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Archived Transportation News Articles:

Montana: New Website Helps Locals Find Alternative Fuels 09/13/2005
Bozeman Biofuels recently launched a website to help people in the area learn about alternative fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol and find locations to fuel their vehicles. The organization was founded following the Bioneers conference in Fall 2004.
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Denver World Oil Conference November 9-10, 2005 08/29/2005
World oil production is expected to peak and then start to decline, perhaps in the next decade. This conference, entitled "Beyond Oil: Potential Responses to Peak Oil Impacts," will discuss the impacts of a peak in world oil production. Since oil provides nearly 40% of world energy, peak oil will be a significant turning point in human history, with far-reaching consequences. The conference will present ways in which citizens, corporations, cities, and states can take intelligent actions to prepare for more expensive petroleum and to mitigate the negative impacts of peak oil. Presentations will include alternative fuels status and issues, an update from car manufacturers, and an exploration of policy options, especially at the municipal level.
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High-Speed Rail May Connect Front Range Cities between Wyoming and New Mexico 08/26/2005
A high-speed railway is being proposed to provide alternative transportation from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Albuquerque, New Mexico and cities in between. The non-profit Front Range Commuter Rail hopes to ask voters for their approval in November 2008 for the project, which is aimed at relieving traffic congestion in booming Front Range cities. The plan will need cooperation not only from voters but also members of Congress and commercial rail companies. Initial plans call for the "Ranger Express" to travel the 602-mile route at a speed of 110 miles per hour and offer 18 trips per day, carrying 3.5 million to 4 million people a year, according to Front Range Commuter Rail.
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NEW TOOL: Calculate the Benefits of Switching Your Fleet to Hybrid Vehicles 08/04/2005
Fleet managers can use a new, free software tool to help them calculate the environmental and financial benefits of switching to hybrid vehicles. The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fleet Cost and Benefits Calculator Tool was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Center for a New American Dream, and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. The software computes potential savings by taking into account purchase price, fuel costs, repair and maintenance costs, resale value, and applicable tax incentives. The tool was developed for use by both business fleet managers and those in federal, state, local and tribal governments who are interested in reducing fuel costs and improving air quality.
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2005 Fuel Economy Trends Report Now Available 07/29/2005
EPA released its annual report, "Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2005." The report provides data on the fuel economy and performance characteristics of light-duty vehicles (cars, vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks) for model years 1975 through 2005.
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Agreement Provides More Money To Help Develop Energy-Efficient Vehicles 07/18/2005
DOE and the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) have reached an agreement that could approach $125 million over five years to develop advanced high-performance batteries for electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicle applications. As part of the new agreement, DOE and USCAR will split the cost of research and development for a number of new battery materials and technologies that have the potential to increase energy storage and charge/discharge performance, improve durability and reliability and reduce cost.
Original Story
Incentives Will Ease Clean Diesel Transition 07/08/2005
EPA is enhancing an early credit program through a direct final rule to produce and distribute ultra-low sulfur highway diesel fuel earlier than required. Under the incentive program, refiners and importers will be given credits for the amount delivered into the distribution system prior to June 1, 2006.
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NEW TOOL: Find E-85 Gas Stations, Save Money 06/29/2005
E-85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline that can be used in flexible fuel vehicles. Costing 30 to 60 cents less per gallon at the pumps, it's generating big interest in the Midwest where much U. S. ethanol is produced. The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition keeps an updated E85 refueling location map on their web site and also lists makes and models of vehicles that can burn it. In EPA Region 8, North Dakota, South Dakota and Colorado are tied for having the most E-85 gas stations.
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$7.5 Million Available in Clean School Bus Grants (EPA) 06/01/2005
The EPA has announced an availability of funds and is soliciting applications from school districts, including federally recognized Indian tribes which operate schools, for retrofit and/or replacement projects that reduce pollution from school buses. This is through the use of EPA verified or certified and/or California Air Resources Board verified pollution reduction technologies. The closing date for receipt of Applications is July 22, 2005.
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Wyoming: Tip Sheets Help Businesses with Pollution Prevention 05/20/2005
Wyoming DEQ's Solid and Hazardous Waste Division has put together a series of educational tip sheets to help businesses with their pollution prevention and waste minimization efforts. The tip sheets cover: hazardous waste, auto body shops, vehicle service facilities, painting, dry cleaning, laboratories, oilfield services, and utility power plants.
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Exploring Human Health and the Built Environment 05/16/2005
The newly published issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (the Journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) focuses on how the places we live, work and play affect our health. "Substantial scientific evidence gained in the past decade has shown that various aspects of the built environment can have profound, directly measurable effects on both physical and mental health outcomes, particularly adding to the burden of illness among ethnic minority populations and low-income communities." Articles also showcase innovative city efforts that bring health considerations into urban planning (mold, air pollution, lead, diesel, etc.) All articles in the issue are available on-line.
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North Dakota: Governor Announces Public Works Week 05/13/2005
Governor Hoeven has announced that the week of May 15-21, 2005 will be Public Works Week. Public Works Week celebrates the contributions of public works professionals, including those who manage community water, sewer, public transportation, and refuse-removal systems, as well as those who are responsible for maintaining public buildings and grounds.
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EPA Announces Grant Opportunities For Clean Diesel 05/06/2005
The EPA announced under its National Clean Diesel Campaign that it will be accepting applications for projects that will reduce emissions from nonroad vehicles and equipment. The EPA anticipates awarding 8-12 grants, ranging from $50,000-$150,000. The deadline for receipt of applications is July 1, 2005. There is also a link for the grant application from the EPA's website.
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Montana: Alternative Fuel Becoming More Popular 04/22/2005
With the price of diesel increasing, an entrepeneur is finding a way to create alternative diesel by using used frying oil. Other groups such as the Alternative Energy Resource Organization, and Sustainable Systems are also making alternative fuels. AERO is also trying to establish a new co-op that would use frying oil and Montana seed crops to create alternative fuels.
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Utah: Naural Gas Refueling Device Now Offered to Residents 04/22/2005
Salt Lake City residents now have a natural gas option for their cars. The Honda Civic GX, which runs on natural gas, can be bought in California and a Canadian company offers a home refueling device for it. The refueling device uses the home's existing natural gas lines. According to Honda, a car with a natural gas-powered engine emits on average 87% less nitrogen oxide, 70% less carbon monoxide and 25% less carbon dioxide than a car with an engine that uses gasoline. So far, the refueling device will only be offered to Salt Lake residents along with residents of Arizona, Dallas and Milwaukee.
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South Dakota: Tax Break For Biodiesel Fuel Approved 04/06/2005
A state legislative panel voted to temporarily reduce the state excise tax on biodiesel fuels made from soybeans from $0.22/gallon to $0.20/gallon in order to increase biodiesel sales. Representative Joel Dykstra said the reductions would help promote the biodiesel industry in South Dakota with the added benefit that biodiesel is good for the environment.
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Utah: EPA Comments on Proposed Legacy Parkway Project 03/22/2005
The EPA released a letter commenting on a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Legacy Parkway, a 14-mile, four lane, limited access highway that would relieve traffic congestion in the Salt Lake Valley. The EPA commends the plan as an improvement over a previous Environmental Impact Study in that the new plan allows a larger mitigation preserve, restoration of additional wetlands in the preserve, and fewer impacts to the wetlands overall as a result of a reduction in the width of the rights-of-way. Utah DOT Battles Environmental Groups Over Project
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Colorado: Regional Air Quality Council Receives Federal Grant 02/23/2005
The EPA announced the award of $1.6 million to 18 grantees for projects designed to demonstrate effective emissions reduction strategies for diesel fleets. Among the grantees was the Regional Air Quality Council of the Denver Area. They won a federal grant worth $75,000 to install diesel oxidation catalysts and closed crankcase filtration systems on nonroad vehicles at construction sites.
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ACEEE Releases 2005 Green Car Guide 02/17/2005
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) announced this year's "greenest" vehicles, along with the environmental scorings of all model year 2005 cars and passenger trucks. Vehicles are analyzed on the basis of a "Green Score," a measure that incorporates tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and the emissions of other gases. For another year, the greenest vehicle of the year is Honda's natural gas-powered Civic GX. Larger vehicles are also included in the "green" guide such as pickups, SUV's, and minivans.
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Intrepid Begins Commercial Use of Bio Gas 02/14/2005
Intrepid Technology and Resources, Inc. announced that the methane gas being produced at its plant in Idaho has come a step closer in producing clean gas for residential, commericial and transportation applications. Intrepid Technology is involved in the Methane to Market technology and production of biogas products and services.
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EPA and Ford Test New Clean Diesel Technology 01/31/2005
The EPA and Ford Motor Company are refining and testing new clean diesel technology that has the potential for commercial application. It would meet stringent EPA tailpipe emission standards and is more fuel-efficient than gasoline. It is called Clean Diesel Combustion (CDC), which was developed and patented by EPA.
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National Tribal Conference on Environmental Managment 01/18/2005
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) is sponsoring the 7th National Tribal Conference on Environmental Management (NTCEM) in Traverse City, Michigan June 7 - 10, 2005. The conference theme is "Sacred Ground: Sustainability for Indian Country and the Earth." The conference will be held at the tribally owned Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. The organizing committee is seeking presentation proposals (to be submitted by February 15, 2005).
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Denver Airport Honored with Environmental Award 12/30/2004
Denver International Airport has been accepted into the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program because of the airport’s efforts to improve the environment. Some of the airport's achievements include: reducing hazardous solid waste, a voluntary cleanup of construction debris, and recycling nearly two million gallons of propylene glycol. The program is administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
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Insurance Company Wants Environmental Training for Auto Body Shops 12/29/2004
Allstate is asking more than 3200 auto body repair facilities that participate in its direct repair program, to complete an autobody-specific environmental and safety-training program. This program is an online course designed to focus on safety and environmental issues specific to the vehicle repair industry. Items covered in the program include how to properly handle and dispose of hazardous materials including antifreeze, oil, and paint.
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Washington: Tighter Vehicle Standards Being Proposed by the State 12/02/2004
New automobile emissions standards are being proposed by Washington state that would come in line with California's tough emission standards. The effort would put Washington in the forefront of other states in the battle to reduce global warming.
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Colorado: Corporation Secures Funding to Test Clean Vehicle Technology 10/28/2004
EnviroFit International Ltd., a Colorado non-profit corporation announced that it has received a pledge of $500,000 from the Bohemian Foundation to fund a field test of its clean vehicle technology in Asia. During the field test, a fleet of low-emission, three-wheeled tricycles will operate on the streets of the Philippines in 2005 using technology developed at Colorado State University. The field test is expected to confirm that the vehicles will achieve the same 90 percent pollution reduction and 35 percent fuel savings as the prototypes.
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Colorado: Project Provides Cleaner School Buses This Winter 10/28/2004
School buses in the St. Vrain Valley School District will deliver both students and improved air quality in North Boulder County this winter, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Dozens of buses will be outfitted with oxidation catalysts to significantly reduce emissions. The district also will install some anti-idling block heaters, implement a biodiesel fuel program, and create driver and family education and training programs as part of the approximately $150,000 project.
Original Story
Road Deicing Effects Studied 10/27/2004
In northern regions of the globe, roads can be a major source of contamination of surrounding soils and water bodies as a consequence of spreading road salt, sand and other materials for winter road maintenance.
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Montana: Montana Department of Transportation to use glass cullet in road bases 09/10/2004
The Montana Department of Transportation announced it will soon receive a mobile glass pulverizer. The pulverizer will process glass cullet into a form suitable for use in asphalt road bases and landscaping. The pulverizer is the result of a cooperative effort among several public and private entities, all concerned with finding innovative ways to reuse materials that would otherwise go to a landfill.
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Utah: Clean air called achievable 09/09/2004
Controlling air pollution can prevent disease. And Americans have been making progress in cleaning up the air, despite the fact that more cars are on the road burning fuels. The bad news is that even after all the improvements, health still suffers according to an overview about pollution, written by Brigham Young University professor and epidemiologist C. Arden Pope.
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EPA Certifies First Hybrid SUV 08/05/2004
The EPA has certified the first Hybrid SUV for sale in the United States. The 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid complies with the EPA's new emission standards for light-duty vehicles and trucks. Hybrid vehicles make use of an electric motor that supplements or, at times, takes over as the power source.
Original Story

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