Introduced by Representative Edwards of Brattleboro
Subject: Conservation; air pollution; alternative fuels
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to establish a grant program in the agency of natural resources to aid municipalities in converting municipal truck and bus fleets from conventional petroleum distillate fuels to alternative fuels such as biodiesel.
AN ACT RELATING TO ENCOURAGING THE USE OF ALTERNATIVE FUELS BY MUNICIPALITIES
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. FINDINGS
The general assembly finds that:
(1) Exhaust emitted from conventional petroleum distillate fuels poses serious health risks to Vermonters.
(2) Conventional petroleum distillate fuel exhaust contains multiple pollutants, including significant levels of fine particulate matter which can pass through the nose and throat and lodge in human lungs. Conventional petroleum distillate fuel exhaust and the pollutants within it have been linked to asthma, cancer, emphysema, and autoimmune disorders.
(3) Children are especially sensitive to the pollutants contained in conventional petroleum distillate fuel exhaust, and scientific studies have shown that conventional petroleum distillate fuel emissions can contribute to childhood asthma and the underdevelopment of children’s lungs.
(4) Despite the prevalence of scientific evidence regarding the health risks posed by conventional petroleum distillate fuel exhaust, conventional petroleum distillate fuel is used widely throughout our society, including in many of the school buses and trucks owned and operated by Vermont municipalities.
(5) The use of alternative fuels and control technologies can reduce conventional petroleum distillate fuel emissions and their accompanying harmful effects.
(6) Vermont municipalities should be encouraged through financial assistance grants from the state to retrofit conventional petroleum distillate fuel–powered school buses and trucks in order to reduce conventional petroleum distillate fuel exhaust emissions and improve the health of all Vermonters.
Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. § 578 is added to read:
§ 578. ALTERNATIVE FUELS GRANT PROGRAM
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Biodiesel fuel” means a renewable, biodegradable, mono alkyl ester combustible liquid fuel derived from vegetable oil or animal fat which meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specification
D6751-02 for Biodiesel Fuel (B100) Blend Stock for Distillate Fuels.
(2) “Conventional petroleum distillate fuel” is a clear combustible liquid fuel derived from crude oil.
(3) “Municipality” means a city, town, town school district, incorporated school or fire district or incorporated village, and all other governmental incorporated units.
(b) The alternative fuels grant program is established in the agency of natural resources to provide financial assistance to Vermont municipalities to encourage the use of alternative fuels and to minimize the cost differences between conventional petroleum distillate fuels, such as diesel fuel and home heating oil and alternative fuels such as biodiesel fuel and waste vegetable oil. Any municipality within the state may apply for assistance under this section. The following shall be eligible for assistance under the grant program:
(1) Technology or equipment necessary to convert municipal vehicles from conventional petroleum distillate fuel to biodiesel fuel; and
(2) Fuel supply equipment for the storage and pumping of biodiesel fuel at municipal fleet garages or facilities.
(c) The secretary of natural resources shall establish by rule grant criteria, performance, goals, evaluative measures, and other criteria necessary to implement the program.
(d) The alternative fuels grant program special fund is established in the state treasury and shall be administered by the secretary of natural resources in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except that interest earned on the fund shall be retained in the fund. The fund shall be used only for the purpose of implementing and effectuating the alternative fuels grant program established by this section. There shall be deposited in such fund any monies appropriated by the general assembly to or received by the secretary of natural resources from any other source, public or private.
Sec. 3. ALTERNATIVE FUELS GRANT PROGRAM REPORT
The secretary of natural resources shall report in writing to the senate and house committees on natural resources and energy and transportation on or before January 31 of each year starting in 2007 with a report on the number and amounts of grants awarded under the alternative fuels grant program, how funds from the program were used by each grantee, the monies appropriated to the fund, and, to the extent possible, any decrease in conventional petroleum distillate fuel exhaust emissions as a result of the awards.
Sec. 4. APPROPRIATION
The amount of $600,000.00 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the purpose of awarding grants to municipalities under the diesel retrofit grant program established by Sec. 2 of this act.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street