Biodiesel Hits Big in Big Apple

John Davis

nbb-logoBiodiesel becomes the new King of Queens… and all the other buroughs of New York City… as a mandate is signed into law that requires all city vehicles to soon use a biodiesel blend. This National Biodiesel Board news release welcomes the news for the largest municipal fleet in the country.

A broad bill to reduce the emissions of pollutants from City vehicles includes several measures focused on biodiesel. Mayor Mike Bloomberg signed the bill [Wednesday] to mandate all city diesel vehicles use fuel blended with biodiesel. The new law requires a fuel blend of 5 percent biodiesel (B5) by 2014, and of 20 percent (B20) by 2016, during the warm weather months. The bill also calls for the City to conduct a pilot program to study the feasibility of using B20 year round.

“We have an obligation to leave our city – and our planet as a whole – better than how we found it,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn when the bill passed. “To this end, the Council has passed ground-breaking legislation to reduce our carbon footprint. Today, we continue in our efforts to make New York City cleaner and greener than ever before.”

New York City Councilman James F. Gennaro, honored by the National Biodiesel Board with the 2011 Clean Energy Leadership Award, sponsored the bill. “I am proud to have been an early supporter of the expanded use of biodiesel fuels that have created an entirely new green industry based right here in New York City employing hundreds of people,” said Gennaro. “Together with the crucial backing of New York City Council Speaker Quinn, we’ve proven that environmentally sound policies that have a net positive effect on the health of millions of New Yorkers are great job-creators.”

The city fleet has nearly 8,000 diesel vehicles, almost all of them already using biodiesel blends in important roles, such as Central Park management, snow removal and garbage collection. When the blends go up to B20, it’s expected to add up to 2 million gallons of biodiesel use annually.