June 21, 2007
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York to conduct bio diesel pilot project for Regional fleet vehicles

Six-month study to assess greenhouse gas emissions from cleaner fuel
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York’s Fleet Services will conduct a six-month study beginning this summer to determine if using bio diesel in our vehicles will cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Under current fuel regulations set by the Government of Canada in October 2006, low-sulphur fuel is used in all of the Region’s fleet of vehicles.  While this move has cut vehicle emissions, the bio diesel study will determine if emissions can be further reduced. 
“It is important to continually look at ways that our Region can work to better protect our environment,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Our Fleet Services are already on the forefront of cleaner fuel technology, but this bio diesel pilot project has the potential to take our services to a higher level of environmental preservation.”
Bio diesel – a fuel that is produced by plants or animal renderings – has been identified as a cleaner substitute than low sulphur diesel.  However, it is slightly more expensive, has been shown to produce higher nitrous oxide emissions, and has lower overall fuel economy.
“By looking at newer, cleaner fuel options, York Region continues to demonstrate why it is a leader in environmental stewardship,” said Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Wayne Emmerson, Chair of the Region’s Transportation and Works Committee.  “With more traffic on our roadways, it is becoming increasingly important to limit our environmental impact, and this pilot project will determine whether bio diesel is the best option to help accomplish this goal.”
The trial will run through the summer and conclude in October.  York Region’s Roads Transportation branch will compare emission levels between the bio diesel and low sulphur diesel, and a staff report will be brought back to York Regional Council later this year.
The six-month pilot study is one of a number of cleaner fuel initiatives that Fleet Services has undertaken over the past several years, including:
• The purchase of seven hybrid vehicles
• The implementation of an anti-idling policy
• A move to reduce vehicle size where possible
• Adding 10 per cent cleaner-burning ethanol to vehicles fuelled with unleaded gasoline
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Media Contact: Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1232 or Cell 905 251-6419
 Email: michael.kemp@york.ca

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