Fuel Regulations & Retrofits

This section is mainly concerned with implementing technology such as biodiesel and other "clean fuels" in city fleet vehicles and locomotives, coupled with innovative technology to reduce fuel usage and the correlated emission from it.

Strategies and Greenhouse Gas Reduction

  • Require contractors working for the City to use low-emission equipment and use a minimum of B20 biodiesel for fuel.
  • Complete the installation of diesel particulate and oxidation catalysts on all heavy-duty diesel trucks owned by the city.
  • Utilize a minimum of B20 biodiesel for all City-owned diesel vehicles
  • Encourage Tacoma Rail to use B20 biodiesel in their locomotives as soon as a fuel standard has been developed that their rebuilders will accept.
  • Encourage Tacoma Rail to replace their locomotive engines with new low-emission models currently available as soon as possible and economically feasible.

Cost to the City
The price of biodiesel in the United States has come down from an average $3.50 per US gallon ($0.92/l) in 1997 to $1.85 per US gallon ($0.49/l) in 2002. This appears economically viable with current petrodiesel prices, which as of 09.19.05 varied from $2.648 to $3.06. Nowadays, in 2007, retail, at the pump and motor tax.

The total funding for this opportunity is approximately $1,333. Ecology anticipates retrofitting between 300 and 500 vehicles. Up to 30 grants will be awarded statewide based upon the availability of funds. Funds must be used for to pay for equipment and installation. Grant recipients may not use retrofit funds to pay for administrative expenses.

The state of Tennessee allotted just over $300,000 in grant money to several private and public companies to incorporate bio-diesel and other energy saving devices on their locomotives. This was a state wide funding option. Using these estimates it would be safe to say at least a $2,000 commitment would be needed to alter one locomotive to low efficiency fuel, anti-idling technology, emissions reduction technology, and other tools to help reduce fuel use.

The major stakeholders for this solution are the City of Tacoma. Much of this information and calculations are for city fleet vehicles and other city functions. It could include private companies, but will most likely start with government use. In the long run it could affect all people using diesel fuel in vehicles to becoming more environmentally sustainable and use less fuel.

The major barrier here is attaining the proper assets for implementation. Government grants and funding will be needed to complete such a task. It is up in question where this extra money will be coming from.

The estimated CO2 reductions as stated by GRTF would be approximately 1670 tons of CO2 by the year 2012. This would include full implementation of B20 biodiesel into the entire fleet, as well as some private cargo carriers. In the same time frame an estimated 700lbs of CO2 could be saved using the information regarding locomotive fuel reduction estimates.

The City would need to partner with private cargo carriers to implement the use of B20 fuel. It may also need to work with the Tacoma locomotive system to help integrate these strategies in the movement of cargo by rail.

There must first be large scale use of biodiesel to increase its availability and price reduction. It would also require change in legislation forcing city fleet vehicles and various departments within the city to use this fuel. There would have to be some sort of penalty involved with breaking the regulations of using these tools.

Success Stories
U.S. Department of Energy
Recently they submitted a report that highlighted city programs that used biodiesel in fleet vehicles to reduce gas emissions. San Jose and Salt Lake City airports were included in this list of success stories, as well as private companies and organizations like Puget Sound. National parks, shuttle bus systems, power plant vehicle use, and even other schools are cited here. This is a great source containing various success stories that incorporate the use of biodiesel fleets and personal vehicles.

Washington State Department of Ecology Grant Application and Guidelines
This is an application for all business in the state of Washington to receive grant money. This government money would be allocated to retrofitting fleet vehicles and diesel engines with the installation of diesel particulate and oxidation catalysts. The report gives the emission as well as fiscal benefits to the instillation of these on large cargo vehicles.

Pilot Locomotive Diesel Retrofit Partnership Project, Rail Companies and Authorities
The Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program produced this report. It gives data and other information of how the implementation of Bio diesel and other emission/energy reducing technology can be used with locomotive use. This is a good example of efficient incorporation of new technology and shows that it will actually work to reduce the amount of emissions being put out and energy used by locomotives.