More U.S. fleets experience benefits of biodiesel

By | February 01, 2005
More fleets across North America are warming up to clean, renewable biodiesel. Here is a look at a few fleets that have made the switch recently:

On Dec. 10, the Vancouver Island Biodiesel Evaluation Study (VIBES) began to test B20 in various public and private fleets including postal services, school districts and the city of Victoria, British Columbia. Seventeen diesel vehicles will use approximately 400,000 liters (105,668 gallons) of B100 over the next six months, according to Kees Schaddelee, WISE Energy's senior managing partner. WISE Energy, a Victoria consulting firm specializing in biodiesel project and market development, is managing the project. An emissions tracking network will be set up for the fleets to account for their current and future emissions reductions resulting from the use of biodiesel. Vancouver Island-owned Columbia Fuels will be distributing the biodiesel blend to the participants. More information about the project can be found at

The city of Bangor, Maine, is switching to biodiesel as part of a resolution for hazardous waste and clean water complaints by the U.S. EPA. Violations of federal hazardous waste management and water-quality laws were discovered during a 2001 EPA inspection. In order to meet EPA stipulations, Bangor will now use B20 in its entire diesel fleet of about 100 vehicles. "It's a new, exciting fuel we are going to use,"

Bangor Equipment Director Bob Dawes said. He said the city would start using B20 this spring to work out any problems that might occur before the next winter season. Dawes added he doesn't foresee any problems other than possibly changing a few fuel filters. World Energy Alternatives will provide the fuel through Irving Oil Co. Dawes said he typically uses around 200,000 gallons of fuel per year.

Several Pima County, Ariz., school districts will be switching to B20 as early as February through what they believe is the first cooperative fuel agreement of its kind in the United States, according to Colleen Crowninshield, Clean Cities Coordinator for the Pima Association of Governments. The agreement is expected to allow participating district schools to have access to lower cost B20. Crowninshield said six schools are already committed to the agreement, and three more are considering it. She said an intergovernmental agreement is being developed for schools outside the district that may be interested in joining the program. World Energy will supply the biodiesel.

Up to 16 school districts in Colorado's Front Range will be using World Energy-supplied B20 in their school bus fleets. The project, called "Clean Yellow Fleets for Blue Skies," will install pollution-control equipment and provide funding for biodiesel in the districts. Most of the fleets switched to biodiesel in October, said Sarah O'Keefe, program manager for the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC). The RACQ and the districts received $400,000 worth of funding through an EPA Clean School Bus grant. A second round of funding from the Federal Highway Administration is expected later this year.
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