Blackwell Alternative Fuel Station Improvements Phase 2

Overview

The new entrance drive to the alternative fuel station will be located immediately east of our existing Grounds & Resources complex at Blackwell Forest Preserve, directly north of the intersection of Mack and Williams Roads. The Phase 1 CNG station will be a “fast-fill” facility, capable of re-fueling vehicles powered by natural gas at the equivalent rate of roughly 72 gallons per hour. The scope of this project also includes relocating existing LPG vehicle fueling equipment from another location at Blackwell to the new fuel station site. The District is also planning to enter into future agreements with other governmental agencies, which would allow other agencies with alternative-fuel vehicles to use the District fuel station. An automated key-card system will be developed, which will track fuel usage by each participating agency and the amount of reimbursement owed to the District.

History

In 2001 the District approved an Ordinance establishing new policies regarding its fleet of vehicles, which includes the long-term goal of replacing all of our vehicles and equipment with vehicles and equipment that are powered by alternative fuels or technology. Since then, the District has been steadily converting its fleet of more than 185 vehicles to cars, trucks, and equipment that run on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied propane gas (LNG), ethanol (E85), bio-diesel (B20) fuels as well as electricity and hybrid drive. These types of vehicles tend to cost more initially, but ultimately save the District significant money over the life cycle of the vehicle, due to decreased average fuel costs, fewer required oil changes, and increased engine life as well as Federal and state rebates for vehicle conversions and alternative fuel use. In addition, these types of alternative fuels burn more completely, resulting in reduced pollutant emissions to the atmosphere and cleaner air. The District currently has LPG stations at Blackwell and Churchill Woods Forest Preserves, an E85 station at Churchill Woods, a “slow-fill” CNG station at Danada, a semi-fast fill CNG station at Churchill Woods, B20 biodiesel stations at Churchill Woods and Blackwell, and is preparing to construct a new “fast-fill” CNG station at Blackwell.

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