Ground broken on first Bx. natural gas filling station

(l-r) Spiro Kattan for the city’s Sanitation Department, Andrew Littlefair, president and CEO Clean Energy Fuels, Mark Riley, vice president for east coast clean energy and Steve Tufo, transportation manager at Baldor Specialty Foods during the ground breaking for the new natural gas filling station.
Photo by Aracelis Batista

Ground was broken in Hunts Point for the first Compressed Natural Gas filling station in the borough.

Promising a cleaner, greener way for owners of truck fleets in Hunts Point to get their energy, the Clean Energy CNG filling station will open in 2018 on Ryawa Avenue.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the future site of the station at 1361 Ryawa Avenue on Tuesday, October 17.

“The new station in the Bronx will allow more fleets, both public and private, to realize the economic and environmental benefits of fueling with natural gas,” said Andrew Littlefair, Clean Energy Fuels president.

Mark Riley, a vice-president at Clean Energy, an approximately $1 billion company operating throughout North America, said that the company envisions a stand-alone station with an attendant that will be open to fleet access for operators with contracts from local markets and businesses.

“The station is specifically for truck fueling,” said Riley. “We will (fuel) vehicles that operate in and around the Hunts Point markets.”

Additionally, waste haulers from the south Bronx such as Action Carting and Waste Connections, as well as NYC Department of Sanitation vehicles currently fueling with CNG in Queens, may make use of the new facility, said Riley.

The company is also working with the NYC Fire Department to allow truck drivers to pump their own CNG, which would be first for New York City, he said.

Currently, the schedule for the opening of the station calls for it to open in late-February 2018, and they hope to begin fueling trucks by March, said Riley.

The NYC Department of Transportation for years has been supporting the cleaning and greening of fleets through the community via the Hunts Point Clean Vehicle program, which has funded natural gas, electric, and cleaner diesel trucks over the past five to six years, said the vice president.

Nivardo Lopez, DOT Bronx commissioner, said that his agency was proud to take part in the groundbreaking for the new CNG filling station, which will benefit the Hunts Point community and city as a whole.

“From our Clean Trucks program which reduces pollution to energy efficient goals laid out in our strategic plan, we look forward to participating in ways to make our city as green as possible,” said Lopez.

Companies in Hunts Point like Baldor Specialty Foods, Manhattan Beer and Anheuser-Busch already have CNG trucks, and have had to use creative ways to get them fueled, said Riley.

Steven Tufo, Baldor transportation manager, said that the company is committed to using alternative fuels to protect the environment and to control costs.

“Our headquarters are here in Hunts Point, our families lives in Hunts Point, so we have a responsibility to keep our neighborhoods as clean as possible, and we do that with natural gas,” said Tufo.

Hunts Point is one of the major hubs of truck traffic in the city, and there has been a movement underway for a couple of decades to bring cleaner transportation in part because of environmental justice issues, according multiple sources.

“In a city the size of New York, we all must do our part to ensure we provide the services our residents need while doing so in a responsible manner,” said Councilman Rafael Salmanca, adding that this includes reducing emissions from vehicles.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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