On July 10th, 2019, Empire Clean Cities, New York City officials, and members of the community joined Clean Energy Fuels Corp. for the grand opening of their renewable natural gas (RNG) fueling station located in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the South Bronx, New York. This is the fourth Clean Energy natural gas station in New York City, but the first station to exclusively offer renewable natural gas, a fuel source made by capturing and extracting biogenic methane emissions from landfill waste, large animal agricultural operations, and wastewater treatment plants.
The new fueling station is providing Clean Energy’s exclusive RNG product, Redeem, the first commercially available RNG for vehicle fueling. Renewable natural gas can be used in existing natural gas truck fleets and other natural gas vehicles with no additional modification needed.
An Ultra-Clean, Cost-Effective, and Domestic Fuel
RNG is one of the cleanest transportation fuels available today, is less expensive than gasoline or diesel, and is produced domestically in the United States.
The availability of RNG in the region is a long-awaited and much needed addition to New York City’s alternative fuel market. RNG is one of the cleanest transportation fuels available today, is less expensive than gasoline or diesel, and is produced domestically in the United States. According to Clean Energy, 100 trucks operating on RNG can lower GHG as much as 9,294 metric tons annually. This is equivalent to planting 237,942 trees, removing 1,961 cars off the road or recycling 3,331 tons of waste that would otherwise be sent to the landfill.
A Cleaner, and Safer, South Bronx
The Hunts Point neighborhood, where the new station is located, houses the largest food distribution center in the world. There are approximately 15,000 truck trips per day at the Hunts Point Cooperative Market operating predominately on conventional fuel sources which contribute to pollution and poor air quality for local residents.
Clean Energy’s new RNG station is expected to not only benefit commercial fleets looking for fuel savings at the pump, but the transition to alternative fuels also has a positive effect on the health of the surrounding community and the environment.
Although it is predominantly a manufacturing district, there are nearby residential neighborhoods in Hunts Point that bear a higher health burden from environmental hazards. The 2010 US Census Bureau estimated more than a quarter-million people in the South Bronx are living in poverty, making it the poorest district in the nation. Residents of Hunts Point are most vulnerable to the negative health impacts attributed to vehicle and truck emissions, emissions from a concentration of waste treatment facilities, and other industrial operations in the area. Consequently, Hunts Point residents have a high rate of asthma and other health issues linked to poor air quality. Clean Energy’s new RNG station is expected to not only benefit commercial fleets looking for fuel savings at the pump, but the transition to alternative fuels also has a positive effect on the health of the surrounding community and the environment.
How Local Businesses Benefit
Before Clean Energy first broke ground in October 2017, the fueling site was an empty parking lot. Now, more local businesses have the option to incorporate alternative fuels into their fleets. Additionally, this station provides a fueling source for fleets already operating natural gas vehicles, including Manhattan Beer and Baldor Specialty Foods.
New York City Department of Transportation Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez commented, “The addition of this station now makes possible and plausible the transition of large portions of Hunts Point fleet industries to this cleaner, domestically produced fuel.”
Thomas Galm, transportation manager at Baldor Specialty Foods, added, “The new natural gas fueling station opening in Hunts Point is a great steppingstone to help move the trucking industry into the next generation of fueling options for our fleets.”
More Alternative Fuel Options for NYC Fleets
RNG is now part of the growing list of alternative fuel options in the region, including CNG, biofuels, and an increasing number of electric charging options.
RNG is now part of the growing list of alternative fuel options in the region, including Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), biofuels, and an increasing number of electric charging options.
Ultimately, the station opening means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality throughout the region, and more savings at the pump for fleet operators.
Visit Empire Clean Cities to learn more about how we are ensuring clean air for future generations and working to inform citizens and stakeholders about alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies available to residents and businesses in New York City.