Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 03 August 2012 00:00
“Who would have ever thought in this day and age that the cleanest vehicles on our roads in the Town of Oyster Bay would be our sanitation vehicles?” said Town Clerk Steve Labriola at the ribbon cutting for the new CNG fueling facility in Syosset on Wednesday, July 25. “It really is quite an accomplishment to see these hulking, municipal vehicles going down our streets with almost zero emissions,” he continued.
The station, located at 150 Miller Place in Syosset (on the Long Island Expressway North Service Road), was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The town used a total of $5,631,499 in grant money, out of approximately $15 million awarded to the Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition (GLICCC) to construct the station. To date, the town has a total of 49 CNG trucks: 31 were retrofitted from diesel to CNG, 13 were purchased CNG-ready and five were repowered under a grant the town received from the U.S. Department of Transportation-Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) through GLICCC.
The station was built by Engineered Energy Solutions (EES) and uses ANGI Energy Systems fueling equipment owned and operated by the Town of Oyster Bay and maintained by EES for use by the town’s CNG fleet. However, the station will also be open to municipal fleets. P.W. Grosser Consulting designed the station, which includes three fast-fill pumps with six hoses and 50 time-fill posts.
Several speakers at the ribbon-cutting praised the town and Supervisor John Venditto for leading the way on environmental issues. Charles Theofan, Deputy County Executive, stated that the town now serves as an example to other municipalities of how to make an investment in the environment.
“There are certain municipal functions, such as the collection of refuse, that are unavoidable: this is what the town does…. By doing this, you’re going to have a direct impact in cleaning the air and the environment,” said Theofan.
Labriola echoed Theofan’s statements. “It’s never easy to do the right thing. Sometimes, it’s even more costly to do the right thing. But if government doesn’t lead by example, how will our people in our communities follow us as we travel down this road of getting away from dependence on foreign oil, cleaning up emissions and lowering our carbon footprint?” said Labriola.
Though not present at the ceremony, Town Supervisor John Venditto released a statement on the new station. “Natural gas is the cleanest readily available fuel for large trucks, and the construction of a CNG fueling facility, coupled with converting diesel-powered trucks to CNG-powered vehicles, is providing real, quantifiable, and significant reduction in greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions while displacing the use of petroleum and helping further the town’s commitment to energy conservation. The town is very grateful to the Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition for helping us obtain a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help fund this project,” said Venditto.
Kimberly Jean-Pierre, outreach coordinator for the office of Congressman Steven Israel, also awarded a special honor to GLICCC from the congressman before the ribbon-cutting. Dominick Longobardi, chairman of GLICCC, also quoted Congressman Israel as he put the new station in a broader context by stating that America was looking “not only for energy independence, but energy security.”