Illinois EPA Names Green Fleets

February 28, 2012

The Illinois EPA, in coordination with the Chicago Area Clean Cities coalition, has designated 15 new Chicago-area Green Fleets.

The Illinois Green Fleets program provides for “Green Environment, Green Energy, & Green Economics for a Green Illinois,” through the use of clean alternate fuels, such as natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, propane and electricity in their fleet vehicles, as well as retrofiting existing diesel trucks with clean technology options to reduce diesel particulates.

“These are family-owned and larger businesses, as well as public bodies, that have seen the value in supporting clean air, energy independence, jobs and providing insurance against the concern about high prices for gasoline and diesel,” said Interim Illinois EPA Director John Kim.

“These new Green Fleets join an elite fraternity of over 100 designated fleets throughout the state. We see more and more family-owned small businesses that are taking the initiative to purchase and convert their vehicles and equipment to run on a clean American fuel,” said Darwin Burkhart, program manager for the Illinois EPA and Chairman of Chicago Area Clean Cities.

The 15 new Illinois Green Fleets are:

Abt Electronics, a family-owned electronics and appliance store based in Glenview, uses biodiesel in its diesel truck fleet and has 30 vans that use E85 ethanol fuel and two vans that run on natural gas. In addition, the Abt family installed diesel oxidation catalysts on eight diesel delivery trucks to further reduce particulate emissions.

Groot Industries, a family operated waste hauler based in Elk Grove Village, has 33 refuse trucks that run on natural gas and has installed two natural gas refueling stations to share with other fleets. Other waste companies being recognized are Waste Management in Wheeling and Veolia ES Solid Waste in Northbrook with 33 and 20 natural gas refuse trucks, respectively. Waste Management is also an AEMP-certified Green Fleet. AEMP certifies based on emissions and idle policies.

Competitive Lawn Service, a small commercial lawn business in Downers Grove, is the first lawn and landscaping business in the country to convert many of its pickup trucks and mower equipment to propane.

Doreen’s Pizzeria, a family-owned business in Calumet City, has seven natural gas-powered delivery trucks that display “Green Pizza Machines” on the sides of the vehicles.

Ozinga Ready Mix, a family-owned business in Mokena, is believed to be the first concrete company in the country to convert 14 of its mixing trucks to run on natural gas.

SCR Medical Transportation, a family run paratransit service in the Chicago area, operates 20 natural gas vans and shuttles for people needing mobility assistance. In addition, GO Airport Express operates two propane and two natural gas-powered shuttle vans and Yellow Cab Chicago has 79 natural gas taxis; both companies operate from O’Hare and Midway airports.

Other Green Fleets that are being acknowledged at the event are Northern Illinois University in DeKalb that uses E85, biodiesel, natural gas, and hybrid vehicles in many of its trucks, buses, campus police cars, and other campus vehicles and equipment; Chicago Park District that has E85, biodiesel, natural gas, hybrids and electric vehicles; Dillon Transport of Burr Ridge that uses E85 in the company’s flex fuel vehicles; Foodliner of Franklin Park that operates six Freightliner trucks on natural gas; and the DuPage County Division of Transportation that has nearly half its fleet running on E85, biodiesel, natural gas and electricity.