Connecticut Town Considers Biodiesel

John Davis

greenwich.jpgThe town of Greenwich, Connecticut want to run about 150 of their 300 vehicles in the city’s fleet on biodiesel. Unsure how well that might actually work, officials decided to visit another New England town to see how their efforts had gone.

This story in the Greenwich (CT) Times has details:

[Elizabeth Linck, the town’s fleet director] and town Purchasing Director Joan Sullivan went last week to Keene, N.H., where the city has been using biodiesel for the past six years, to research the possible changeover.

“We wanted to see it in action,” Linck said. “When you do a project like this, you talk to the people who are doing it successfully.”

From fire trucks to public works vehicles, anything that runs on diesel in Keene’s city fleet uses the same soy-based blend being looked at by Greenwich. About 78 of the city’s 150 vehicles use biodiesel, which requires no special equipment.

Steve Russell, Keene’s fleet director, said the city was looking to cut down exposure to “eye piercing” and “lung piercing” emissions for its residents and employees.

“When you pull that car into that garage, it takes a while for those diesel fumes to go away,” Russell said. “My mechanics have noticed a major difference in the shop. It takes away the nasties.”

Keene is using soy-based B20, and Greenwich officials are considering the same after testing a 5 percent blend at first. While Keene officials say the biodiesel costs them more, they were able to get a state grant to help defray those costs. No word whether Connecticut offers such an incentive.