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    Southern California Hits Renewable Gas Milestone

Summary

State programs are targeting a cleaner transportation industry

by: Dale Lunan

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Southern California Hits Renewable Gas Milestone

California-based Clean Energy Fuels said October 29 southern California has hit a milestone with more than 100 transport trucks outfitted with ultra low-NOx engines fueled by renewable natural gas (RNG) and operating out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

A number of trucking companies have recently adopted the Cummins Westport ISX12N engine fueled with Redeem™ renewable natural gas produced by Clean Energy Fuels. Redeem™ is derived from capturing biogenic methane from dairies, landfills and wastewater treatment plants, and can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by between 40% and 400% compared to diesel, depending on the waste source.

“We need to increase the rapid deployment of clean technologies to help [combat air pollution],” said Wayne Nastri, executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “These fleets are helping us achieve our commitment to public health by replacing dirty diesel trucks with near-zero emission, natural gas trucks.”

The California Air Resources Board (Carb) has approved a $533mn plan for clean transportation investments that promote clean vehicle technologies such as natural gas trucks and ensure other existing state programs effectively address the need to accelerate the cleanup and transformation of California’s vehicle fleet.

“California is backing up our tough vehicle regulations with money to help individuals and businesses access the newest, cleanest technology,” Carb chair Mary Nichols told a recent public meeting where the plan was approved. “It will take a mix of incentives and mandates to meet public health and climate goals. We need to speed up the pace of change, and these investments play an important role in assuring the state remains home to the nation’s largest fleet of advanced vehicles.”

The transportation sector is responsible for about 40% of California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more than 80% of the state’s smog-forming NOx emissions, which are a key source of air pollution. And trucks are the largest source of GHG emissions and the second largest source of NOx emissions from port-related activities.

“Switching to trucks fueled with RNG is vital to improving air quality and fighting climate change in our country’s largest port complex,” Clean Energy vice president Greg Roche said. “This is a prime example of fleets taking action that immediately decreases the environmental impact of their operations. Switching to cleaner fuel and engine technologies is reducing air and climate pollution and helping the region achieve its clean air goals.”