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New low-emission vehicles for FLPD

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In addition to environmental benefits, compressed natural gas vehicles will save money on fuel

By Ben Wiebesiek

FORT LUPTON — Thanks to a grant from the state and a coordinated effort with the county, the Fort Lupton Police Department will receive three new low-emission vehicles.

Assistant City Administrator Aaron Herrera said the new vehicles are part of a $150,000 grant through the state’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.

“It’s called a CMAQ grant,” Herrera said. “Basically how it works is the county is going to be the grantee, but they’re working with municipalities within Weld County to obtain these natural gas vehicles.”

The vehicles run on compressed natural gas, most of which comes from domestic sources.

“We’re going to replace three police patrol vehicles with CNG SUV vehicles,” Herrera said. “The City of Fort Lupton, Platteville, Hudson and Keenesburg all got involved in this grant,”

Herrera said the vehicles would bring long-term savings for the police department.

“The savings, last time I checked, CNG gas was around $1.95 a gallon,” Herrera said. “So that should theoretically lead to savings for the city in that regard.”

The new vehicles will also reduce the amount of nitrous oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds  that traditional cars produce.

CNG-fueled vehicles produce far fewer emissions than gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles, including 90-97 percent less carbon monoxide, 87 percent fewer volatile organic compounds, a 35-60 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides, and 30 percent less carbon dioxide. CNG is also approximately 30 percent less expensive than diesel. Use of CNG as a transportation fuel also advances U.S. energy independence, since 70 percent of the oil our nation imports is used for transportation.

“We already have the North Station just north of Fort Lupton on [Weld County Road] 18 and [State] Highway 85,” Herrera said. “But one thing that the county commissioners were telling us at the meeting we had at the beginning of December is that there may be some additional grant funding coming down the pipeline that will help with infrastructure to actually have more CNG fueling stations throughout Colorado.”

The first CNG fueling station in Weld County opened in Firestone in 2012. Four stations opened in Weld County that year.

“I think the goal with the county and with a lot of Colorado residents is that with our abundance of natural gas directly under our feet, it makes sense to have the infrastructure and the vehicles in place to help limit carbon emissions,” Herrera said. “We can utilize the energy we have right here at home.”

 

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.