COLUMBUS, OH - By reducing diesel emissions and using more alternative fuels on nearly 800 snow plows, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has earned one of the state's first "Ohio Green Fleets" certifications.

Officials from Clean Fuels Ohio, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority certified ODOT's effort at the inaugural Ohio Green Fleets Award Ceremony Aug. 13 in Columbus.

Over the past eight months, nearly half of the dump trucks and snow plows ODOT uses for combating ice and snow have become "Green Fleets" certified, according to the department.

ODOT Director Jolene Molitoris expects the remainder of ODOT's snow plow fleet to be certified by the end of the year. "Each day, we are working to make ODOT a more environmentally-conscious department and a green leader in the nation."

As part of the "Go with Green" initiative, ODOT crews are reducing engine idle time on these large trucks - which reduces diesel emissions into the air - and are using more biodiesel as an alternative fuel whenever possible.

Over the past year, ODOT purchased more than 1.8 million gallons of B-20 biodiesel for its fleet statewide.

According to Clean Fuels Ohio, ODOT's fleet has made great strides to reduce harmful vehicle emissions and petroleum fuel consumption.

Clean Fuels Ohio is a statewide nonprofit, organization dedicated to increasing the use of cleaner and energy-efficient domestic fuels and vehicles in order to improve air quality and health, reduce climate change, curb dependence on imported petroleum, and support Ohio's economy.