Gatlinburg, TN (April 5, 2017) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park hosted a celebration yesterday to unveil two new propane fueling stations and six new propane‐fueled trucks at the Park Headquarters Maintenance Facility near Gatlinburg, Tenn. With the new pieces of alternative fuel equipment, the Smokies implemented a new facet of the park’s Climate Friendly Parks program through funding from a joint U.S. Departments of Interior (DOI) and Energy (DOE) initiative called the “Clean Cities National Park Initiative.” The new equipment helps the park leave a smaller carbon footprint.
GreatSmoky Refueling Pic

In partnership with its two neighboring DOE “Clean Cities” coalitions, the East Tennessee
Clean Fuels Coalition and the Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition, the park installed two
 propane fueling systems and added 6 new pieces of green equipment to improve air quality in the Smokies. Six Ford F250 crew cab trucks were purchased and converted to run on propane autogas. The Park selected Icom North America’s liquid‐injection system and learned how to install and maintain those systems with assistance from Icom’s southeastern representative, David Griffin.

“We continue to work toward meeting our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2006 levels by 20% by 2020,” said Park Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We appreciate the support of our partners that have moved us another step closer to achieving that goal. These improvements along with the recent addition of propane mowers, electric vehicles, and DC fast‐charge stations enable us to be better stewards of this special place.”

“Propane work trucks are becoming a hot item with NPS units across the country. The combination of the emissions reductions and cost savings help the Smokies and other parks build out their Climate Friendly Parks program while saving money,” said East Tennessee Clean Fuels Director Jonathan Overly.

“We are saving about $0.30 to 0.50 per gallon using propane,” said Smokies Deputy Chief of Facility Management Brian Bergsma. “In addition to saving money, we have also doubled the driving range of the trucks and saved time by being able to refuel propane mower equipment onsite.”

One propane refueling system is at the North District Maintenance Facility near Gatlinburg and the other is in the South District Maintenance Facility in Cherokee. The trucks (and mowers) can refuel at either location and are in use on both sides of the Park. Propane supply partners Blossman Gas and Sevier County Propane, respectively, are the propane supply partners on the North Carolina and Tennessee sides of the Park.

The joint DOI/DOE funding is helping multiple national parks across the country advance their goals towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from park operations and maintenance vehicles and improving air quality overall in and around the parks. Learn more here:

The East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition is a local nonprofit organization that serves the eastern half of Tennessee and works proactively with regional fleets and partners to reduce dependence on petroleum and improve air quality and sustainability. The coalition is one of the Department of Energy’s designated Clean Cities programs. Visit for more information, and to learn more about the Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition, visit their website at