BATAVIA, IL – The city of Batavia has created its first environmental commission, according to The Beacon News. As of last month, all city trucks and public works vehicles now run on blended biodiesel fuel. In switching to biodiesel, Batavia has joined the Illinois Green Fleets program, a statewide initiative to increase the use of renewable fuels. The program is administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and offers recognition and marketing opportunities to vehicle fleets that use alternate forms of fuel, such as biodiesel and E-85. The Public Works Department began using biodiesel in early December, beginning with a low-soy blend. Batavia’s blend is B-5, five percent biodiesel and 95 percent petroleum. Over the next year, the city hopes to transition into higher ratios, with an eventual goal of B-20. The IEPA offers a rebate for all vehicles that use blends of B-20 or higher, which helps fleet absorb the additional fuel costs, as many biodiesel fuel blend cost more than traditional fuel. The city’s diesel bill for 2005 totaled $64,589 and, factoring in the transition to B-20 during 2006, the city expects to spend roughly $5,000 more on fuel this year, bringing it to nearly $70,000, according to The Beacon News report.