Delhi; TGT has now supplied over 500 CNG dispensers across India. In 2010, Tom started Blue Energy Fuels as an operating company to develop and operate CNG stations in Oklahoma; since then, BEF has consistently sold 600,00 to 800,000 gallons of CNG every year. In January 2012 Tom began his broadcasting career at Cox Media Group’s KRMG “WHEELS SHOW”. The show continues to be broadcasted nationwide on CMG’s sister stations and is a weekly call-in show on Saturday mornings. Tom’s knowledge and experience has benefitted our industry; he was there in the beginning days of the NGV 4.0 Standards Committee that developed industrywide CNG codes and standards, and Tom was part of the initial advisory group to lead NIST into calibration standards for CNG dispensers. He later helped co-develop a CNG dispenser proving meter to calibrate CNG dispensers. Throughout his career, Tom has served as an informal energy and transportation advisor and confidante to multiple elected officials, including former Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallen, former U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, and U.S. Senator James Inhofe. Tom’s understanding of our industry and relationships with policy makers in Washington including representatives from his home state of Oklahoma have greatly benefited our industry and its efforts over the years. Tom’s newest challenge is providing virtual pipeline services to fracking sites and natural gas emergency gas outage work. Tom and his wife Jan have been married for 40 years and are proud parents of three children and eight grandchildren. Tom Sewell is a giant in our industry; it is with great pleasure that we honor him with this Lifetime Achievement Award.
Eddie Murray, NGV Horizon Award
Eddie Murray has become the public face of natural gas vehicles in the Greater Houston, Texas area. In business development with Houston-based Freedom CNG, Eddie has significantly advanced the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and serves as Secretary of the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance. His creative Freedom CNG Used Truck Program has placed dozens of pre-owned CNG trucks into the hands of independent owner-operators throughout the region and served as the basis for the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance’s recently successful legislation – HB 963 which makes pre-owned CNG truck purchases now eligible for state funding support. Eddie has grown Freedom CNG’s business by increasing new fleets and gallons as well as developing new stations with strong base loads. Eddie is a consistent advocate and outspoken proponent of natural gas transportation, with an engaging and interactive social media presence. His hardworking ethic and never-ending energy and positivity makes Eddie one shining constant in the NGV industry.
Dave Clement, NGV Horizon Award
Dave Clement began his CNG adventures in 1999 with a construction company doing FuelMaker installations. When things in the alternative fuel world grew shaky, Dave remained positive as his employer opened a new division as CNG Services of Arizona, a company in which Dave would later purchase and operate as his own. At the start, CNG Services engaged mostly in residential fueling work; today that’s flipped with CNG Services’ current customer mix at 90 percent commercial and 10 percent residential. The bulk of Dave’s business is with waste, transit, and freight customers. Dave’s dedication to alternative fuels earned him a 2008 “Clean Air Champion” award by then Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. Dave has been associated with Arizona’s Clean Cities Coalitions, previously serving as Vice Chair of the Tucson Coalition and doing website and social media work for the Phoenix coalition. Dave’s wife Patti and his family and grandchildren have all been involved in the business and frequent supporters for many years. CNG Services of Arizona remains today a dealer for Bauer, FuelMaker & WEH and an ASC for ANGI Energy Systems. Throughout Arizona Dave is known as “Dr. Dave” or “Mr. CNG” when anyone brings up natural gas vehicles, and Dave continues to maintain an aggressive pro-NGV social media presence to this day.
State Rep. J.M. Lozano (TX-43), NGV Public Policy Champion
Representative J.M. Lozano led the way for the successful passage of the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance’s HB 963: Pre-Owned Truck Grant Program. As the original sponsor, Representative Lozano introduced the bill early in the unusual but contentious 87th Session. He worked tirelessly to add critical and strategic co-sponsors including Representative Brooks Landgraf (Chair of Natural Resources), Representative Alex Dominguez (Vice Chair of Natural Resources), and Representative Ryan Guillen (Chair of Resolution Calendars). Passage out of the House was swift with some concessions. Representative Lozano and his staff were in direct communication with the Alliance offering and encouraging strategies. Though once stalled in the Senate, HB 963 eventually ended up passing and being signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott, allowing pre-owned natural gas truck purchases to be eligible for state funding support. Representative Lozano is Chair of the Youth Health & Safety Committee and Vice Chair of the House Public Education Committee. Raised in Premont, Texas, Mr. Lozano represents House District 43, which includes Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, and San Patricio Counties.
NGVAmerica is a national organization of over 200 companies and organizations dedicated to the development of a growing, profitable, and sustainable market for vehicles, ships and carriers powered by natural gas or biomethane. NGVAmerica member companies produce, distribute, and market natural gas and biomethane across North America, manufacture and service natural gas vehicles, engines, and equipment, and operate fleets powered by clean-burning gaseous fuels.
Find out more at: https://www.ngvamerica.org/.