The City of Long Beach will continue its quest for sustainability by using renewable fuels for more than 18 percent of its total vehicle fleet, the city announced today—a fitting move, given the scheduled presentation of a climate assessment report to city council today.
A total of 393 of the city’s 2,185 vehicles will be powered by alternative, low-carbon emitting fuels, according to city release.
“The shift to these renewable fuels is an important part of the City’s commitment to sustainability and greenhouse gas reductions,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “I’m proud that Long Beach has one of the greenest fleets in the United States.”
City trucks and equipment used for maintenance and transportation purposes now use 100 percent renewable diesel produced from vegetable oils, residues and waste fats. This year, the city will also transition from liquid natural gas (LNG) to a more sustainable renewable liquid natural gas (RNG).
RNG, also known as biomethane, is sourced from methane retrieved from landfills and animal waste that is released into the atmosphere. It is then converted and combusted into a renewable gas that results in greenhouse gas releases, which are approximately 21 times less potent than methane released directly into the atmosphere.
As previously mentioned, the announcement follows the release of the City of Long Beach Climate Resiliency Assessment Report, where the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Dr. Jerry Schubel and a team of researchers concluded that climate change was a viable threat to the city.
In addition to summarizing the city-wide effects of climate-change, the report also outlined recommendations for curbing its impacts, as well as developing and implementing an adoption plan.
Over the years, Long Beach has downsized and alternatively fueled its vehicle fleet, according to the release. In 2003, Long Beach was the first U.S. city to adopt LNG in its street sweepers. In October 2015, the city made a substantial improvement by converting its street sweepers and refuse trucks to RNG.
According to the California Air Resources Board, carbon emissions from RNG are the lowest of any vehicle fuel that is commercially available. The switch to RNG and renewable diesel can potentially reduce the city’s carbon emissions by 6,000 tons a year, the release stated. The switch also makes the city eligible for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits, resulting in about $27,000 savings per year for the city on its use of more than 826,000 gallons of LNG. The alternative fuels do not require any modifications to the city’s vehicles or fueling infrastructure.
The city’s fleet is currently ranked among the Top 50 Government Fleets in North America, the release stated.