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San Francisco Mayor Directs City To Use Biodiesel Fuel Blends

| Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 30, 2006 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/san-francisco-mayor-directs-city-use-biodiesel-fuel-blends/

By executive directive, Mayor Gavin Newsom has ordered diesel vehicles in use by San Francisco’s public agencies must use at least a 20 percent biodiesel (B20) blend by the end of 2007. The City currently uses about 8 million gallons of diesel fuel each year.

Several City departments and agencies are already using B20, including San Francisco Airport, Department of Public Works, MUNI buses, and the San Francisco Zoo. Ferries operating out of San Francisco have also used B20 with excellent results.

According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), San Francisco is now the largest U.S. city to institute such a broad directive for biodiesel use. Since 1999, the City’s Healthy Air and Smog Prevention ordinance has established requirements to purchase vehicles using alternative fuels or energy-efficient vehicles with low emissions. San Francisco now has more than 800 alternative fuel vehicles in its fleets.

The directive states in part:

  • Department fleet managers shall identify applications that can most quickly be transitioned to biodiesel.
  • All diesel-using departments shall draft a report listing all diesel vehicles and diesel equipment by July 1, 2006.
  • All diesel-using departments shall begin using a B20 biodiesel blend as soon as practicable in all diesel vehicles and other diesel equipment, with the following incremental goals in each department’s use of B20: Initiate and complete biodiesel pilot project by December 31, 2006; 25% by March 31, 2007; and 100% by December 31, 2007.
  • Departments shall then pursue actions to use greater-than 20% blends including neat biodiesel (B100).

Executive Directive 06-02
Biodiesel for Municipal Fleets 

May 18th, 2006

By virtue of the power and authority vested in me by Section 3.100 of the San Francisco Charter to provide administration and oversight of all departments and governmental units in the executive branch of the City and County of San Francisco, I do hereby issue this Executive Directive to become effective immediately:

1.  The City declares its commitment to increasing the pace of municipal use of biodiesel.

San Francisco City Government has long led the country in its commitment to alternative transportation fuels as a key part of its efforts to attain clean air, promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Since 1999, the City’s Healthy Air and Smog Prevention ordinance and more recently my Executive Directive 5-103 issued in September 2005, have established requirements for City fleets to purchase vehicles using alternative fuels or energy-efficient vehicles with low emissions. San Francisco now has more than 800 alternative fuel vehicles in its fleet.

In 2005, Senator Barbara Boxer awarded the San Francisco Department of Environment her Conservation Champion Award, citing the City’s alternative fuel vehicles success record.

The Board of Supervisors recently passed, and I signed, legislation to create a Biodiesel Access Taskforce, the first of its kind in the nation, to streamline regulations and create incentives for private-sector use of biodiesel.

Several City departments and agencies have successfully tested and used biodiesel in pilot programs using B20 (a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel) or higher biodiesel blends, including San Francisco Airport, Department of Public Works, MUNI, and the San Francisco Zoo. Ferries operating out of San Francisco have also tested B20 with excellent results.

The San Francisco Fire Department is initiating this week a 6-month pilot program to test and monitor the use of B20 in 9 Fire Department apparatus located in the southeastern section of San Francisco, an area that consistently experiences the City’s poorest air quality.  Upon successful completion of the pilot program, the Fire Department expects to expand the use of biodiesel throughout the City.

2. Increased municipal use of Biodiesel will result in numerous environmental benefits, including:

  • reduced petroleum consumption: the City’s municipal fleet currently uses approximately 8 million gallons of petroleum diesel each year.  City-wide use of B20 in the municipal fleet will reduce petroleum consumption by approximately 1.6 million gallons.
  • cleaner air:  the use of B20 will significantly reduce emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and toxic air pollutants.
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions:  bodiesel has been found to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 78% compared to petroleum diesel, on a life-cycle basis.
  • promotion of sustainable and locally produced biodiesel:  most biodiesel is made from virgin plant oils and it is a priority of the City to encourage sustainable agricultural practices in the growing of plant oils for biodiesel.  Biodiesel can also be made from recycled sources, including waste oil and animal fats from restaurants.  The City is working with several local companies to facilitate the production of biodiesel from these local renewable sources.
  • promotion of biodiesel markets:  the City’s leadership will help enable the use of cleaner burning, renewable biodiesel by the City’s residents and businesses.

3. Departments shall advance biodiesel use by taking the following actions:

  • Central Shops and individual department fleet managers shall identify vehicle and equipment applications that can most quickly be transitioned to biodiesel, and shall make any necessary preparations for biodiesel use, including modifications to engines or cleaning of existing diesel storage tanks.
  • All diesel-using departments shall draft a report listing all diesel vehicles and diesel equipment and send it to Department of Environment, with a copy to my office, by July 1st, 2006. The Department of Environment and Central Shops shall identify additional related information to be included in the report and notify the departments of those requirements no later than May 31, 2006.
  • All diesel-using departments shall begin using a B20 biodiesel blend as soon as practicable in all diesel vehicles and other diesel equipment, with the following incremental goals in each department’s use of B20:
    • initiate and complete biodiesel pilot project by December 31, 2006;
    • 25% by March 31, 2007; and
    • 100% by December 31, 2007.
  • All diesel-using departments shall then pursue further increases in the use of biodiesel through the use of greater-than 20% blends and/or neat biodiesel (B100).
  • Using SF STAT and CCSF Fleet Inventory, all diesel-using departments shall report annually on July 1st (beginning July 1st, 2007) on departmental progress with biodiesel use.  This report shall be sent to the Department of the Environment and shall include:
    • the number of diesel vehicles and other diesel equipment owned by the department;
    • the number of diesel vehicles and diesel equipment running on biodiesel and what blend of biodiesel those vehicles are using;
    • the amount of biodiesel (on a neat/B100 basis) used by the department; and
    • a description of the department’s experience with biodiesel, including information related to improved air quality and any operational or maintenance issues.
  • The Department of Environment shall prepare a yearly, consolidated report each September 30th on the efforts that diesel-using departments are making towards achieving the City’s biodiesel goals.

For more information, please contact the Clean Air Program at the Department of the Environment at (415) 355-3700.

Gavin Newsom
Mayor

More

  • SF Biodiesel Access Task Force – established to develop and recommend a permitting process for biodiesel filling stations and incentives for such stations to be located in the City; urging the San Francisco Unified School District to pursue the use of biodiesel blends in school buses; and establishing a City policy to request biodiesel usage in City contracts involving diesel fleets.
  • New Rules Project’s section on Ethanol and BiodieselRules

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About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power. More

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