Waste Management Inc. is one of the sponsors of a new study to assess the nature of fugitive methane emissions from vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The study by West Virginia University, Morgantown, W. Va., will measure methane leaks that occur at various stages of refueling and the operation of heavy-duty natural gas vehicles, according to a news release.

“It’s vital that we all have solid data as to the possible environmental impacts of methane leakage,” said Eric Woods, vice president, fleet, for Waste Management. “This study will provide valuable information to enable us to augment our current practices to the extent necessary or develop technological improvements to minimize the impacts.”

Other sponsors include: the American Gas Association, the International Council on Clean Transportation, PepsiCo, Shell, Volvo Group, Cummins Westport and Westport Innovations. Sponsors are providing access to vehicles or facilities.

Results from the study, conducted by the university’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, are expected to be released in a peer-reviewed journal in late 2013 or early 2014 to assist industry in developing improvements to fueling operations and identifying best practices for minimizing leakage.