N&R front-pager on Epes Transport System’s five natural gas trucks and the potential effect on air quality:

For years, the Triad has struggled with poor air quality. Our sprawling topography is partly to blame — it forces commuters and commercial vehicles to travel longer distances, which increases air pollution.

In 2013, the Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem area ranked as the 42nd most polluted in the nation, according to a study performed by the American Lung Association.

That same study said the Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury area ranked 19th.

And from 2009 to 2011, Forsyth County reported 18 code-orange days. Code orange means ozone levels reach unhealthy levels for active children and adults and people with lung diseases.

Enter the natural-gas trucks. Because the Triad and Charlotte areas don’t meet Environmental Protection Agency air quality standards, the N.C. State program — called the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center — has asked Epes to drive the trucks only in Guilford, Mecklenburg and a cluster of surrounding counties to see if it makes a difference.

“The EPA is constantly pressuring us to reduce our greenhouse gas and carbon footprint and each ensuing year seems to bring a new set of rules,” said Paul Huffman, senior vice president of maintenance for Epes.

“So, we’re trying to learn about it to get ahead of the curve.”

Hey, kudos to Epes for innovating. But a question for environmentalists and the mainstream media — how do we acquire natural gas? You guessed it— and it seems to me they don’t that here in N.C.