Posted June 16, 2014

Motor vehicles are responsible for 50% of the nitrogen oxide pollution, 42% of the volatile organic compounds, 25% of particulate matter and 80% of carbon monoxide emissions according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  Green government, an initiative of the National Association of Counties, finds Counties can reduce emissions by adopting a variety of conservation measures, retrofitting technology and using alternative fuels and vehicles.  By choosing to move to a Green Fleet, Ulster County can help to reduce the dependence on foreign fuel sources.

Ulster County Legislative Chairman John Parete included the possibility of using alternative fuels in county vehicles as one of his agenda items during his March 2014 County Address. Since then, Chairman Parete and his staff have met with professionals in the Alternative Fuel industry from around the state.  They found the green fleet initiative shows a great potential for cost savings as well as a significant benefit to the environment through emission reductions. “We’re trying to save trees and tax payer dollars all in one fell swoop,” Parete noted.

Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum stated his support for Alternative Fuels at the County Address in March and now the two have paired up to evaluate the potential benefits of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) as an alternative fuel. A Green Fleet Pilot Program is being developed for inclusion in the Sheriff’s 2015 Budget.  “I think anything that could help keep costs down should be looked into. I wouldn’t be the first Sheriff in Ulster County who tried Propane, but I think the technology available now makes it a real option," said Van Blarcum.

Chairman Parete stated, “If the pilot is successful, which I believe it will be, I would like to work with the Ways & Means, Energy and Environment, and Laws and Rules Committees to pursue the greening of the entire Ulster County fleet, including the use of electric vehicles, by 2020.”