NYC Department of Parks and Recreation garbage truck powered by biodiesel and a hybrid electric drive train.   -  Photo: NYC DCAS

NYC Department of Parks and Recreation garbage truck powered by biodiesel and a hybrid electric drive train. 

Photo: NYC DCAS

New York City's Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) is partnering with the American Lung Association to provide City of New York mechanics, fleet staff, and operators with a free online certificate training program about the operation and benefits of biobased fleet products.

Available through the Biobased Academy — a partnership between the American Lung Association’s Department of Clean Air Initiatives and the United Soybean Board — the Biobased Certified Fleet Professional course, launched in the Fall of 2022, is the first course offered under the program, .  

“The American Lung Association is proud to offer this comprehensive training program to educate professionals on the operational, health, safety, and environmental benefits of biobased alternatives,” said ALA Director of Clean Air Initiatives Bailey Arnold. “Implementing biobased products is an easy way to complement existing carbon reduction strategies while protecting the overall health of employees, communities, and the environment.” 

What's Involved

The training reviews the environmental benefits, safe handling, operations, and varieties of biobased solutions. The training also reviews various case studies of biogenic fuel implementation throughout the country, including in NYC. NYC and the National Biodiesel Board, now the Clean Fuels Alliance America, implemented a similar in-person program in 2013 for city mechanics. 

The training takes approximately five to six hours in total and can be done in segments at the pace of the participant. Participants who complete the training and tests that are part of each of the 12 sections will receive a certificate qualifying them as biofuel certified. 

Total Biodiesel Blends Fuels used by NYC Government Operations since FY13.   -  Photo: NYC DCAS

Total Biodiesel Blends Fuels used by NYC Government Operations since FY13. 

Photo: NYC DCAS

NYC's Use of Biodiesel

In 2005, the city's fleet began the use of biodiesel fuel in trucks at the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Since then, biodiesel use has been adopted for all fleet units and is also used in all heating oil systems in NYC, public and private. NYC has passed local laws requiring biodiesel use in city fleet units and government and private buildings.

Most recently, New York state mandated biodiesel in heating oil statewide, starting at 5% of fuel use in 2002 and going to 20% in 2030.

Since fiscal year 2013, NYC government operations have used 416 million gallons of fuel blended with biodiesel. In 2018, DCAS implemented a nearly one million gallon demonstration project for renewable diesel (RD), which can be used up to 100%, replacing fossil diesel completely.

Clean Fleet Transition Plan

DCAS is working on a long-term renewable diesel contract now. Biodiesel and renewable diesel can serve as cleaner and more sustainable fuel alternatives while we work to electrify our fleet and buildings long term.

As DCAS reviewed in its first Clean Fleet Transition Plan, many segments of the trucking and off-road fleets will likely rely on diesel fuel for an extended period in the future. DCAS is also piloting biotires, as a way to reduce tire emissions.

See how another state is making a shift to biodiesel. 
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