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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: November 9, 2015

  • House of Representatives Passes a New Six Year Highway Bill
  • NGVAmerica Promotes Legislative Support for NGVs in New Mexico
  • NGVAmerica Holds First Technology & Development Committee Meeting
  • GM Recalls CNG-Powered Trucks and Vans for CNG-Label Size
  • Clean Energy Expands Services to Trucking, Transit and Refuse Customers
  • Republic Expands Natural Gas-Powered Fleet in North Carolina
  • Milwaukee Fleet Deploys Three CNG Tractors
  • TDIndustries to Construct Public CNG Station in Texas
  • American Natural Gas Selects Bennett CNG Dispensers for TOPS Friendly Markets
  • Energy Vision Honors Companies Leading Adoption of Renewable Natural Gas
  • RNG Fuel, Heat Power & Policy Conference One Month Away
  • Clean Energy Provides Fuel to First LNG-Powered Container Ships


House of Representatives Passes a New Six Year Highway Bill

November 9, 2015

Following three days of debate, during which over 100 amendments were considered, the U.S. House of Representatives this week passed with a vote of 363–64 its version of a new six year highway bill, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (STRR Act).  The House is now scheduled to go to a Conference with the Senate.  The Senate had already passed its version of a six year highway bill on July 30 by a vote of 65–34.

During the floor debate several NGV related amendments were voted on and included in the final version of the bill.  Included was an amendment from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) which clarifies that NGVs are eligible for funding under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality improvement program (CMAQ) when a state opts to initiate actions to mitigate their PM 2.5 non-attainment concerns using CMAQ funding.  An amendment by Rep. Mullin (R-OK-02), which requires the EPA to ensure that in promulgating regulations any preference or incentive provided to an electric vehicle is also provided to natural gas vehicles, was also included.  Neither of these provisions were included in the Senate bill. Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA-12) offered and withdrew an amendment to provide heavy-duty natural gas trucks a 2,000 lbs. weight allowance to operate on federal highways.  This provision is already included in the Senate bill.

NGVAmerica will be meeting with key committee staff this week to learn more about their plans for the conference and the likely amendments that will go forward.  More detailed information on the bill can be found on the House Transportation Committee’s website.


NGVAmerica Promotes Legislative Support for NGVs in New Mexico

November 9, 2015

On Tuesday, as part of NGVAmerica’s new extended support to state NGV policy activities, Sherrie Merrow gave an NGV presentation to the New Mexico Joint Legislative Interim Transportation Infrastructure Revenue Committee in Santa Fe. Colin Messer (Sparq NG) and Blake Littauer (Clean Energy) joined Sherrie to answer questions from the Committee. The presentation was very well received and resulted in a unanimous vote by the Committee for a Joint Senate and House Memorial to lead off the 2016 Legislative Session that will espouse the value of promoting NGVs with incentives in New Mexico. NGVAmerica, working with the NM NGV Coalition and members of this Committee, will also put forward an incentives bill.


NGVAmerica Holds First Technology & Development Committee Meeting

November 9, 2015

The NGVAmerica Technology & Development Committee kicked off this past week at Gas Technologies Institute (GTI) in Des Plaines, Illinois.  The meeting was well attended with over 35 NGV industry experts meeting in person.  The committee has been re-constituted within NGVAmerica and is chaired by Ron Eickelman, Agility Fuel Systems, and co-chaired by Cherif Yousef, Southern California Gas.  The committee identified the following areas of focus:  fuel system inspection, maintenance facility modifications, gas quality, codes & standards, cylinder end of life, LNG, incident investigation & root cause analysis, research & development, emissions, and rail & marine.

The committee identified that the most pressing areas are fuel system inspection and maintenance facility modifications.  The fuel system inspection has a few open questions that will be addressed by the committee:  Who should be inspecting?  What should be inspected?  When should the inspection take place?  And how detailed of an inspection should be required?  Maintenance facility modifications was a topic that seemed to garner the most interest from committee members.  This committee will work with authorities having jurisdiction to address inconsistencies in the codes and standards by requesting revisions to the standard development organizations.

Work groups, championed by members, are being set up to identify goals and measurements of success for 2016.   The committee is always looking to increase participation and asks that anyone interested in providing input in any of the areas above should contact Dan Bowerson, NGVAmerica Director of Technology & Development, at dbowerson@www.ngvamerica.org.


GM Recalls CNG-Powered Trucks and Vans for CNG-Label Size
November 7, 2015

General Motors is recalling certain CNG vehicles because their CNG fuel-only label is smaller than the required size. The affected vehicles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 303 “Fuel System Integrity of Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles” because the text of the CNG fuel-only label is smaller than the required size, and as a result, may be less noticeable. GM says the text that does not conform to the required labeling size could inhibit fuel tank inspection practices and safe refueling, increasing the risk of a fire.

The affected vehicles include 1,808 2013–2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD, 2013–2014 GMC Sierra HD, 2013–2014 Chevrolet Express, and 2013 GMC Savana CNG vehicles in the U.S. GM will notify owners and will send them a replacement label, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Customers looking to find out if their vehicle is included in this GM recall should visit recalls.gm.com. If the vehicle is part of the recall, customers should take it to a General Motors dealer. The GM recall number is 13365, and the NHTSA recall number is 13V544000. Customers can also call Chevrolet Customer Service at 800.222.1020 or GMC Customer Service at 800.462.8782.


Clean Energy Expands Services to Trucking, Transit and Refuse Customers

November 3, 2015

Clean Energy has signed additional agreements across transportation market segments of transit, refuse and trucking and is on track to complete 68 station projects before the end of the calendar year. These include new CNG and LNG stations as well as expansion and upgrades of existing stations. Below are new fueling agreements and projects completed over the last few months.

In Transit:

Clean Energy completed a $6 million private CNG fueling facility for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority at its brand new Division 13 facility. Clean Energy is also contracted to maintain the facility for 10 years. The new facility will fuel approximately 175 buses that are expected to consume a total of 2 million GGEs of CNG annually.

Clean Energy completed and opened a private CNG fueling facility to fuel up to 100 CNG buses owned by the City of Los Angeles and operated by Transdev. The station is owned, operated and maintained by Clean Energy and will provide an estimated 500,000 GGEs per year.

Clean Energy has signed a four-year maintenance agreement with Union Gas Limited, agas utility in Ontario, Canada, to support a new station built for the City of Hamilton’s transit system (Hamilton Street Railway). This new station is anticipated to dispense an average of 750,000 GGEs of CNG annually during the agreement term. The City plans to increase its fleet to over 120 CNG buses over the next 5 years.

METRO Regional Transit Authority in Akron, Ohio, has awarded Clean Energy a five-year contract to support their new CNG transit and public access fueling stations. The contract will extend the partnership between METRO and Clean Energy and will include support to a fleet of 100 CNG buses and paratransit vehicles. Clean Energy will also market the public access station to other customers, which is expected to be open in May 2016.

Quad Cities MetroLINK, which services the Illinois side of the Quad Cities metro area, has awarded Clean Energy a two-year maintenance contract to support their fleet of 44 CNG transit buses, which are expected to consume approximately 550,000 DGEs of CNG annually.

Clean Energy has been awarded a maintenance agreement with Transdev for their services with Gwinnett County Transit in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The agreement will support Gwinnett’s fleet of 25 buses consuming approximately 300,000 DGEs annually.

First Student, a division of First Group America, will begin fueling 33 CNG buses at Clean Energy’s public CNG fueling facility at the Palm Springs International Airport. First Student is expected to utilize up to 90,000 DGEs per year.

Burbank, California’s Bob Hope Airport has awarded an airport shuttle contract to MV Transportation which will fuel 13 CNG buses at Clean Energy’s public CNG fueling facility near the airport. The buses will consume nearly 80,000 GGEs annually.

The Port of Seattle has renewed their maintenance contract with Clean Energy for their Sea-Tac Bus operations estimated to use approximately 450,000 GGEs per year.

Clean Energy also signed a public fueling agreement with Better 4 You Meals, a school-meal vendor service in the Los Angeles area that is expected to consume approximately 100,000 GGEs per year.

In Trucking:

Frito-Lay has renewed their agreement with Clean Energy to support their 200-plus CNG tractor fleet across Arizona, California, Nevada, Ohio, Indiana and Texas. The new contract is expected to significantly increase the fuel volume consumed each year.

Matheson Trucking is adding 17 CNG trucks to their fleet and will fuel with Clean Energy at the Republic Services station in Boise, Idaho, until new stations are built in Boise and Salt Lake City, where Matheson will be the anchor tenant. Matheson is expected to consume approximately 400,000 DGEs annually during this multi-year agreement.

Seaboard Transport will begin fueling 20 CNG trucks at a recently opened CNG station designed and equipped by Clean Energy. Each year the Kansas City, Kansas, station will provide 500,000 DGEs of CNG to the Midwest shipping company.

In Refuse:

All American Waste and Clean Energy held a joint ribbon-cutting in October for a new station in New Haven, Connecticut. This is the second station in Connecticut Clean Energy has built to provide services to the Connecticut’s largest refuse company and estimates All American to consume approximately 500,000 DGEs per year.

The City of Chesapeake, Virginia, has contracted with Clean Energy to design, build and operate a public access CNG station for use by their refuse fleet. The city is currently using 35 CNG refuse trucks with plans to expand over the next two years to 53, which are anticipated to use an estimated 350,000 DGEs per year.

The City of Spokane, Washington, signed a 5-year maintenance agreement for their recently opened station designed and equipped by Clean Energy. The City will use an estimated 200,000 GGEs per year and has plans to significantly increase their CNG vehicle fleet.

Salt Lake County Sanitation has opened a new station designed and built by Clean Energy that will service 25 trucks for its refuse program. The fleet has 10 more trucks on order and will eventually grow the fleet to more than 50 vehicles that will consume an estimated 400,000 DGEs per year. Clean Energy, under its maintenance contract for the station, has deployed its Clean Energy Fuels Fleet Management System for the first time. This system, designed for time-fill fleets, allows for the remote measurement of fuel usage in individual trucks, giving fleet managers more information to effectively manage their fleet and fueling operations.

South San Francisco Scavenger has signed a new 10-year maintenance agreement with Clean Energy for their biogas CNG station. The station fuels 22 trucks and Scavenger plans to grow the fleet to more than 40 over the next three years.

Republic Services continues to expand its already significant partnership with Clean Energy with an upgraded contract to fuel an additional 25 trucks at their Huntington Beach, California, facility as well as an agreement to build a new station in Daly City, California. The Daly City station will support as many as 21 trucks when it first opens.


Republic Expands Natural Gas-Powered Fleet in North Carolina

November 3, 2015

Republic Services has added eight CNG solid waste collection trucks to its fleet serving customers throughout the greater Raleigh area in North Carolina. The CNG trucks replace older diesel-powered trucks, and bring the total number of Republic’s North Carolina fleet of NGVs to 25.

Republic’s CNG fleet helps to save roughly 18 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. As the operator of the 8th largest vocational fleet in the country, Republic has a number of initiatives to reduce overall fuel usage, including its continued commitment to operating CNG powered trucks. Together, these initiatives will help Republic reach its goal, outlined in the 2014 Sustainability Report, of reducing fleet greenhouse gas emissions by three percent by 2018.


Milwaukee Fleet Deploys Three CNG Tractors

November 4, 2015

Central Steel and Wire Company (CSW), a leader in the metals industry, has added three CNG-powered Freightliner tractors to its fleet in the Milwaukee area. This project is the result of the collaboration involving CSW, TQ Logistics, Ryder and Kwik Trip.

“This project provides many firsts for the area as these are the first CNG vehicles for CSW, the first CNG project for TQ Logistics and the first full service leasing fleet for Ryder in the state of Wisconsin,” said Jim Foulks, Vice President Sales and Marketing, TQ Logistics.

“Significant fuel cost savings, reduced emissions and the reduced reliance on petroleum have been key factors in their decision process,” said Lorrie Lisek, Executive Director of Wisconsin Clean Cities. “We congratulate Central Steel and Wire Company on their decision to advance the CNG market in Wisconsin.”


TDIndustries to Construct Public CNG Station in Texas

TDIndustries (TD) is in the early stages of construction for a new public access CNG fueling station located in Lake Jackson, Texas. The project is expected to be completed within 90 days and the station to be operational by late December 2015.

The station has been designed to accommodate Class 8 tractors and trailers, as well as smaller vehicles and will have 24 hours a day, seven days a week public access. It will have two dual hose dispensers and will feature CNG fast-fill technology in addition to two electric vehicle charging stations.

“It’s great to be able to leverage our experience and capabilities towards the construction of the first Public Private Partnership CNG fueling facility in Texas,” said Jason Cinek, SVP TDIndustries.


American Natural Gas Selects Bennett CNG Dispensers for TOPS Friendly Markets

October 26, 2015

American Natural Gas (ANG) has selected Bennett Pump Company to provide CNG dispensers at the newly constructed CNG facility at Tops Friendly Markets distribution center. The new site will feature three dispensers fueling the natural gas fleet of over 55 CNG tractors in Lancaster, New York.

The Bennett CNG dispenser is built on the Pacific Series retail line of traditional fuel dispensers, providing users with a familiar fueling experience.  In addition to the new Tops site, ANG will be using Bennett CNG dispensers with a variety of optional features at three more sites currently under construction in New York and Kentucky.

The Bennett Pacific CNG dispenser integrates the same look, feel, and payment options as a traditional gasoline dispenser and comes with third party regulatory certification and NTEP approval.


Energy Vision Honors Companies Leading Adoption of Renewable Natural Gas

November 6, 2015

On Thursday, the sustainable energy NGO Energy Vision presented its leadership awards to leading companies developing new markets for RNG.  The winners are UPS, Newlight Technologies, American Organic Energy, MOVE Systems and American Organic Energy.

“Our award winners are displacing petroleum with waste biogases that cut greenhouse gases by 90 percent or more,” said Joanna Underwood, president of Energy Vision.  “Their work is commercially viable today, part of an emerging new energy economy being born right now.”

UPS, a global leader in logistics, is the largest user of RNG in the shipping industry, with a goal of driving a billion miles using its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet by the end of 2017.  “We remain committed to minimizing UPS’s environmental impact while meeting the growing demand for our services, and RNG is critical to this effort,” said Mark Giuffre, UPS vice president, state government affairs.

More information about Energy Vision and this year’s leadership awards is available on the Energy Vision website.


RNG Fuel, Heat Power & Policy Conference One Month Away

November 9, 2015

The RNG Fuel, Heat, Power & Policy Conference being held December 7–9 in San Diego, California, is one month away. The conference is hosted by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas and will feature two full days of panel sessions, roundtables and working groups covering a broad array of issues pertinent to the RNG industry. The conference also features a number of networking events, including a golf classic, fishing expedition and sailing excursion. For more information and to register for or sponsor the RNG Fuel, Heat, Power & Policy Conference, visit the conference website.


Clean Energy Provides Fuel to First LNG-Powered Container Ships

November 3, 2015

Clean Energy Fuels recently supported General Dynamics (GD) NASSCO’s launch of the Isla Bella container ship, the first of its kind to operate on LNG fuel. Clean Energy provided bunkering services and fuel from its Boron, California, liquefaction plant for the GD NASSCO-built cargo ship, which was delivered to TOTE Maritime in San Diego. Clean Energy will also be providing bunkering services next month to the second GD NASSCO-built ship, the Perla Del Caribe.

“We applaud NASSCO and TOTE as world leaders in the introduction of the clean fuel to the commercial shipping industry,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy. “The use of natural gas is continuing to expand across the various transportation sectors and is the best choice economically and environmentally.”