LIVERMORE, CA - At a Jan. 19 Public Fleet Supervisors Association (PFSA) meeting in Livermore, Calif., five California fleets were honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their sustainable practices - the City of Tracy, the City and County of San Francisco, Monterey County, Contra Costa County, and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
Each fleet received a National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) plaque commending their efforts to eliminate lead wheel weights from fleet vehicles. Lead has become a key concern for the EPA due to its environmental and human health hazards. The NPEP was a voluntary program developed to encourage private and public facilities to reduce the use or release of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment. While the NPEP formally ended in Oct. 2011, the EPA is still continuing to partner with fleets to "green" their business practices, according to Olof Hansen of the EPA.
- Fleet Manager of Monterey County Thomas Abear accepted the award for eliminating 150 lbs. of lead wheel weight. Annually, their department also spends $300,000 in lead-free tire replacements.
- David Del Grande, operations director of central shops for the City and County of San Francisco, accepted the award for eliminating more than 1,000 lbs. of lead wheel weight, surpassing the original goal by 650 lbs. Del Grande said the fleet first considered stick-on alloy weights but decided to go with standard clip-on steel weights due to the volume of tires the fleet maintains.
- Frank Desousa from the City of Tracy Central Garage collected the award for recycling 208.8 lbs. of lead, bringing the city's larger Sustainability Action Plan up to speed.
- Fleet Manager of Contra Costa County Rick Ranger accepted the award for successfully eliminating 1,250 lbs. of lead weights. All new weights installed are now coated in steel.
- Finally, Patrick Langsjoen, Pacific Area Environmental specialist with USPS in San Francisco was awarded for launching a lead-free wheel weight pilot for the company's 31,000 delivery vehicles in California and Hawaii and for preventing 34 pounds of lead from entering the environment annually.
Additionally, USPS received the EPA NPEP "Outstanding Partner" award for its national leadership in transitioning its delivery fleet to the use of lead-free wheel weights. A video explaining the hazards of lead wheel weights as well as the USPS's reduction of its use can be found here.
The PFSA was founded in 1959 and meets six times a year to discuss pertinent fleet issues. It is a means for building relationships between fleet managers in the San Francisco Bay Area and the California central valley.
The Jan 19 meeting also included presentations from Mark Wing of Enterprise Fleet Management; John Glann and Kelley Smith from Alameda County Purchasing; and Greg Haglin of the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA).
By Brittni Rubin