Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and County Fleet Management Director Greg Nuzman unveiled the county’s new CNG (compressed natural gas) fueling station just in time for the start of the winter inversion season in the Salt Lake Valley.
McAdams said that Fleet Management maintains large diesel trucks that until now have contributed significantly to both CO2 and NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions—two tailpipe sources of both winter and summer air pollution.
“Switching to cleaner natural gas as a fuel shows that Salt Lake County is doing whatever we can to help lower the number of bad air days in the valley,” said McAdams. “Replacing diesel fuel with CNG is a significant step towards less air pollution and more cost-savings on fuel.”
McAdams said that by switching diesel trucks over to CNG the county will displace 500,000 gallons of diesel fuel. According to county air quality officials, the fuel changeover will result in a reduction of 3.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the air. That decrease is equivalent to taking 310 passenger vehicles off the road each year.
County air quality officials also said NOx emissions will decrease – from between 20 – 40 percent. These chemicals contribute to both ozone – a component of summer smog—and particulate matter, which contributes to winter pollution.
McAdams notes that because CNG is less expensive than diesel, the county expects to save money on fuel costs as well.
The new CNG station was constructed by Clean Energy, a publicly-traded company that operates over 500 natural gas fueling stations in 43 states. Salt Lake County fleet director Greg Nuzman said that the new station marks the company’s expansion into Utah and features a redundant compression system designed to fuel the 50 Wasatch
Front Waste and Recycling District trucks. The station will be able to fill the trucks overnight so no employee time is spent fueling and the trucks will be ready for work each morning. Nuzman said Clean Energy will support the station by opening a new parts warehouse in Salt Lake County as well as hiring a full-time station technician.