Islip Town's first municipal compressed natural gas station will open by the new year, officials said Tuesday.
The new station will sit on 2 acres inside the town's MacArthur Waste-to-Energy Facility at 4001 Veterans Memorial Hwy. in Ronkonkoma. Town Supervisor Tom Croci said at a groundbreaking ceremony that the station will be open Jan. 1 to serve the public as well as the 50 trucks in the town's contracted residential garbage truck fleet.
"It's no coincidence that it's right next to our waste-to-energy facility," Croci said. "The Town of Islip has for decades been a leader in coming up with ways to control what we produce and what we put back into our environment."
The $2 million station was paid for by Clean Energy, a Newport Beach, California-based company. Clean Energy was awarded the contract in September 2013 to build and operate the CNG station, and will pay the town $1,000 a month plus royalties on the sale of fuel, which regional manager Michael Cecere said was currently about $2.50 a gallon.
The contract with Clean Energy could bring the town about $50,000 a year, town officials said.
"This is a win-win," said town Councilman Steven Flotteron. "We're cleaning the environment, and we're saving taxpayers' money."
"This is not going to cost the Town of Islip anything," added Councilman John Cochrane.
Croci touted the environmental and cost-saving benefits of the new CNG station.
"It takes the diesel trucks off the road, and it saves the environment from all of the diesel emissions and the pollution," Croci said. "But also, they're quieter vehicles, so when those residential [garbage] contractors come down the street in the trucks in the morning, now we're putting not only cleaner but quieter vehicles in our neighborhoods."
Croci also noted the natural gas supply is "abundant" in New York and the United States, helping to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
"There's a financial gain in protecting the environment," he said.