PORTLAND – Seven vehicle fleets around the region have been selected as Northern Stars of New England for their efforts to cut carbon emissions, reduce their use of petroleum, and promote and utilize alternative fuels to power their vehicles. Each fleet demonstrated a deep commitment to the goals of the Clean Cities program through use of alternative fuels, alternative fuel purchasing, and petroleum reduction practices. The designation as a Northern Star required that the fleets be a stakeholder in their local Clean Cities Coalition and that they meet a list of criteria showing their commitment to Clean Cities initiatives. The fleets being honored are listed below by state.
• Oakhurst Dairy- Portland, ME
• Greater Portland Transit District (METRO)- Portland, ME
• The City of Boston- Boston, MA
• The City of Nashua- Nashua, NH
• Newport Biodiesel- Newport, RI
• Malloy Energy- Cumberland, RI
• The University of Vermont,- Burlington, VT
In 2006 Oakhurst became the first dairy in the United States to convert its delivery fleet to biodiesel and today it has the largest private biodiesel fleet in New England. The Company’s 40 heavy-duty trucks run on biodiesel made locally by Maine Standard Biofuels.
METRO built Maine’s first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel station in 2006. METRO has purchased 18 CNG buses since 2006 and plans to be 100% CNG by 2020. METRO also provides fuel for 15 CNG school buses operated by the Portland School District.
Representatives from both fleets, President of Oakhurst John Bennett and METRO General Manager Gregory Jordan, attended Maine Clean Communities’ April 7th stakeholder meeting to accept their awards.
“Oakhurst is honored that we continue to be recognized for our pioneering effort to use biodiesel as a means to help green our fleet. Our company truly believes in the value of using sustainable business practices and modeling them as a responsible way to do business,” commented Oakhurst’s President John Bennett.
“METRO introduced compressed natural gas buses to our region in 2006,” says METRO General Manager Gregory Jordan. “Our transit system continues to lead on the commitment to use affordable clean alternative fuels to operate our fleet, reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.”
The Northern Stars of New England program was funded through a U.S. Department of Energy grant that identified barriers to the proliferation of alternative fuels and how to remove them. There are nearly one hundred Clean Cities Coalitions around the country whose purpose is to help reduce the use of petroleum, cut emissions, and promote alternative fuel options. The Northern Stars program was developed by the five Northern New England Clean Cities Coalitions whose purpose is to promote the use of alternative fuels in fleets.
More information on the Northern Stars program can be found on the Vermont Clean Cities Coalition website at www.uvm.edu/vtccc.