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City of Missoula

Year Submitted: 2010

Process: Biodiesel Use

Industry: Government

Wastes Reduced: Air Emissions

Location: Missoula MT

Contact: Benjamin Schmidt

Phone: (406) 258-4755


Missoula Area Clean School Bus Program. The Missoula City/County Health Department (MCCHD) proposed to reduce school children's exposure to diesel pollution through the Missoula Area Clean School Bus (MACS) Program.

P2 Application:

The MACS Program worked with partners to increase the use and acceptance of biodiesel as a fuel. Eight K-12 school buses using B20 (a blend of 20% biodiesel with 80% petroleum diesel). There are around 14,000 students in the thirteen public K-12 school districts in Missoula County and approximately 50% of the students ride a bus to school. In the urban district, children average 60 minutes a day on the bus. For some rural school districts, school buses operate for about 3 hours per day and students average 1.5 hours a day on the bus. Program directors worked with area Cenex fuel suppliers who provided the biodiesel blend for the school buses. School district 1, based primarily in Missoula city, and school district 40 out of Frenchtown were the main participants in the MACS program.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

Program Budget: $4,560 was awarded in grant money to pay for the incremental difference in cost of biodiesel versus regular diesel. Barriers encountered: Outlying school districts wanted to participate but had issues with obtaining the biodiesel on a fast and regular basis. Smaller areas could not participate because the fueling facilities had only one diesel tank and were unwilling to convert the entire operation to biodiesel. Frenchtown, a small community approximately 12 miles northwest of Missoula, was given a special tank to use for 20% biodiesel to make the program feasible in that area. Program Strength: The program raised awareness that biodiesel is a safe and reliable alternative for vehicles. Additionally, small private bus companies can use the biodiesel pumps that are still available in town. Suggestions: The program may have been more successful if the biodiesel was more readily available.

Source: Peaks to Praries
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