Clearing the Air

July 2004, Government Fleet - Feature

by Tom Johnson

Jerry Nabhan was touched personally by two cancers in his family. He intuitively knew the connection between cancer and living in an area of seven million people, with five million cars producing 550 tons of hydrocarbons a day, a precursor of ozone and the main ingredient in smog. Nabhan, Sunnyvale, Calif.’s fleet manager, felt it was imperative to take action on the local level to slow the progression of environmental impacts, pollution, disease, and global warming.Noted as a progressive city, Sunnyvale has been named the 10th safest city in America. All officers train and work in both police and fire services. Assignment rotation provides employees with mental stimulation and a variety of experiences critical to maintaining high job performance. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires local governments to convert fleets to alternative fuel-powered vehicles. Local laws also encouraged the fleet department to use alternative fuels. And, Nabhan knew it was the right thing to do. He converted 19 residential waste-collection trucks from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG). These trucks reduce smog-forming and particulate pollution by 56 tons throughout the course of their operation. A proactive city, Sunnyvale hired Global Research and Analysis to survey citizens on their perceptions of city services. Global Research asked Nabhan to heighten awareness of the city’s reduction of pollution and noise (citizens used to wake up to the sound of trash trucks). Nabhan and his staff came up with the idea of showcasing their zero-emissions CNG trucks.Global Resources hosted a “Dinner at the Dump” for 340 residents, featuring oysters, steaks, salmon, and chili cooked by public safety officers. Nabhan’s wife and mother made more than 340 strawberry shortcakes. The event raised $15,600 for the needy in Sunnyvale. Since the “Dinner at the Dump” event, and the resulting publicity, the city’s fueling station sells more CNG fuel to the public than used by the entire fleet.

Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


Fleet Management And Leasing

Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Public Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Amin Amini from Verizon Connect will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fuel Management

Bernie Kanavagh from WEX will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Recent Topics

Hello to all the members I am checking to see if anyone is using a company for GPS/AVL called Fleet Complete (AT&T)? I would like to...

View Topic

I have 2 questions: 1. When obtaining quotes for vehicles, what do you require from the dealership? (ie. signature, date, is an invoice...

View Topic

Fleet Documents

1134 Fleet Documents (and counting) to Download!

Sponsored by

former president of McCullagh Leasing and past president and chairman of AALA

Read more



Thi Dao
When Are Policies Too Strict?

By Thi Dao
Before writing a policy that will last for years, determine whether it’s the best one. Would a typical employee follow the policy?

What Your Vehicles Say About Your Fleet

By Thi Dao

Managing a Police Fleet

How Chevrolet's Tahoe PPV Differs From its Retail Relative

By Michaela Kwoka-Coleman
For the Chevrolet Tahoe PPV, tires are added to the vehicles that are capable of handling speeds of up to 134 mph and the brakes are adjusted to handle frequent stopping at high speeds.

Police Vehicles Pushed to the Limit in California

By Paul Clinton

Next-Gen Fleet

Facundo Tassara
Vehicle-to-What? — Evolving Vehicle Communication Technologies

By Facundo Tassara
Can vehicle collisions be avoided with vehicle-to-infrastructure or vehicle-to-vehicle technology? Several of the major OEMs think so and are spending billions of dollars a year working on the technology.

Streets of the Future Could Take Automatic Tire Readings

By Facundo Tassara

Driving Notes

Paul Clinton
2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

By Paul Clinton
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a significantly upgraded van that offers a dizzying array of configurations and meaningful improvements designed to improve productivity for delivering packages or hauling passengers.

2018 Ford EcoSport

By Mike Antich

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Remembering Sundays in St. Louis, Detroit, and Atlantic City

By Sherb Brown
There is just no better opportunity to network, to learn, and to mingle with the best and the brightest than an in-person fleet event.

Adapting to a Changing Tide

By Sherb Brown