Aug. 12, 2008 - With the turn of a key, the City of Long Beach on Tuesday expanded its commitment to environmental sustainability by launching a new biodiesel program that will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and smoke particulates.
Ten vehicles, including skip loaders, tractors and dump trucks, will participate in this biodiesel program. These vehicles operate daily to clean and maintain the beachfront in Long Beach. If this pilot program is as successful as expected, the City will consider the wider use of biodiesel in as many as 250 addition diesel vehicles.
"The City of Long Beach is launching this Biodiesel program as part of our ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. We are proud of our environmental record, and we are always looking for ways to expand it," Mayor Bob Foster said before pumping biodiesel fuel into a tractor and taking it for a demonstration spin up and down the Cityís coast.
Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative to petroleum diesel, and testing shows that biodiesel poses significantly less of a risk to human health than petroleum diesel.
"The City of Long Beach was looking for better sources of fuel to improve the areaís air quality and health. Using biodiesel is also the Cityís way of taking the next step toward using more renewable resources," said Bonnie Lowenthal, First District City Councilmember. "Itís only been a short time since I brought the agenda item forward that initiated this biodiesel project. I am eager for the results as a validation of its worth in terms of improving the air and, thus, the health of our community."
Biodiesel can be blended with petroleum diesel in any combination. The City is using B20, which is 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel, the most common blend of biodiesel in use in fleet vehicles.
The environmental benefits of biodiesel are generated without any modifications to the diesel engines. In fact, biodiesel delivers similar horsepower and torque compared to petroleum diesel.
Using Biodiesel fuel is only one component of cleaning the cityís Green Fleet, along with the increasing use of LNG, CNG, propane, electrical and hybrids.