PHOENIX, AZ - The National Biodiesel Board recognized Ford Motor Co., New York City, and other biodiesel champions at the annual "Eye on Biodiesel" awards presentation. The awards were presented at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo on Tuesday, Feb. 8, in Phoenix. 

Here are the winners in the various award categories:

Influence Category: City of New York (New York City Department of Sanitation and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation) -- The New York City Department of Sanitation uses biodiesel blends of B5-B20 in its 4,000 diesel vehicles, which include many large trucks and snow plows. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has operated its diverse fleet of vehicles as well as more than 130 buildings on B20-B100 blends since 2006. 

In addition, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed landmark air-quality legislation that includes a provision requiring all heating oil sold within New York City to contain at least 2 percent biodiesel by October 1, 2012. By moving to environmentally friendly Bioheat, the city will annually replace approximately 20 million gallons of petroleum-based heating fuel. Because of these two departments' commitment to cleaner fuels, New York City is the nation's largest municipal user of biodiesel.

Impact Category: Ford Motor Co. -- Ford Motor Co. undertook the task of designing, engineering and manufacturing its entire lineup of all-new Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks with the specific goal of supporting the use of B20 biodiesel blends for all its diesel customers. Ford's investment in the research, development and testing efforts that led to that support is now signified by the silver B20 emblem displayed on the side of every new Ford Super Duty diesel truck. 

Inspiration Category: Deer Valley Unified School District -- This Arizona school district began its biodiesel program in 1999, long before the fuel was a known quantity. Now the district uses biodiesel blends from B5 to B50 in all 236 school buses. Transportation Director Nick Portonova said he routinely takes calls from across the nation, helping answer questions that other fleets have. Portonova added the biggest benefit of using biodiesel is the healthier choice they are making for their students.

Industry Partnership Category: Nebraska Soybean Board -- The Nebraska Soybean Board has been a leader among state soybean organizations in its support of biodiesel. Staff and farmer leaders regularly support and participate in critical biodiesel projects and events.

Initiative Category: NBB Grassroots Team Captains -- The grassroots lobbying program centers on team captains who carry out targeted objectives in their states. Since July 2009 the team captains have rallied contacts in key states to support a positive legislative framework for the biodiesel industry. In just six weeks, NBB Grassroots Team Captains generated 8,000 comments on pending federal legislation.

Innovation Category: Disneyland Resort - To meet tighter California environmental regulations, Disney Imagineers and the staff at the Disneyland Resort decided to make a change. The resort transitioned its diesel-powered steam trains to B98, a blend of 98 percent biodiesel and 2 percent petroleum diesel. Now, most of the biodiesel used is made from recycled cooking oil from the resort's own kitchens. The resort is a national landmark whose effort to reduce emissions through biodiesel displaces 200,000 gallons of petroleum diesel each year.

"Biodiesel, America's advanced biofuel, would not be what it is today without champions and supporters like these Eye on Biodiesel honorees," said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board.