Transportation is the largest contributor to emissions, and growing. We can begin lowering carbon emissions and solving our transportation sector’s air quality crisis today with clean-burning, low-emission natural gas trucks and fleets.
Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Fleets
Diesel-powered trucks, buses and fleets emit high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and particulate matter that cause smog, toxic air conditions and health problems in our communities. Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles offer a viable, cost-effective path to address both air quality and GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.
Moving from diesel to CNG in heavy-duty vehicles provides about a 20% carbon benefit, and an immediate and substantial air pollution benefit. Source: USDOE Alternative Fuels Center
In fact, medium- and heavy-duty natural gas vehicles equipped with near-zero emission engines produce 90% fewer nitrogen oxide emissions than even the cleanest diesel engines, and 90% below EPA standards. Source: Cummins Westport
This near-zero emissions technology is being deployed nationally in solid waste fleets, transit buses, delivery trucks and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Waste haulers in Oregon, including Republic Services and Waste Management, have begun upgrading their fleets to CNG.
And with engines running 10 decibels below their diesel counterparts, these trucks are nearly twice as quiet to operate — something drivers and customers can all appreciate. Source: NWGA Natural Gas Vehicles Emissions’ Data and Comparisons
Northwest Alliance for Clean Transportation
The Alliance advocates for a cleaner transportation environment through increased use of heavy-duty vehicles running on CNG and RNG. Founded in 2018, members include Avista, FortisBC, NW Natural and Puget Sound Energy as well as the Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities, American Biogas Council and others.
Air Quality Benefits
Diesel particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel exhaust have a big impact along the I-5 corridor and throughout the Portland metro area.
Recent modeling by the U.S. Environmental Agency found that Multnomah County’s diesel air pollution ranks fourth among the nation’s most polluted counties, while Oregon rates sixth-worst among all states. Source: Diesel Soot Health Impacts — Clean Air Task Force (CATF)
Communities near freeways or in places with high diesel engine activity are especially vulnerable to negative health and environmental impacts, with emissions rates close to 50% higher than normal. Source: Clean Air Task Force, No Escape from Diesel Exhaust, 2007 These same communities have the highest populations of low-income or minority Oregonians, putting their health at greater risk.
Pathway to RNG
Moving forward, CNG vehicles that use renewable natural gas take greenhouse gas reduction to an even higher level, effectively closing the loop on emissions to further drive down the region’s overall carbon footprint. In fact, using RNG in heavy-duty vehicles to replace diesel provides about an 80% carbon reduction. Source: California Air Resources Board Renewable Natural Gas