EPA honors biodiesel champs: Harvard U. and Medford, NJ, schools

By The National Biodiesel Board | May 13, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored two long-time biodiesel leaders for their outstanding commitment to the environment, which includes a carbon reduction strategy fueled by biodiesel. The EPA recognized Harvard University Fleet Management Division and Medford Township Public Schools in Medford, New Jersey.

Joe Biluck, Medford’s director of operations and technology, and David E. Harris Jr., Harvard’s director transit and fleet management, are the visionaries behind their fleets’ switch to biodiesel and also serve as volunteer Biodiesel Ambassadors. In this role they educate other fleets on the benefits of biodiesel and how it can help achieve sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. Last year the 2 billion gallon biodiesel market cut carbon by some 18 million metric tons—the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 3.8 million cars.

“These EPA awards shine a spotlight on the environmental leadership that we have seen at Harvard and in Medford in their mission to replace petroleum with cleaner-burning biodiesel,” said Ron Marr, chairman of the National Biodiesel Board. “NBB is proud to work with both Dave Harris and Joe Biluck, and their leadership and vision is helping to improve environmental quality and lower emissions through the use of America’s advanced biofuel.”

Medford Township Public Schools 

EPA’s Region 2 presented Medford with the 2016 Environmental Champion Award at a ceremony May 13 in New York City. The award honors Medford’s outstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality and public health.

Medford’s leadership in the use of biodiesel alone has eliminated 123,376 pounds of smog-forming emissions, 2,408 pounds of diesel particulate matter and reduced its fleet operation costs by over $170,000. In 1997, Medford was the first school district in the country to use biodiesel. Today, it is the nation’s longest continuous user of biodiesel in a student transportation fleet.

Harvard University Fleet Management Division

 EPA’s New England office honored Harvard University’s Fleet Management Division with the 2016 Environmental Merit Award May 10 at a ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts. The National Biodiesel Board nominated Harvard for this award, which recognizes the University’s exceptional work and commitment to the environment. In 2004, Harvard was the first Ivy League school to power its diesel vehicles with cleaner burning biodiesel. Since then, Harvard’s biodiesel program has not only grown, but its leadership has paved the way for others to follow its lead.

In the past year alone, Harvard’s biodiesel use resulted in the following estimated emissions reductions: 15 percent reduction in carbon dioxide; 12 percent reduction in carbon monoxide; 20 percent reduction in both hydrocarbon and sulfur dioxide and 12 percent reduction in particulate matter.

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement. It is the first and only commercial-scale fuel produced across the U.S. to meet the EPA’s definition as an advanced biofuel—meaning the EPA has determined that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent when compared with petroleum diesel.


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