County on Long Island Going to Biodiesel

John Davis

Suffolk County, New York is switching all of its 439 public works trucks to run on biodiesel. The move comes as neighboring Nassau, switched its 270 trucks to the biofuel as of the first of this year.

According to this story in Newsday, officials unanimously approved the move for the end of next year. The switch comes after both counties did their own pilot projects for the last couple of years:

“The beauty of biodiesel is that it burns cleaner and you can use the same infrastructure,” said sponsor Legis. Daniel Losquadro (R-Shoreham). The only difficulty in switching to the new fuel — made up of low-sulfur diesel fuel and 20 percent soybean or waste vegetable oil — is that it initially acts as a detergent when placed into diesel tanks, creating the need to change filters more frequently at first to prevent clogging.

Losquadro said Suffolk was using about 100,000 gallons a year during the biodiesel pilot project and will increase fuel use to 400,000 gallons when the switch is complete.

A spokeswoman for the National Biodiesel Board says the county joins more than 100 cities switching to biodiesel. San Francisco, California, which switched all of its trucks to biodiesel, and Arlington County, Virginia, which is using it in its truck fleet and school buses, afre the two biggest ones to make the change.

Biodiesel, Government