NGVAmerica Presents 2022 NGV Achievement Awards at Annual Meeting & Industry Summit
Thirteen Organizations and Individuals Honored for Their Contributions to Advance Natural Gas in the Transportation Industry
Isle of Palms, SC – Thirteen organizations and individuals were honored at Natural Gas Vehicles for America’s (NGVAmerica) 2022 Industry Summit and Annual Meeting for their contributions toward the advancement of natural gas as a transportation fuel.
These annual awards are presented 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 they serve,” said NGVAmerica President Dan Gage. “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 2022 NGV Achievement Award Recipients are:
NGV22 – NGVAmerica’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Industry Summit – continues through November 3rd at Wild Dunes Resort outside Charleston, SC.
ABOUT OUR AWARDEES:
Pacific Green Trucking, Inc., Natural Gas Fleet Program
In mid-2019, Pacific Green Trucking – with a total fleet of over 80 trucks – began investigating a transition to clean fuels. After researching many alternatives, it determined that natural gas was the best option as its trucks travel daily from Imperial County down to San Diego County and back. Pacific’s initial truck order replaced 39 diesel trucks with CNG days cabs for use at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. As Pacific began deploying its 39 CNG trucks, many of its customers realized that Pacific Green had in fact gone “green” and were one of the largest fleets in early 2020 to deploy natural gas trucks as their primary source of fuel. In mid-2020 during an unprecedented time when companies big and small were holding on to capital as the marketplace was extremely uncertain and volatile, Pacific Green placed an order for an additional 23 trucks, to total 62 CNG trucks altogether, or 68 percent of its fleet. On a yearly basis, Pacific Green has reduced its emissions by 2,883 metric tons of CO2, equivalent to removing 623 cars from the road, recycling 980 tons of waste, reducing 90 percent of NOx and planting 47,552 trees each year. Pacific Green Trucking is located within the Alameda corridor, five miles from the LA and Long Beach Ports and their surrounding cities. By converting the fleet to natural gas, it has contributed to cleaner air thus reducing the effects of air pollution, smog, and asthma. And since Pacific Green fuels its natural gas fleet with 100 percent Renewable Natural Gas, it is achieving a carbon negative fleet outcome today.
Contract Transport Services, LLC, Natural Gas Fleet Program
Based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Contract Transport Services began in 1985 as a single-truck operation doing cartage work for area paper mills. Today it is a leader in Midwest regional transportation services with a fleet of over 150 trucks, providing exceptional, predictable transportation and logistics solutions in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan. Its fleet runs 100 percent on compressed natural gas (CNG) thanks to the leadership and vision of Mr. Curt Reitz who initiated this transition when he took over as CTS President just ten years ago. In addition to its all-CNG fleet, CTS operates both a slow fill and fast fill fueling station on site. In 2019, 2020, and 2021, CTS was given the Forward Fleet Award by Wisconsin Clean Cities, as well as honored by Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT) as a Top Green Fleet of 2019 and ranked the #16 fleet in the nation by NAFA Fleet Management Association in 2021.
City Furniture, Natural Gas Fleet Program
Founded in 1971 as Waterbed City, City Furniture today is headquartered in Tamarac, FL, with twenty retail locations across the state and an expansive e-commerce site. City aims to be as beautiful on the inside as its furniture is on the outside. A big part of that commitment is making green choices. As such, City recycles millions of pounds of waste every year, operates LEED showrooms, and responsibly sources, earning top scores from the Sustainable Furnishings Council. City has also transitioned its entire delivery truck fleet to natural gas, with nearly 200 CNG trucks. And City Furniture is currently building its sixth CNG fueling station to support its growing NGV investment.
Denver International Airport, Natural Gas Fleet Program
With 95 natural gas vehicles operating under the airport’s directive consuming over 770,000 gasoline gallon equivalents annually, Denver International Airport is an NGV industry leader in the airport transport sector. DIA is the largest airport in North America by land area and second largest in the world, so its sizable transit bus fleet is instrumental to passenger transport and a properly functioning operation. The enormous airport boasts five private CNG stations on property plus a nearby public station located at the rental car center. Investments in fueling infrastructure currently underway will allow third party shuttle companies and air freight operators to explore and expand their own fleets of natural gas vehicles. DIA is committed to soon fueling its entire natural gas vehicle fleet with RNG while exploring opportunities to encourage other operators serving the airport to do the same.
Ecology Auto Parts, Natural Gas Fleet Program
Based in Santa Fe Springs, CA, Ecology Auto Parts is the largest company operating throughout the Western United States and Texas that provides trucking and transportation services for bulk waste, recyclables, heavy haul/oversize loads, and port containers. Its drayage division provides supply chain transportation of containers to and from the 13 terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to its ten-acre storage facility in Wilmington, CA. Over the past two years, Ecology has transitioned 100 percent of its Port Division to CNG, nearly 200 trucks. Based on their drayage CNG success, Ecology is poised to convert even more of its 600-plus total fleet to natural gas.
Tops Friendly Markets, Natural Gas Fleet Program
In 2015, Tops Friendly Markets – headquartered in Williamsville, New York with distribution facilities in Lancaster and West Seneca – announced it would convert its entire fleet of class 8 trucks to CNG. Working with American Natural Gas – now Beyond6 – Tops installed its own CNG fueling facility on site. Tops initial conversion resulted in the elimination of over 1.2 million gallons of diesel fuel annually and reduced Tops’ fuel costs by fifty percent. Tops currently operates 150 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, including five that are run by franchisees; Tops maintains a CNG/RNG class 8 fleet of 48 tractors today, representing 100 percent of its warehouse to store delivery fleet.
Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Natural Gas Transit Fleet Program
JTA began phasing out its diesel buses with its 2015 launch of the First Coast Flyer Bus Rapid Transit Network, and through a public-private partnership with Clean Energy built a CNG station for its fleet as well as other clean CNG fleets in the Greater Jacksonville area. Since then, JTA’s CNG fleet has grown to 127 CNG buses. In August 2022, JTA announced receipt of a $15.4 million FTA Low/No Emissions Bus Grant Program award to replace 21 additional diesel buses with CNG by 2023. Upon deployment, 75 percent of JTA’s total fleet will operate on CNG, decarbonizing its footprint and drastically cutting its criteria pollutant emissions to clear the air.
SMART Wilsonville, OR, Natural Gas Transit Fleet Program
Operated by the City of Wilsonville, SMART maintains a fleet of over 35 vehicles ranging from forty-foot buses to minivans and a trolley bus. SMART also operates Dial-a-Ride, which provides door-to-door service within Wilsonville and medical transport services to Portland and other nearby cities for the elderly and disabled. Since SMART services are free to riders within Wilsonville, fuel costs are a concern, and after partnering with NW Natural, SMART first adopted the use of CNG with its paratransit fleet. SMART’s goal is to become 100% alternative fueled by 2028. It is accomplishing this by being proactive with federal and local resources. Over the past 10 years, SMART has secured $13 million in federal grant funding. In 2022 it partnered with NW Natural to build an upgraded onsite CNG fueling station a combination of slow and fast fill pumps, compressor, and (3) spherical storage vessels. By utilizing local and federal resources, SMART has successfully converted most of its transit fleet to CNG. SMART’s conversion to mixed alternative fuels will prevent approximately 15.5 million pounds of GHG emissions of the life of the vehicles.
Jordan, UT School District, Natural Gas School Bus Fleet Program
Jordan School District – located in the southwestern portion of Salt Lake County, Utah – is a pioneer in the CNG school bus industry. One of the fastest-growing districts in the state, Jordan School District consists of 67 schools: 41 elementary, 13 middle, 8 high schools, 2 technical schools, and 3 special schools. Its 150 CNG buses and two time-fill stations on site support the daily school transportation needs of over 57,800 students, 3,300 teachers, and 3,000 support personnel.
DeKalb County, GA, Natural Gas Public Fleet Program
In 2011, DeKalb County developed a Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) processing facility and public access CNG station at its Seminole Road Landfill and deployed its first 40 CNG vehicles. NGVA awarded DeKalb an achievement award at the 2012 NGVA annual summit in Schaumberg, IL and it was accepted by their sanitation director at the time, Billy Malone. Since then, under Deputy Fleet Director Robert Gordon’s leadership, DeKalb County has grown its natural gas fleet to 330 CNG vehicles (257 heavy-duty and 73 light-duty). Overall, the County now has 16 different types of CNG vehicles. DeKalb also installed a second public access CNG station at their Central facility on Leroy Scott Drive in Decatur. In 2020, DeKalb County’s use of CNG was 1.1 million gallons and exceeded its use of diesel for the first time. In 2021, its CNG usage was 1.4 million gallons; diesel was down to 800,000 gallons. In addition to their passionate support of RNG and all alternative fuels, Mr. Gordon and DeKalb County Fleet Management are tireless advocates and peer educators, participating in numerous organizations, conferences, and panels annually to share their knowledge and experience with cleaner fuels.
Chris Byers, NGV Horizon Award
Chris Byers, Manager of CNG Design and Construction for Piedmont Natural Gas, holds extensive natural gas operations experience. Employed by Piedmont for twenty years, he has been heavily involved in Piedmont’s CNG motor fuel operations and investment for the last six years. His experience has resulted in multiple positions of leadership within the industry. Chris serves on the American Gas Association’s Building and Energy Codes (BECS) Committee and chairs its NGV/CNG Sub‐Committee, represents AGA on the ICC International Fuel Gas Code Committee, serves on the National Fire Protection Association 52 and 54 Technical Committee – both vitally important to the NGV industry – and, perhaps most importantly, is an active and involved member of NGVAmerica’s Codes and Standards Committee. Chris served as an expert faculty member of NGVAmerica’s first NGV Fleet Academy earlier this year. Chris is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
Brent Tesla, NGV Horizon Award
Brent Tesla is Vice President of Operations and Maintenance for Beyond6, a position he has held for the last decade. His responsibilities include fuel site maintenance, project development, repair, construction, and design. Prior to his work at American Natural Gas and Beyond6, Brent worked for several New York state-focused alternative energy companies for twenty-plus years. His remarkable ability to diagnose equipment issues with ease has earned him the nickname “CNG whisperer” within his company and beyond. Brent has evolved with the industry, sharing his knowledge and experience with countless individuals. Because of Brent’s knowledge, work ethic, and attention to detail, Beyond6 boasts a 99.89 percent station uptime average for 2021… an impressive result that extends thus far into 2022. Brent’s co-workers and clients see just how he goes above and beyond daily, working long hours, sharing his knowledge, and traveling to educate drivers and customers.
Jim Arthurs, Lifetime Achievement Award
Jim Arthurs is a consultant with Westport Fuel Systems, having recently retired as Executive Vice President of the company. Mr. Arthurs joined Westport Fuel Systems in 2011 and oversaw the development of Westport’s heavy-duty engine and fuel system technologies, including the Westport HPDI system. In 2012 Mr. Arthurs became President of Cummins Westport Inc., a joint venture company owned equally by Cummins Inc. and Westport Fuel Systems that designed, engineered and marketed spark-ignited natural gas engines for medium- and heavy-duty transportation applications. During his tenure as Cummins Westport President, Mr. Arthurs led the development of the Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine. While leading Cummins Westport, Mr. Arthurs was instrumental in developing the Cummins Westport “Natural Gas Academy”, a series of educational resources aimed at NGV end-users, with the intent of communicating NGV best practices related to vehicle specifications, refueling operations, and maintenance recommendations unique to Cummins Westport-powered vehicles. In 2014, Mr. Arthurs returned to Westport, as Executive Vice President with commercial, business development and supplier responsibility for the HPDI 2.0 product development program. In November 2016, he took responsibility for Westport’s newly formed Electronics Group, with oversight of Electronic Control Unit hardware and software across Westport Fuel Systems. Mr. Arthurs later became Chair of the Board of Directors of Cummins Westport Inc. Throughout his many roles with Westport and Cummins Westport, Jim’s passionate, insightful and light-hearted approach led to developing and strengthening many relationships throughout the North American NGV industry. Jim has served as an officer and member of NGVAmerica’s Executive Committee, serving as the Chair from 2000-2022.
NGVAmerica is a national trade association of sustainability solutionists and experts in the clean transportation field. Our roughly 200 members are dedicated to the development of a growing, profitable, and sustainable market for vehicles, ships and carriers powered by natural gas and 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: www.ngvamerica.org.