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  • Clean Fuels NY Coalition

1st public fuel station serving renewable diesel opens in New York City

Photo: Clean Fuels NY Coalition

Clean Fuels NY Coalition hosted a press conference Jan. 11 to celebrate the grand opening of New York City’s first retail fuel station serving renewable diesel.


This marked Sprague Energy’s entry into the retail service-station arena with renewable diesel as they supply the Sonomax fueling station with low-carbon fuels, replacing conventional fossil diesel fuel. 


Renewable diesel affords an immediate reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG), small particulate matter and NOx emissions.


The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to GHG emissions and air pollution in New York.


Low-carbon fuel options for existing vehicles will immediately cut transportation emissions and help New York meet its bold climate goals.


Sonomax will service diesel trucks for film production, delivery services and other industries seeking to power their vehicles with low-carbon fuels.


“This is a huge step in the right direction,” said Pat McClellan, director of policy for the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Fuel replacements like these are what will help curb GHG emissions and air pollution in New York. The reality is that even with aggressive vehicle electrification, 50 percent of the heavy-duty trucks on our roads will still have combustion engines that require a liquid fuel in 2050. We need to make low-carbon fuels like what Sonomax is offering more widely available in order to reduce emissions and improve public health while we transition to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles. Implementing a statewide clean fuel standard will help make low-carbon fuels the norm. We are grateful to Sprague Energy and Sonomax for paving the way.”

Steven Levy, Sprague's managing director of new business development (Photo: Sprague Operating Resources)

David Glendon, president and CEO of Sprague Operating Resources, said, “We are excited to partner with Sonomax on this first retail station for renewable diesel in New York City and look forward to helping propel adoption of renewable diesel across our Northeast footprint. Sprague has a long history of introducing cleaner fuel solutions in New York City, which includes pioneering and commercializing ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel 10 years before an EPA mandate, becoming the first terminal marketer in the nation to earn the status of Certified BQ-9000 Marketer in 2006 by the National Biodiesel Board (now Clean Fuels Alliance America) for its biodiesel offering, and more recently by investing in renewable diesel supply at our Bronx terminal since June. … Renewable diesel and other sustainable fuels are a great drop-in solution to dramatically reduce emissions today. Sprague has over 150 years of experience helping our customers navigate these energy transitions, and we will continue to innovate and invest in cleaner fuels and sustainable solutions for all our valued customers.”


Sprague said it will continue to expand its supply of renewable diesel across its Northeast footprint to serve the transportation and home-heating markets. 


Kendra Hems, president of the Trucking Association of New York, added, “If we are to meet New York’s bold climate-change plans, then we will need to use every tool at our disposal to reduce emissions, including renewable diesel. The launch of the first retail fuel station to serve renewable diesel is a landmark for the trucking industry. While this is just one step in a much longer process, it is another example of the ways our industry is working to create a sustainable future for New Yorkers everywhere.”


Councilmember Lincoln Restler said, “Transportation is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions in New York City. The opening of our city’s first fuel station serving renewable diesel is a positive example that will reduce emissions to help tackle the climate crisis.”


Empire Clean Cities also commended Sonomax, Sprague Energy and all the partners involved in the grand opening of New York City’s first public renewable diesel station.


“By introducing renewable diesel at retail fuel stations, this initiative presents fleets with a pivotal chance to dramatically curtail GHG emissions, NOx and particulate matter, making an immediate and positive impact on the air we all breathe,” stated Joy Gardner, executive director of Empire Clean Cities. “The decision to make renewable fuels widely accessible underscores a collective stride toward a cleaner transportation landscape and promoting a greener, healthier future for all.”


Pat Swinney Kaufman, the commissioner of the mayor’s office of media and entertainment, added, “We’re thrilled to support this step towards cleaner energy, which will benefit New York City’s $82 billion film and TV industry. This administration, in coordination with local productions, unions and businesses, strives to make New York City the best place to film. In addition to offering competitive tax incentives, a diverse talent pool and a robust infrastructure, we continue to seek out new and innovative ways to support the industry in becoming more sustainable.”


Bertha Lewis, founder and CEO of the Black Institute, said, “As a longtime community organizer, I have spent decades combatting the stranglehold environmental racism has had on black and brown communities. In our lifelong commitment to environmental equity, the Black Institute stands in solidarity with Clean Fuels NY to reduce carbon emissions across New York State. Black and brown residents already breathe in 66 percent more pollutants from vehicles than white residents statewide, with children from areas such as Harlem and the Bronx having at least 10 times the number of respiratory complications than children from higher-income neighborhoods. We cannot afford to wait another day for a solution to come, when families are dying today. This initiative not only benefits the environment, but it also has an immediate impact on our black and brown communities, without them shouldering a financial and health burden.”



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