SNOHOMISH, WA - A state grant will allow Snohomish County to retrofit part of its diesel fleet, further reducing the county’s overall pollution emissions.

The county will retrofit 24 diesel vehicles through the State Department of Ecology’s Heavy Duty Diesel Retrofit Grant Program. The grant is worth $57,299. Since 2005, emission-reduction improvements have been made to an additional 109 diesel vehicles.

Snohomish County continues to be a leader in fleet emission control, and was recently honored as the third best government green fleet in North America by 100 Best Fleets.

“We have the opportunity to set the right tone for future generations to follow,” County Executive Aaron Reardon said. “Whether through emissions reductions, waste disposal, transportation policy or recycling, we are setting Snohomish County on a greener path.”

The county also scored in the top 100 overall by 100 Best Fleets for its innovation and efforts to improve efficiencies in government fleets. Judging is based on accountability, technology implementation, collaboration, creativity, efficiency, staff development and other criteria.

Snohomish County’s fleet management continues to reduce vehicle emissions and improve environmental practices. Today, about 70 percent of the county’s diesel fleet is operating on B-20 biodiesel, reducing carbon emissions by 640 metric tons annually. The county is on target to convert its entire diesel fleet to B20 biodiesel by 2010 and will convert to B-40 biodiesel by 2014.

The county also is working with farmers to locally grow and produce the biofuel used in the vehicles. Through federal, state and local funding, Snohomish County recently purchased a canola dryer, which runs off methane gas produced by a closed county landfill.

“Working in partnership with our community, we are reducing our impact on the environment, as well as our greenhouse-gas emissions, while saving taxpayer dollars and improving our local economy,” Reardon said.