WESTFIELD - Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards recently joined Chautauqua County Director of Weights and Measures Daniel Thompson for a training session conducted on testing a compressed natural gas meter at the Barcelona Market, located on 8246 Route 5 in Westfield.
Thompson, who has served as the Director of Weights and Measures for 14 years, was selected by the State of West Virginia's Department of Weights and Measures after contacting New York State Weights and Measures Director Mike Sikula, who requested that Chautauqua County assist them in their analysis of compressed natural gas technology and to teach them the method for testing the units.
"I was pleased to join Dan Thompson to see how this new alternate fueling station works and to congratulate him for being recognized by the State of West Virginia as the expert he is in this field," said County Executive Greg Edwards.
Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards (center) joins the State of West Virginia's Department of Weights and Measures employees Dan Simmons (right), Bryan Snodgrass (center) and Victor Zamora (left) for a CNG meter demonstration at Barcelona Market in Westfield.
Joining Thompson and Edwards for the training were Victor Zamora, Supervisor of Fuels and Meters for the State of West Virginia's Department of Weights and Measures; Bryan Snodgrass, Supervisor/ Training Officer for the State of West Virginia's Department of Weights and Measures; Dan Simmons, employee for the State of West Virginia's Department of Weights and Measures; Jim Willis, Specialist for New York State's Department of Weights and Measures; and Jim Herbert, Owner of Barcelona Market.
"This form of alternative energy is the next new thing facing Weights and Measure jurisdictions," said Thompson. "There are state- and fleet-owned CNG dispensers located throughout New York state; however, this meter in Westfield is the first one west of Buffalo that is being used in a commercial application."
Compressed natural gas is a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline or diesel. It produces lower amounts of nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and toxic and carcinogenic pollutants, which makes it a more environmentally clean alternative for gasoline or diesel. As a compressed gas, this fuel is usually stored in a cylinder tank that is on the undercarriage or in the trunk of a vehicle.
With current gas prices over $4/gallon, utilizing CNG could also provide significant savings to drivers as CNG at Barcelona Market is only $1.90 per 5.660 lbs. of gas or 1 Gasoline Gallon Equivalent. However, in order to utilize this form of fuel, vehicles must be specifically equipped for compressed natural gas. Several manufacturers sell bi-fuel (gasoline and CNG compatible) vehicles, but existing vehicles can also be converted which could cost $2,000 or more depending on the vehicle.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center, there are currently 107 compressed natural gas fueling stations in New York State with only 33 stations open to the public. In Western New York, there are only four CNG fueling stations open to the public with two in Erie County, one in Monroe County, and one in Chautauqua County.