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County Commits to Expanded Use of Cheaper, Cleaner, Home-Grown Fuel in More Fleet Vehicles

For more information contact:

Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/8/2012

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive

$150,000 State Grant Enables Purchase of County’s Own Bio-CNG Station

 

With gas prices soaring to $3.79 a gallon at many area filling stations, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Thursday that cutting-edge efforts to turn landfill garbage into cheaper, cleaner gas for county cars and trucks will receive a major boost following the award of a $150,000 grant from Wisconsin’s State Energy Office.

 

Parisi made the announcement at an event at the Rodefeld Landfill, flanked by over a dozen CNG powered county vehicles.  Parisi has made it a priority to transition CNG vehicles into the county’s fleet whenever possible.  The county currently has 16 CNG vehicles, with plans to increase the CNG fleet to as many as 30 vehicles by the end of the year.

 

“As CNG has become a household name, Dane County has been a state leader in the production of this cheaper, cleaner, home-grown fuel,” said Parisi.  “At a time when gas prices are so high, and highly unpredictable, producing our own gas from garbage makes financial and environmental sense.”

 

The state grant will enable the county to upgrade and purchase the filling station that has been converting methane produced by the county’s Rodefeld Landfill  into compressed natural gas (CNG) for nearly a year.  This bio-CNG costs the county the equivalent of 20 cents a gallon in gasoline.  DaneCounty is the first location in the state that’s fueling vehicles on landfill gas. 

 

The switch to CNG will offset the use of approximately 20,000 gallons of diesel and gasoline, saving county taxpayers roughly $40,000 annually.  The new filling station will be capable of producing about 200 gallons a day of bioCNG from landfill gas and even more CNG from natural gas if needed.

 

Owning the filling station will not only save taxpayer money – it will expand the use of CNG in Dane County through the sale of the fuel to private companies.  The county has already sold 870 gallons of CNG to two trucking companies that haul new McNeilus CNG trucks to customers.

 

Dane County will receive the $150,000 grant pending final approval by the Dane County Board. The county will pay the remaining $360,000 necessary to purchase the station.

Supervisor Matt Veldran, Chair of the Board’s Committee on Public Works and Transportation, said the grant was a testament to Dane County’s commitment to sustainability.  “Dane County continues to prove that we can make a difference through common-sense innovation,” said Veldran.  “CNG makes sense for our bottom line and for the health of our environment and residents.”

 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CNG reduces carbon monoxide by 90 percent, ground-level ozone emissions by 75 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent.  It produces little or no fine particle pollution – the pollutant that’s triggered several Clear Air Action Days and Air Quality Watches in Dane County over the past several years.  The BioCNG that the Rodefeld filling station produces has even lower greenhouse gas emissions than regular CNG because there is no need to drill for natural gas. 

 

Because CNG burns so cleanly, natural gas vehicles cost less to maintain.  CNG vehicles show significantly less engine wear, spark plugs last longer, and oil changes are needed less frequently.

 

The County has received national recognition for its CNG efforts as well.  In January, the county received the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 Project of the Year Award as part of the agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP).
 

The County Executive thanked the Wisconsin State Energy Office for their continued support, as well as the original project partners that helped make the CNG filling station a reality nearly a year ago – Cornerstone Environmental Group, LLC, ANGI Energy Systems, Unison Solutions LLC, and Madison Area Technical College.  Parisi and Veldran also thanked county staff for their work on the project.

 

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