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typical recommended practice. And the
meetings represent only a small part of
the work. I personally have almost 1,500
hours in this project. Individual committee
members also committed a substantial
amount of time contributing ideas,
reviewing draft language, sourcing photos,
reviewing public comments and otherwise
developing the document.
JOURNAL: Steve, you served as
chairman of the committee. How long
and in what capacity has your company,
Jones & Frank, been involved with CNG
BERNSTEIN: We first got involved in the early 1990s—
largely because several municipalities with whom we worked
received grant funding to build several CNG stations. That
led to other projects. However, after a
few years, CNG vehicles had not been
successful in gaining traction. By the
late 1990s, we had completely exited
About four years ago, CNG again
began getting a lot of attention. Gasoline
prices were skyrocketing. New exploration
methods, including horizontal fracking,
were dramatically increasing the amount
of domestically produced gas at the
very time when U.S. policy-makers
and consumers were looking for less
dependency on “foreign oil.” CNG vehicles and fueling
technology also had advanced quite a bit since the first CNG
wave. It was sort of the perfect storm.
So we re-entered the market and since then have installed
dozens of systems of various types.
JOURNAL: How did PEI assemble a committee with
enough expertise to write this document?
BERNSTEIN: The RP1500 committee is unusual in
its makeup. As with other recommended practices, we
certainly had the insight of several PEI members who are
actively engaged in this arena. But we also went outside the
membership to bring in leading gas and utility professionals,
CNG equipment packagers, and professional engineers with
experience in designing these systems.
MOREAU: To write a comprehensive document, we had
to tap the knowledge of experts in every part of the supply-and-delivery chain. CNG fueling systems are much more complex
than typical liquid fueling systems. Engineering decisions.
Analyzing and drying the gas. Compression. Storing the gas.
Vehicle fueling patterns. High-pressure tubing. High voltages.
The expertise of our utility, fleet and manufacturer members
was crucial as we addressed all of these topics.
JOURNAL: How many comments did you receive during
the public-comment period?
MOREAU: We had a total of 203 comments, counting those
from members, the industry, PEI staff and committee members.
JOURNAL: Do public comments really help? Can you
think of any significant changes that were incorporated as a
result of public comments?
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