(10/04/2006)
Calhoun's school buses are going bio-diesel, according to facilities and transportation director Donnie Pitts.

Pitts said the fuel is gradually being mixed in the buses to alleviate problems.

Calhoun joins 14 other counties using bio-diesel.

"There was a problem with delivery, but that seems to be solved," Pitts said. "We're fully involved in the switch, which helps the county system financially."

The fuel a biological agent mixed with traditional diesel helps county school systems get more money from the state.

Roane county transportation director Woody Wilson saying "I just think it's a good thing to do for the environment. And it's a good way to keep us from depending on foreign oil."

Kanawha County began using bio-diesel this year, as did Clay and Wirt.

The Department of Education reimburses counties up to 95 percent of their fuel costs if they can prove they use an alternative fuel. Otherwise, they get 90 percent, according to the Gazette.

Proponents of bio-diesel claim it improves student health.

The environmentally friendly fuel isn't inexpensive.

Roane County pays about three cents less per gallon for regular diesel, which could save the county about $50,000 in reimbursements a year.

Changing to bio diesel doesn't require any tinkering with bus engines or fuel lines.


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