CULVER CITY, CA - The Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association (MEMA) held a meeting at the City of Culver City, Calif., on Dec. 2. Forty-four fleet management professionals were present to discuss and learn about alternative fuel technologies. Rick Longobart, MEMA president and facilities, fleet, and stores manager for the City of Santa Ana, Calif., led the meeting.

Derek Turbide, business development manager of Clean Energy, a provider of natural gas fueling stations, gave attendees an overview of Clean Energy's offerings in CNG (compressed natural gas), LNG (liquefied natural gas), RNG (renewable natural gas), and HCNG (hydrogen/natural gas).

Turbide's presentation included a pop quiz on fuel consumption and alternative fuels, and he highlighted the benefits of natural gas, which include helping agencies meet government emissions regulations, lowering fuel costs, and using a domestic fuel. The presentation was followed by a discussion of fuel supplies in the event of a natural disaster and the use of nozzles to offload natural gas from one vehicle to another, as well as the maintenance cost of changing vehicle fuel tanks.

Ed Crofts, project manager for RMS Life Safety was the second presenter. In addition to other services, RMS Life Safety works in the construction of alternative fueling sites and the infrastructure that supports the housing and maintenance of alt-fuel vehicles. Crofts discussed methods and technologies used in gas detection needed in facilities that house natural gas.

Paul Condran, fleet equipment and maintenance manager for the City of Culver City, gave a presentation on the construction strategies of the City's fleet facility. The new facility cost $23.8 million, and 80 percent of construction costs were paid for with federal money, as the City's fleet services maintains transit vehicles. Strategies discussed include involving politicians in the process, making sure the fire marshal is involved from the beginning, and ensuring the facility includes all the necessities for alternative fuels as needed. Setbacks in facility construction include striking oil and dealing with storms during the time of construction.

MEMA business discussion included an announcement about the Association website update and expansion, a member survey about Association name, logo, and interests of members that they would like addressed (to be found on the MEMA site), and an encouragement for members to show up at the next meeting (to be announced) to vote for board members. Longobart also asked for fleet managers interested in hosting future meetings at their facilities.

Clean Energy provided attendees with lunch. Condran ended the meeting with a facility tour.