SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently signed an Executive Directive to accelerate the pace of biodiesel use in city fleets. The city has been a long-term user of a B-20 biodiesel blend (80-percent petroleum diesel, 20-percent biodiesel) with the San Francisco Airport, Department of Public Works, MUNI buses, San Francisco Zoo, and ferries using the fuel successfully. The directive calls for fleet managers to identify vehicles that can be quickly transitioned to B-20 use and make the necessary preparations for this transition. All diesel-using departments are required to begin using biodiesel as soon as feasible with the following targets — 25-percent use of B-20 by Mar. 31, 2007, and 100-percent use by Dec. 31, 2007. San Francisco uses about eight million gallons of diesel a year, so the shift to B-20 will result in significant petroleum displacement and emissions reduction. In related news, the San Francisco Fire Department has announced a pilot program to test B-20 in two fire trucks, six engines, and one ambulance. The pilot will be conducted in the southeastern part of the city, which struggles with poor air quality. The Fire Department hopes to expand biodiesel use pending the successful completion of the pilot.