Greener Fleet Nets National Award for County | Environment
Making its vehicles more environmentally friendly earned Clark County’s Automotive Division national recognition.
The county received an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for eliminating the use of 1,404 pounds of lead wheel weights from its automotive fleet.
Wheel weights are clipped to the rims of automobiles to balance tires. The weights, when made of lead instead of steel, zinc or other more eco-friendly materials, pose a hazard to the environment and human health when they get loose and fall off vehicles. The weights often wind up in sewers and storm drains or in landfills, where they become susceptible to corrosion and cause damage to the environment.
The majority of the county’s 2,745-vehicle fleet is powered by alternative fuels, including GDiesel®, a low-emission fuel made of conventional low-sulfur diesel and natural gas. The county’s 537 hybrid vehicles, which operate with gasoline and electric-powered motors, make up the largest hybrid fleet in the state and the sixth biggest in the nation, according to Automotive Fleet magazine. Another 451 vehicles use cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline (RFG) and 38 vehicles run on a combination of compressed natural gas (CNG) and (RFG.)
Clark County began phasing out the use of lead weights in 2009 as a participant of the EPA’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities Program. The transition was complete by 2011.