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County's first public CNG fueling station opens

David Weissman

York County's first public compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station has been operational in Spring Garden Township for a few weeks, courtesy of Shipley Energy.

Shipley Energy Transport Driver Ethan Miller, of West Manchester Township, fuels up on 90 gallons of CNG for the companies 18 wheeler, at Pacific Pride Thursday, March 30, 2017. Amanda J. Cain photo

The station, at 714 Loucks Mill Road, includes two pumps with potential for a third if demand grows in the future, according to Shipley President Matt Sommer.

CNG is an alternative fuel widely being adopted by major freight companies across the country because it costs, on average, 40 percent less than diesel and cuts overall emissions by up to 30 percent, according to a Shipley news release.

Sommer said Shipley is currently saving more than $1 per gallon using CNG instead of diesel fuel in its compatible trucks. The fuel also reduces maintenance costs because it burns cleaner, and drivers have commented that the engines run more quietly, he said.

Shipley adding CNG fueling station in Spring Garden Township

Shipley has five trucks in York County that operate on CNG. Those trucks had previously been stored in Baltimore, where adequate fueling stations already existed.

The City of York  also is utilizing the new station, as one of its two street-sweeping vehicles runs on CNG.

Jim Gross, director of the city's Public Works Department, said the department has had the CNG-fueled sweeper about three years, but they previously had to take it to Republic Services' facility in Emigsville to refuel.

"We're very thankful Shipley has built this station ... less than a mile away from us," he said.

Gross said the city will likely look into adding more CNG-fueled vehicles in the future.

Rabbit Transit is already in the midst of acquiring more CNG vehicles. Rich Farr, executive director, said the transit authority  operates one CNG-fueled vehicle with seven more on the way.

Rabbit Transit is in the process of constructing its own CNG fueling station at its new headquarters, at 415 Zarfoss Drive in West Manchester Township. The station, which is expected to be complete in June, will include two pumps available for public use, Farr said.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.