CVPS switches to biodegradable chainsaw oil

first_imgAdding to a long list of environmental firsts, Central Vermont Public Service will become the first utility in the country to abandon traditional fossil-fuel chainsaw bar and chain oil, removing thousands of gallons annually from Vermont’s environment.“Every drop of bar and chain oil ends up in the fields and forests,” CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said.  “We’ll be taking the equivalent of a thousand five-gallon pails of oil out of the environment every year.  This decision will pay big dividends for Vermont plants, birds, animals and amphibians.” Starting June 1, dozens of CVPS-contracted tree-trimming crews will be required to use a new biodegradable chain and bar oil made from animal fat. The product, GreenOil, is produced by Green Earth Technologies, which has developed a series of new oils as alternatives to fossil fuels.  CVPS uses seven different tree companies and typically has up to 55 tree crews working statewide at any given time.Between 1,200 and 1,400 miles of distribution and transmission lines are cleared per year. Bar oil is automatically fed from a chainsaw to lubricate the chain, but it ultimately flies off into the environment.  The new oil will begin to break down almost immediately in the environment, as bacteria feed on the natural animal product.“Petroleum-based chain oil takes years to breaks down,” CVPS Forestry Manager Duane Dickinson said.  “GreenOil, the product we will use, will break down in a matter of days, and there is no chance of contamination of water sources or the food chain.”The new oil will cost a little more than regular oil, but Dickinson said it was worth a couple of extra dollars per gallon.  “In the grand scheme of things, the minor added cost is worth protecting the lands and waters of the state Vermont,” Dickinson said.  “Our forestry program is designed to not only maintain reliable electrical service but to do it in environmentally responsible ways.“Our Forestry Vegetation Management Plan includes constantly looking at new technologies and techniques to minimize environmental impacts,” Dickinson said. “This new product does exactly that. It fits our goals to protect the environment of Vermont and reduce dependency on petroleum products.”CVPS was the first utility in the world to feed wind power onto the electric grid; the first in New England to operate a hybrid-electric bucket truck; and the first in the world to offer customers fully renewable energy generated from cow manure through CVPS Cow Power™.CAPTION: Justin Lyman of Pawlet, a worker for Davey Tree Expert Company, a Central Vermont Public Service contractor, works high in a tree along a CVPS right-of-way in Mendon Thursday.CVPS’s Forestry Department has earned numerous awards and honors over the years. CVPS has won the National Arbor Day Foundation Tree Line USA Award every year since 2003.  It won the 2005 National Wild Turkey Federation National Land Stewardship Award and the 2003 Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Environmental Stewardship & Resource Protection.  CVPS is also a charter member of the National Wild Turkey Federation Energy to Wildlife Program.Source: CVPS. 5.14.2010. Green Planet Products LLC of Schenectady, N.Y., is the East Coast Distributor for Green Earth Technologieslast_img