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ATLANTA BREATHES EASIER AS BELLSOUTH TELECOMMUNICATIONS TESTS CLEANER VEHICLES

 ATLANTA, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move to improve air quality, BellSouth Telecommunications is testing vehicles in Atlanta powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).
 "Auto emissions are a large source of pollution in many of the cities where we operate," said Bob McCurdy, assistant staff manager of BellSouth Telecommunications' Fleet Management department. "Natural gas is cleaner and safer than gasoline and it can be used in existing engines."
 Three company mail delivery vehicles have been modified for CNG, with aluminum cylinders to store the gas. The vehicles can also use the existing gasoline systems.
 The cost of the fuel, which is already available at two Atlanta Amoco gas stations, is less than gasoline at about 75 cents per gallon. In addition, McCurdy said the trial will compare maintenance costs, which are expected to be lower on CNG-powered vehicles.
 "The only significant limitation is the range of the vans while operating on CNG, which will be less than using gasoline alone," he said. "But in the urban areas where cleaner emissions are needed, range is less of a problem."
 The trial, conducted with Atlanta Gas Light Company, will last six months.
 "Atlanta Gas Light operates one of the largest CNG-powered fleets in the country," according to Ross Willis, public information director at Atlanta Gas Light.
 "We plan to work with other companies to demonstrate that CNG is not only a viable energy-alternative energy source, but it is also cost effective and cleaner for the environment," added Willis.
 BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., does business as Southern Bell in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and as South Central Bell in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. These companies serve over 17.5 million local telephone lines and provide local exchange and intraLATA long distance service over one of the most modern telecommunications networks in the world.
 -0- 5/18/93
 /CONTACT: Lynn Bress of Southern Bell, 404-391-2484, or Ross Willis of Atlanta Gas Light, 404-584-3769/
 (BLS)


CO: BellSouth Telecommunications; Atlanta Gas Light Company ST: Georgia IN: OIL SU:

RA-BN -- AT011 -- 9709 05/18/93 11:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 18, 1993
Words:345
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