MVSD Unveils In-House CNG Fueling Station

MVSD Unveils In-House CNG Fueling Station

     The Mountain View School District is continuing its efforts to embody eco-friendly practices that reduce its environmental impact.  The newest component of the District’s move towards sustainability is the new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station that is up and running, enabling the District to now fuel all eight of its CNG school buses in-house.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held recently to celebrate the completion of the project which began over two years ago with a Clean Transportation Funding grant awarded through the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC).

     “After all the hard work and patience it’s finally here and having this new fueling station is a tremendous blessing to our Transportation Department and District,” said Darin DeKnikker, MVSD’s Assistant Superintendent of Business Services. 

     “For 10 years we have been purchasing our CNG fuel from a third party fueling station at over $3 a gallon and now we are fueling our buses in the transportation yard at significant cost savings of a little over $1 per gallon.  We are grateful to MSRC and their affiliates for the grant funding and we will continue to go after every opportunity we can for improvement for our students and District,” he added.

      The savings will also be felt in the area of time and effort as bus drivers no longer have to travel to Irwindale to fuel their buses. 

      The District was proud to welcome representatives from the MSRC, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and Jaycox Construction CNG, all who applauded the District’s efforts toward clean energy.  Additionally, members of MVSD’s transportation and maintenance staff were on hand to celebrate the ribbon cutting.

     “We congratulate the Mountain View School District for its efforts in clean energy,” said Cynthia Ravenstein, Contracts Administrator for Clean Transportation Funding from the MSRC.  “The new fueling station is a great step forward in sustainable energy and we appreciate the district’s commitment to lowering the greenhouse gas impact.”

      According to Ravenstein, since 1990 the MSRC has invested $440 million in hundreds of clean transportation initiatives and through these clean energy projects, removed 13,000 tons of air pollution from the skies of Southern California.

       “Operating school buses with CNG is very beneficial to the environment and to students,” said Ravenstein.  “Diesel exhaust is toxic and children are sensitive receptors so it’s important to keep them away from it. CNG buses are cleaner, quieter and provide a safe setting for transporting students.”

       The new fueling station was constructed and installed by Jaycox Construction CNG with MVSD’s maintenance staff completing the exterior work including electrical, plumbing, painting and encasing. 

     “It’s great to work with Mountain View,” said Virgil Jaycox, owner of Jaycox Construction CNG.  “I’m excited I got to be part of this project which will allow all eight of the District’s CNG buses to be fueled at the same time, overnight, so they will be ready to roll out for the school day the next morning.”

MVSD’s Bus Mechanic, Erik Meza likes working on both the CNG and electric school buses and knows the new in-house fueling station will be great for the department. 

  “The fueling station will not only save us money on the fuel but I’m excited that our drivers won’t have to spend an hour driving the 15 miles to fuel up, saving time and wear and tear on our buses.  It works out to about a 1000 miles a year saved on the tires which is great.”

   The CNG Fueling Station infrastructure grant was the second of three grants MVSD has received to support its efforts for clean energy.  The first grant resulted in two electric school buses for the fleet and the third grant, coming early next year, will provide three additional all electric school buses.

    Board of Education Clerk, Adam Carranza shared that the Board loves these opportunities to do something extra for the students it serves and adding the environmental angle is even better. 

  “We are a very energy conscious Board and anything we can do to lower our carbon footprint and keep our students safe is great.  We are grateful to the MSRC, AQMD, Southern California Gas Co and the other entities that fund grants for these projects,” he said.

       MVSD is proud to transport students in CNG buses which emit 40%-86% less particulate matter into the air compared to older diesel school buses.  Data shows that one CNG school bus can save the equivalent of the emissions produced by roughly 35 passenger cars on the road.

     Concluding the ribbon-cutting ceremony, MVSD Superintendent, Lillian Maldonado French thanked each person involved in the project.

     “This is an amazing day to celebrate this achievement, the hard work of our team and to confirm Mountain View’s commitment to green energy and providing safe and sustainable transportation for our students,” said French.

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