Pierce Transit First in the Nation to Adopt Renewable Natural Gas for Bus Fleet

Effective June 5, 2013, Pierce Transit received Environmental Protection Agency approval for fueling its bus fleet with Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). The EPA approval means that about 143 of Pierce Transit’s 155 buses are now running on RNG made from the biogases of the Cedar Hills Landfill in nearby King County.

According to Western Washington Clean Cities Coalition, Pierce Transit is believed to be the first transit agency in the nation to adopt environment-friendly RNG fuel for public transportation purposes. “Renewable natural gas is among the most climate-friendly fuels on the market today,” said Scott DeWees, Project Manager. “By using this locally-produced, waste-derived fuel, Pierce Transit will reduce the carbon emissions of its fleet by 80 percent – while also investing in our regional economy. We applaud their leadership and innovation.”

Innovative and sustainable fueling practices are not new at Pierce Transit. Until 2010, 100% of Pierce Transit’s buses were fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG).  That number dropped to about 90% when the Agency began purchasing diesel-fueled hybrid electrics.  A recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and State of Good Repair grant from the Federal Transit Administration funded the purchase of 15 Gillig diesel-fueled hybrid electric buses in April, 2013.

“While the financial benefits of using natural gas for fuel are significant, and the rebates for RNG are an added bonus, the move from CNG to RNG is just the natural next step for Pierce Transit,” says CEO Lynne Griffith. “It is just one more way that Pierce Transit demonstrates its commitment to the environment and continues its long history of pioneering sustainable, environment-friendly operations.”

The original article is here.