Astoria Park

Parks Fleet Gets Greener With Nine New Electric Cars

Wednesday, April 9, 2008
No. 27

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe celebrated the addition of nine new electric cars to Astoria Park’s fleet with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Council Members John Liu and Peter Vallone, Jr., Angelo Esposito, the New York Power Authority’s senior vice president of energy services and technology, and Clean Air Communities Director Debbi Edelstein at Astoria Park today.

“The Parks Department is proud to be a leader in experimenting with alternative fuel technology. After all, we are ‘New York’s Greenest,’ said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “We appreciate the generosity of the New York Power Authority and the Clean Air Communities group for giving us the opportunity to add nine new electric vehicles to the Parks fleet and reduce our carbon footprint on New York City.”

Thanks to a $90,000 grant from the Clean Air Communities, in partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), seven diesel or gasoline vehicles will be replaced by nine electric-powered ones that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 tons per year. The new vehicles will be used in Astoria Park and include two passenger and seven utility vehicles.

“Introducing electric service vehicles to beautiful Astoria Park is the culmination of a multi-year effort by the Power Authority and its community partners, under the Queens Clean Air Project, to bring cleaner air to the borough,” said Roger B. Kelley, NYPA’s president and CEO. “Each of the five clean air projects initiated will have a lasting legacy of improving air quality and contributing to Governor Paterson’s efforts to combat global warming in New York State.”

The funding from Clean Air Communities and NYPA was part of the $2 million Queens Clean Air Project that began in 2005. The initiative, established in an agreement with Queens Borough President Marshall, included adding solar-powered trash compactors, pollution controls on sanitation trucks, the installation of a green roof on Silvercup Studios and electric ground support at LaGuardia Airport.

“The Queens Clean Air Project is an important component in the combined effort to reduce pollution and improve health in this county. Like the trash compactors and green roof that the Queens Clean Air Project also installed in our neighborhoods, these clean vehicles help address the staggering statistics linking air pollution and diseases like asthma and cancer,” said Borough President Marshall. “I thank Clean Air Communities, the New York Power Authority, and the Parks Department for their commitment to improving our environment for today’s residents and future generations.”

The Parks Department is the first New York City agency to use biodiesel (B20) for all diesel vehicles and Parks operates more than 1,300 parks vehicles using alternative fuels. Currently, 800 of Parks’ 2,500 vehicles use biodiesel and over 500 others operate on energy that ranges from electricity to solar power.

New York Power Authority (NYPA)

NYPA is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility and a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. It uses no tax money and no state debt as it finances operations through bonds, and revenues earned by the sale and transmission of electricity. NYPA helps retain and create jobs, and saves taxpayers money, by providing low-cost power to government agencies; municipal electric and rural electric cooperative systems; job-producing companies and non-profit organizations; private utilities for resale without profit to their customers; and out-of-state customers, under federal requirements. It owns and operates 18 generating plants and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of high-voltage transmission lines throughout the state. For more information, please visit

Clean Air Communities (CAC)
CAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to implementing air pollution reduction and energy efficiency strategies in communities that are disproportionately affected by air pollution. Since its inception in 2000, CAC has directed almost $8 million to projects ranging from the installation of a solar roof on the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center in Brooklyn to the retrofitting of vehicles and equipment at the South Jersey Port Corporation in Camden, New Jersey. For its groundbreaking partnership approach and impressive benefits to the community, CAC was honored with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence Award in 2002 and with one of the first Environmental Excellence Awards from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2005. See

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