Following the morning’s Palo Verde Valley bus tours and Blythe’s 61st Annual Community Outlook Conference, the Palo Verde Valley Transit Agency (PVVTA) welcomed guests, area dignitaries, friends and neighbors to the Blythe CNG (Compressed Narural Gas) Station at 100 W. 14th Ave. for the facility’s official expansion ribbon cutting, April 12.

“It took a lot to get us to where we got here,” said speaker and City of Blythe Councilmember Joey DeConinck, who credited the committed grant fund partnership of Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) to make the expansion project happen.

DeConinck thanked attending guests and fellow City of Blythe councilmembers, as well as previous councilmember Tim Wade; partnering Palo Verde Irrigation District (PVID) members; Blythe’s Interim City Manager Mallory Crecelius; representatives from California’s 28th District Senator Jeff Stone; California’s 36th District Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz; California’s 56th District Assembly member Eduardo Garcia; and Riverside County’s 4th District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez.

“We all know why we’re here — at the end of the day, we have to do what we can to decrease greenhouse gas emissions to decrease air pollution as well,” said Sup. Perez, who attended the ribbon cutting with several of his office staff members and personally thanked PVVTA General Manager George Colangeli. “Without you George, we wouldn’t be able to make all this work. Quite frankly, we really appreciate your work. (…) Thank you for leading our valley and nation toward a cleaner energy future.”

On behalf of Garcia’s office, representative Ruben Perez presented the PVVTA team with a Certificate of Recognition for their continued and distinguished efforts in bettering the environment of the local community.

“There is an abundance of CNG and it’s about time we tap into it; thank you to (MDAQMD) for funding the project. As you all know, California is spearheading the efforts to combat air pollution and toxins,” said Ruben Perez. “Again, thank you and congratulations to the Blythe CNG Station and the (MDAQMD).”

Further, Stone representative Glenn Miller presented the PVVTA with an additional Certificate of Recognition. Peter Carlstrom, a field representative for the office of Dr. Ruiz, also congratulated the transit authority and greater city of Blythe for completion of the expansion project.

“(MDAQMD) has been very instrumental in (the Blythe CNG Station’s expansion) for us and we can’t say enough about that; they’re committed to our CNG future here in Blythe and all that we do,” noted Colangeli. “What we’re talking about here in ‘expansion’ — we went and doubled our capacity. (…) Plain and simple: if a semi-truck comes right out and fuels up, we can (now) fuel that and fuel the car after that. Before we were only able to fill up the little cars that were coming up off of the freeway, so it’s a big investment in not only the infrastructure that we have here in the city of Blythe, but (also) for the I-10 corridor and the Southwest United States.”

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