Public Works fleet has run on many fuels in the agency’s long history, including the hay-fed mule teams of the Flood Control District more than a century ago.
This past year, the agency entered a new phase in history when it completed two Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling stations at the Castaic and Malibu yards, the latest step in a multi-year effort to reduce pollution from the agency’s vehicles. The new fueling stations will make it easier and more efficient for Public Works to serve its customers while
protecting the environment.
An estimated one-third of the funding to install the new fueling stations comes from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee. The grants, which totaled $600,000 of the $1.97 million cost of the projects, were awarded in December 2013 as part of the Committee’s programs to phase out higher-emission diesel powered vehicles in favor of cleaner-burning CNG.
Public Works already has roughly 125 CNG-powered street sweepers, dump trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles in fleet and has previously fueled them at commercial fueling stations. But driving a vehicle from a maintenance yard to one of these stations, and potentially waiting in line to refuel takes valuable time out of the workday. The downside is even more
pronounced at remote locations like Castaic and Malibu
The new fueling stations allow the agency to park and fuel CNG vehicles overnight, leaving them filled up and ready for work in the morning.
“The convenience of being able to do the fueling on County property cannot be overstated,” said Michael Semon, a civil engineer with Fleet Management Division who oversaw the installation of the fueling stations, working in collaboration with Road Maintenance, Operational Services, Information Technology and other divisions. “This process went from a
time loss to a time saver.”
The Castaic and Malibu stations are only the agency’s first phase. With roughly 125 CNG vehicles in the Public Works fleet, work is underway on four additional fueling stations in La Puente, Canyon Country, Hollydale and La Crescenta.
Photo courtesy of LA County Dept. of Public Works