Muncie IN has new compressed natural gas filling station

Advanced Signs and Graphics

Industry leader TruStar supplies, Vectron fuels new station for Muncie Sanitary District

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) -  Engineer Mike Cline called the new compressed natural gas filling station built for the Muncie Sanitary District a bold move sustantiable for a better environmental future.

Besides that, the fifth utility for the district that picks up trash, treats wastewater, keeps White River clean and builds and repairs sewers, also will serve the public with CNG provided by Vectron.

Cline, city engineer and members of the Muncie Board of Sanitary Commissioners, including President Bill Smith, and member Joe Evans, helped dedicate the first of its kind filling station in central Indiana with Mayor Dennis Tyler, other government and business leaders and partners in the facility's construction.

The filling station, located across the street from the city sanitation department and next to a railroad, represents a savings to taxpayers besides an environmental improvement over using diesel fuel.

While natural gas is popular in California that has state run gas wells providing the alternative fuel, Indiana and the Midwest is slow to use natural gas operated vehicles.

Phillip Gerrian, senior vice president of F&S Trucking, said breakthroughs with Cummins providing a high performance natural gas engine have made CNG more attractive besides the lower cost over diesel fuel.

That trucking firm is among the first private customers of the filling station that also will be open to individuals and businesses.

Gerrian said other transit carriers used natural gas because of its 2-1 savings over fuel that generally higher and averaging around $4 a gallon in the Indiana and the Midwest.

And Mark Falhee, an account executive for Energy Systems Group that built the station, said other cities like Layafette were considering natural gas for its public transit fleet. Muncie is the first municipality to have a CNG station.

Falhee thanked other partners in the project including TruStar, HWC Engineering, 3D Construction, Sater Electric, Advanced Signs and Graphics.

Smith told about the mayor vision of having a CNG station that would save money and result in less pollution. 

The district has been a leader in environmental innovation with a curbside recycling program besides using automated trash trucks and separating storm and sanitary sewers to keep White River clean.

Recycling efforts were undertaken by Smith when he served a previous administration as district president.Tyler returned him to the board two years ago.

The district also made a $1.8 million investment to lease a new fleet of sanitation trucks refitted to use natural gas. Those trucks have the Mr. Blue recycling logo besides a new green CNG symbol. 

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