Improving Air Quality with Biodiesel

One Chicago school bus company has taken a big step to see that thousands of Chicago area schoolchildren are breathing cleaner air by using soy-based biodiesel fuel to reduce the emissions from its diesel-powered school buses.

Cook-Illinois Corp. was the first school bus service in Illinois to switch to B20 biodiesel fuel, which reduces the hazardous exhaust emissions by 15-20 percent. Operating more than 1,400 school buses in 26 communities, it is among several large bus fleets in the country converting to biodiesel fuel. “Every day, families entrust us with the safety of their children,” John Benish, COO of Cook-Illinois Corp. said. “As a Chicago leader in alternative fuels, we wanted to be the first to improve the air quality and provide a cleaner and safer atmosphere for schoolchildren.” Beyond providing a healthier environment by improving the air quality in local communities, the move was part of the Illinois Clean School Bus Program, developed and administered by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Because of these efforts, Cook-Illinois Corp. was named a Clean Bus Leader by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the National Clean Bus Network.
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