WASHINGTON, D.C. and ACWORTH GA - NGVAmerica and the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation (CVEF), have announced the 2011 winners of the prestigious annual NGV Achievement Awards. The awards are given to persons and organizations in recognition of their outstanding contributions in leadership, vision and innovation to the advancement of natural gas as a vehicular fuel.

The 2011 NGV Achievement Award winners are:

Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, TX, for achieving the milestone of deploying its 1,000th natural gas-powered truck, for its advancement of natural gas vehicle (NGV) and fueling technology, and for its national advocacy of pro-NGV policies and programs. Waste Management recently committed to purchasing only natural gas-powered units. Many of those trucks, including one third now in service in California, run on "trash gas" - biogas derived from the decomposition of landfill organic waste that is cleaned, converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG), and then transported to their truck depots.    

Since November 2009, their Altamont landfill in Livermore, Calif., has been generating as much as 13,000 gallons of LNG per day, a virtually zero-carbon transportation fuel, displacing  over 4 million gallons of diesel use annually. Nationwide, Waste Management's 1,000 natural gas trucks displace eight million gallons of diesel fuel each year,  eliminating 45,100 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Ryder System, Inc., headquartered in Miami, for the inauguration of a $38.7 million dollar joint public/private industry partnership project that has created the first large-scale, heavy-duty natural gas truck rental and leasing program in the country.  When fully implemented, this undertaking will displace more than 1.5 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. The project comprises two public access natural gas fueling stations, three natural gas-compliant maintenance facilities, and the purchase of 202 heavy-duty NGVs that Ryder is making available to  its customers through an innovative, newly-created lease program called "Flex-to-Green." Under the new program, private fleet operators can jump start their sustainability programs by leasing natural gas trucks on a short-term basis to "test drive" the technology.  This low-risk approach is attracting  fleets interested in  the cost-savings and environmental benefits of clean burning natural gas.

Giant Eagle Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa., for  opening its first two CNG (compressed natural gas) fueling stations, one that is available for consumer use, and the other for use  by the company's fleet of delivery trucks. In 2011, Giant Eagle purchased 10 natural gas-powered Volvo VMN tractors for daily deliveries to their supermarkets.  These tractors were the first such units manufactured by Volvo, and Giant Eagle was instrumental in working with the truck supplier in introducing this new platform. Collectively, these 10 NGV trucks will displace more than 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel during the first year of operation alone. The company has pledged to transition more of its fleet to natural gas in the coming years and has taken an active role in promoting the benefits of natural gas to other fleets in the Pittsburgh and surrounding region. Providing public access to its fuel station is an extension of that public outreach and promotion.

EQT, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., for its leadership in facilitating the development of public access CNG fueling stations and adoption of NGVs in southwestern Pennsylvania.  EQT, one of the largest natural gas producers in the country, has assisted fleets in obtaining more than $6 million dollars in state and federal grant funding.  These funds have gone to the development of three public access fueling stations for the region.  The grant funds have also helped offset the incremental costs of purchasing more than 135 NGVs for the area, displacing more than 800,000 gallons of petroleum fuel a year. This summer, EQT opened its CNG fueling station in Pittsburgh's Strip District to serve its own fleet vehicles as well as private and public fleet vehicles in the area.  In addition, EQT is on track to convert 23% - more than 330 vehicles - of its fleet to natural gas by the end of 2013, displacing an additional 450,000 gallons of petroleum per year.  As EQT continues to encourage NGV adoption in the region, improvements in air quality will also translate into a healthy, sustainable environment, and the U.S. will take another step forward in reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Enviro Express Natural Gas, LLC of Bridgeport, Conn., for opening the first LNG/CNG (liquefied natural gas/compressed natural gas) vehicle fueling station east of the Mississippi. Located adjacent to I-95 in Connecticut's largest city, Bridgeport, this public-access refueling station stores up to 14,760 gallons of LNG and services Enviro Express' new commercial fleet of 18 Kenworth T800 semi tractor-trailers, which transports waste ash from an incinerator in Bridgeport, CT to a landfill in Putnam, CT.  This initial fleet will displace over 500,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually and more than 675,000 pounds of harmful particulate emissions.  Additionally, the CNG section of the station is open to the public where they are also fueling a fleet of over 40 AT&T vans, plus several vehicles from the City of Bridgeport.

Happy Cab Company from Omaha, Neb., for significantly advancing the use of natural gas as a vehicular fuel by committing to convert 50 taxicabs, 25% of their fleet, to CNG. Tracking fuel costs between gasoline and CNG, Happy Cab estimates a net fuel saving of $4,896 dollars per cab annually.  Using today's pricing, when fully implemented, Happy Cab expects to pocket just under a quarter of a million dollars in fuel savings per year. A significant cost reduction while reducing green house gases by 562,781 lbs, NOx by 3,785 lbs and carbon monoxide by 24,867 lbs. Happy Cab, in a joint collaborative effort with Metropolitan Utilities District - a public utility - refurbished a dormant fueling station property owned by Happy Cab. The station, named "I-80" sells CNG, regular unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel. This fueling infrastructure fills a CNG void, bridging the gap -east to west - between the Chicago to Denver corridor on Interstate 80 in addition to I-29 running north to south, from the Canadian border to Minneapolis to Kansas City.

Heckmann Corporation, headquartered  in Coraopolis, Pa., for showing leadership among suppliers in the natural gas exploration and production (E&P) sector by placing the single largest order for liquefied natural gas trucks by a U.S. customer.  Heckmann is transitioning their water- transportation fleet from diesel to natural gas with its initial order of 200 Peterbilt Model 367 LNG trucks.  Currently, several are in operation in the Haynesville Shale region located in upper Louisiana, and a total of 59 LNG tractors expected to be in operation there by the end of this year. Heckmann recognizes the value of using natural gas in their fleet in order to reduce consumption of foreign oil, improve air quality and reduce operating costs.   Deploying one LNG tractor displaces 12,000 gallons of petroleum fuel annually. The transition to LNG is expected to also reduce Heckmann Corporation's carbon footprint in the Haynesville shale area by up to 30% in addition to dramatically reducing their fuel costs. 

Atlantic City Jitney Association (ACJA) of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, for replacing 190 of its 13-year-old gasoline shuttle buses - 100 percet of its fleet - with new CNG shuttle buses. These buses (aka "Jitney's") operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and -collectively - consume approximately 600,000 gasoline gallon equivalents annually.  Over the expected 7- year lifespan of the new fleet, this transition to CNG will save 200,000 barrels of oil. Like any transportation company, one of ACJA's biggest expenditures is vehicle fuel.  By breaking their addition to oil, converting to CNG fuel is expected to save the Association approximately $880,000 dollars this year alone.

The awards were presented Saturday, October 22 at the Annual NGV Conference-Summit in Fort Worth, TX.