Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Bangor, ME Switches to Biodiesel to Settle EPA Fines

Bangor Daily News reported recently on the city's settlement of EPA air emissions fines:
Rather than send tens of thousands of dollars in pollution penalties off to Washington for a 4-year-old violation of environmental laws near Bangor International Airport and the city's motor pool, Bangor officials have signed a settlement with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, agreeing to convert the city's fleet of snowplows, trucks and buses to run on clean-burning biodiesel by April 2005.
The switch to a B20 blend of biodiesel will cost the city approx. 40 cents/gallon more than regular diesel but will reduce emissions of a number of air pollutants 10-20 percent. As the article points out, the increased cost (approx. $160,000/year) is primarily due to the fact that the closest high-volume biodiesel facility is in Massachusetts. The settlement agreement, along with a previous state-wide commitment from the Governor Baldacci to heat state buildings with biodiesel look to provide some significant incentives for advancing local biodiesel production and distribution in Maine.

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