DUNMORE -- A company has plans to build a compressed natural gas filling station in Dunmore, the first public station in Lackawanna County.
It will mean more convenience for trucking companies in our area that drive miles out of the way to fill up on CNG.
That company -- Commonwealth Energy Group -- is located in Dunmore and plans are to put that natural gas station less than a mile away from their offices, on the site of a former Gertrude Hawk chocolate store. The company plans to open the county's first public CNG pumps before the end of the year.
The vacant building on Drinker Street in Dunmore doesn't look like much and in a few months, it won't look much different than any other gas station.
"The pumps are the same. The canopy is the same. Colors are the same. You will not notice any difference. We actually expect a lot of people to come in here to try and get gasoline, but they won't be able to do that," said Lou Evans, CEO of Commonwealth Energy Group.
Evans showed us around the site where his company plans to build a compressed natural gas filling station. They've started advertising the station on billboards leading up to the Drinker Street exit off Interstate 81.
"Our region generally doesn't get ahead of the curve. This is a wonderful, wonderful thing that we are one of the first on the map up here."
Dunmore is home to two large industrial parks and sits at the intersection of three major highways, so Commonwealth Energy Group expects most of its initial customers to be trucking companies that already drive through this area and already use compressed natural gas.
"Cleaner emissions than running the diesel, and it's good for our environment, and there is a cost savings over the diesel, too," said Bill Rineheimer, who works for Swift Transportation at its regional outpost in Taylor.
"As soon as there's more infrastructure, then you'll start seeing not only more commercial vehicles but you'll see passenger cars, passenger trucks coming into the market more."
Commonwealth Energy Group says there are already about a dozen trucking companies lined up to switch over to CNG and contract with the Dunmore station. Most of those companies are trash haulers that visit the nearby landfills. Commonwealth Energy has not yet filed any building permits with Dunmore borough but the CNG station is planned for later this year.