County fleet just got cleaner

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

Since every other day of note seems to spill over its borders — goblin costumes in store windows in September, Christmas trees up into February — I’m celebrating Earth Day Week with some more relatively green news, this time from Allegheny County.
It has included in its fleet the first two compressed natural gas trucks. They will be used by the Department of Public Works for use Downtown on buildings, bridges and roads, said spokeswoman Amie Downs.
“The Silverado 2500 HD, four-wheel drive, extended cab pick-up trucks contain specially designed 6.0 litre Vortec V8 engines and have a gross vehicle weight of 9,500 pounds,” according to a statement from the county.
“I’m really excited about the arrival of these two vehicles and truly believe that this reinforces our commitment to using natural gas in the county,” said Allegheny County executice Rich Fitzgerald (pictured above). “Natural gas vehicles have a number of advantages — nearly 87% of natural gas [used in this country] is domestically produced.”
Natural gas also burns more cleanly than petroleum and emits fewer greenhouse gasses. It is also less expensive than gasoline.
The statement continues: “The trucks are factory-built with hardened valves and seals, which are critical for CNG vehicles. After manufacture, the CNG components are added.  
"The final vehicle is bi-fuel, meaning that there are two complete fueling systems and either can be used.  There are two publicly-available CNG fueling stations within the county – one in the Strip District and one in Crafton."
Those are at 29th and Smallman in the Strip and at the Giant Eagle distribution center off Route 60 in Crafton.
Meanwhile, the Port Authority operates several buses on compressed natural gas, and Giant Eagle has CNG trucks in its fleet. The Allegheny Conference is encouraging use of these vehicles. You can read its report from last year here.
Photo by Margaret Stanley, Allegheny County photographer

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