Environmental Oversight Committee


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

12 noon, Butler/Wu, Private Dining Room

Committee Attendees: Michael McKay, Chair; Barclay Satterfield, Joe G. Conley, Janet Gruschow, Robin Izzo, Cathy Kunkel, Tom Nyquist , Stu Orefice, Don Weston, David Wilcove

Other Attendees: Jon Baer, Mary Banfield, Rick Curtis, Nathan Gregory, Christina Harris, Hallett Johnson, Robert Ortego, Lisa Ridolfi, Ellen Webster

Mike McKay welcomed everyone to the meeting.

1. Vehicle Report

Hallet Johnson ’04 presented his report to the Committee on the possibility of reducing the amount of gas emissions from the University fleet (Attachment A). A total of approximately 440 vehicles were examined, including 92 golf carts. The club carts on campus provided the largest amount of harmful emissions - carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other gases.

Replacing the golf cart fleet with electric General Electric Motorcars (GEM) and the advantages and disadvantages of the GEM car were also discussed.

Other items discussed were monitoring natural gas shuttles and trash trucks to make sure they live up to expectations, limiting idling time for campus safety officers, carpooling, and reducing the amount of commuting by faculty and staff.

2. Student Move Out Process

Jon Baer, Director of Building Services, discussed the student move out process. Jon stated during the last quarter of an academic year, when students are preparing for exams and getting ready to move out, recycling drops. Ways to get the students to buy into recycling during the move out process, advertising in the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, and better signage on the recycling bins were discussed.

Mike McKay suggested Jon contact Chris McCrudden for information on the Habitat for Humanity program to see if items left behind by the students could be donated.

3. Water Consumption Report

A preliminary evaluation of Princeton University’s water consumption practices, requested by the PEOC, was presented by Bob Ortego, Manager, Environmental Compliance, Engineering Department. Current practices and possible strategies to limit the environmental impact on the consumption of water at the university were discussed. Bob reported he contacted various administrative departments, reviewed historical records and government information for the report. Water conservation measurers will continue to be addressed in Facilities. A full copy of Bob’s report is attached to the minutes (Attachment B).


Hallett Johnson PEOC: Fleet Emissions Report
15 April 2004

Presented to Princeton Environmental Oversight Committee

Problem: Examine the possibility and feasibility of reducing the amount of harmful gas emissions of the University fleet by improving their fuel economy through alternate fuel usage and methods. Although we examined all of the vehicles in the fleet (see attached graphs) we found that the club carts on campus provide the largest disproportionate amount of harmful emissions. This report, although mentioning general limiting of gas emissions by the entire fleet, focuses on the availability of switching the gas carts used on campus over to hybrid/fully electric vehicles. If this first large step is successful, the results can then be extrapolated out to include the entire fleet, rather than just the carts. The carts represent 92 vehicles out of a total of around 440 vehicles that we can do something with. This is encouraging for the future.
The gas carts emit carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, hydrocarbons, and carbon dioxide. This report uses numbers provided by the cart manufacturer (attached) on their engines with the exception of the CO2, which was taken from the average emissions of CO2 emitted in gasoline.

Emission Rates
These calculations are based on averages for each cart. We estimated that each cart was used on average for 2.5 hours each week.
HC & NOx
2.5 hrs/wk x 52 wks/yr. x 10.5 hp x0.011 lb/hphr=15.015 lbs/yr x ton/2000lbs = 0.008 T/yr / cart x 90 carts ~ 0.7 tons / year NOx / Fleet

CO emissions:
2.5 hrs/wk x 52 wks/yr x 10.5 hp x 0.439 lbs/hphr = 599.235 lbs/yr x 1 ton/2000 lbs = 0.3 T/yr / Cart x 90 carts ~ 27 tons/yr CO

CO2 emissions:
2.5 hrs/wk x 52 wks/yr x 10.5 hp x 1.08 lbs/hphr = 1474.2 lbs/yr x 1 ton/2000 lbs = 0.7371 Tons/yr/cart x 90 carts = 66 Tons/yr Fleet

To put these numbers in context to other areas of high emissions on campus, the following is comparable data gathered from the Engineering department:
Power Plant: NOx = 79 Tons/yr. vs. Cart Fleet
CO = 92 Tons/yr.
CO2 = 90,000 Ton/yr.
Ford Taurus: NOx = 0.002 Tons/yr vs. Single Cart
CO = 0.032 Tons/yr.
CO2 = 2.21 Tons/yr
Taurus has more horsepower so naturally more CO2 emissions.
From data the Cart Fleet is surprisingly close to the power plant. Regarding the Ford Taurus, one cart = 4 Taurus’ in NOx emissions and 8 Taurus’ in CO emissions.

Alternative Solutions – directly regarding GEM vs. Club cart emissions

Replace the golf cart fleet with electric GEM (General Electric Motorcars) cars as we purchase new vehicles. This replacement will significantly lower emissions for NOx, CO, and CO2 from this class of University owned vehicles.

-The GEM car fully charges within six to eight hours by simply plugging it in to a standard 110-volt outlet and can then drive for up to 35 miles at speeds of around 25 miles an hour.
-The GEM car, because it is battery power, emits NO direct greenhouse gases. However, the power plants that generate the electricity for the batteries do emit CO2. These plants are much more efficient than the small golf cart engine, which minimizes the CO2 production per unit of energy. The GEM is also very efficient in power use because of its regenerative braking. Please see calculation above for Club car emissions
-Built specifically to US Department Of Transportation Standards - i.e. The GEM car features a strong yet lightweight aluminum space frame construction with room for up to four people and can be accessorized to meet specific needs of whichever department it is purchased for. Four wheel hydraulic regenerating brakes, independent front suspension and a great deal quieter than the gas cars. Runs silently – and is therefore equipped with a small horn to serve as a warning for pedestrians who may be in the way.
-Maintenance costs are a great deal lower than gas cars – virtually nonexistent – as there is no need for tune ups, and the lifespan is limitless depending on care given to the vehicle. Primary concern is the battery - in order to keep in good condition, the instructions on page 30 of the GEM manual should be thoroughly examined – as the carts have only been in existence for a few years, lifespan of the battery has not yet been solidly determined.
-Chuck Gash in the Princeton garage supplied figures showing that the average oil filter change, oil tuneup, and general repairs for the average gas car is around $90. If the cart is repaired bi annually, that’s around $180 in minimal repairs for one car during a year. As the fleet of carts stands currently at around 100 carts, that’s $18,000 in repairs, each year. This number is inexcusably high and easily fixed with the purchase of the GEM carts. (see attached sheets)

DISADVANTAGES – comparison of costs: short-term & long-term
-While the GEM car is relatively affordable, the short term costs to switch the fleet over will be rather high. Fully loaded (hard doors, heater, locking swivelpack for additional cargo and hauling, scuff guards, accessory plug, doc fee and additional one year warranty) makes the car around $9500. With certain deals that the University may be able to obtain, this number can drop to around $8000 per purchase – depending on bulk, etc.
-The average gas cart on campus currently costs anywhere between $1300 for used carts, up to $13,000 for the bigger, fully loaded maintenance carts. For the fiscal year 2003, the average cost of a gas cart was $6,998.70. When compared with the prices of the GEM carts, the gas carts short term fiscal impact is a positive, but only slightly. There seems to be no overwhelming evidence supporting the continued purchasing of gas powered carts.

Personal Thoughts
After having driven both of the vehicles, I can honestly say that I am extremely impressed with the GEM car. I feel that it runs a great deal smoother than the gas carts and is easier to control. There is more room in the interior, and although not quite as much carrying capacity as the gas carts, I’m sure there will be accessories to the GEM car in the near future that can remedy this problem. The GEM cart, as mentioned earlier, is also extremely quiet, which is a major positive as the level of noise pollution as a result of the gas carts is a complaint amongst the student body on campus. Not only does the cart start saving immediately with its impact on the environment in terms of lowering of gas emissions, but also noise pollution; while the long term savings of maintenance and upkeep are positive ones as well. Although the short term costs of replacing the fleet will be on the high side, as would be any transition – these expenditures are the same if not less that is already being spent on the gas carts currently. The long term affects of the replacement are limitlessly positive and ones that should be further examined and put into place immediately.

Examination of other areas of Fleet:

Furthermore, Princeton has 39 passenger cars, another area which could quickly be replaced to save on gas emissions. Upon quick examination, the passenger vehicles get around 25 miles/gallon while the alternative, Prius – would get close to 50. Similarly, Ford is also coming out with a hybrid SUV called the Escape in the near future that could also be used on campus. This should be the subject of future research.
The University should also closely monitor the natural gas shuttles and trash trucks to make sure that they live up to expectations from a maintenance and fuel cost vantage point. Similarly, as the old gas ones break down these should be replaced if the current ones are living up to the determined standards.

Non-monetary Solutions for all fleet vehicles:
-Limit idling time for campus safety officers and University regulated vehicles.
-Promote carpooling – along with this, promote the inter-departmental use of vehicles. As seen with the attached charts, some departments have an extremely large fleet, while others do not. Establish a policy of sharing vehicles between certain overlapping University departments. Also create a policy that has one individual overseeing all of the vehicle purchasing on campus, so that there is no overlap.
-Reduce amount of commuting by faculty and staff – which is the largest source of emissions by the university. Possibly use some of the existing fleet as a commuting service for members of faculty and staff that live in the area. This should include examination of the parking situation as well as a breakdown of where most of the faculty and staff live in the area.

Christina Straub Remson Dodge
cell: 732.904.2755 Hazlet, NJ 07730
office: 732.739.1300


Preliminary Evaluation of Princeton University’s
Water Consumption Practices
Robert F. Ortego, Manager, Environmental Compliance
Facilities Engineering Department
April 2004

An evaluation of the University’s overall water requirements was requested by the Princeton Environmental Oversight Committee (PEOC) to determine current practices and potential strategies to limit the environmental impact of Princeton’s consumption of potable water. This preliminary study was conducted by reviewing historical records, contacting various administrative departments and researching available government information.

The water demand on campus required to support daily living encompasses: the student population, laboratory research, comfort cooling and various other activities necessary for the functioning of the overall University complex. The information below highlights some of the largest consumers of potable water on campus:

Functional Description Annual Volume Volume per Day (Gallons) (Gallons)
A. Major Laboratories –
1. Engineering Quadrangle 8,878,628.0 24,325.0
2. Frick/Hoyt Laboratory 8,239,047.0 22,573.0
3. Lewis Thomas Laboratory 10,211,658.0 27,977.0
4. Schultz/Moffett/Guyot 5,911,107.0 16,195.0

B. Residential Housing - 71,909,491.0 197,012.0

C. Chilled Water Plant - 78,708,019.0 215,638.0

D. Co-Generation Plant - 33,763,074.0 92,502.0

E. Administrative Buildings – 19,836,095.0 54,346.0

Totals 237,457,119.0 650,568.0

The water provided to the campus is supplied by the Elizabethtown Water Company and in the case of the Chilled Water Plant, is supplemented by an on-site production well. Since the annual and daily consumption indicates a large demand for daily operation of the facility, which is typical of many large institutions and industries, practices have been instituted over the years to reduce the water requirements. Many government regulations have also been mandated over recent years due to this current trend in the United States.

One effective change was the Energy Policy Act of 1992 that required the use of low flow plumbing for residential housing. Today, most fixtures (i.e., toilets, urinals, shower heads, etc.) available for purchase by industry are considered low flow equipment. University changes over the years have also followed these institutional conservation measures and are highlighted below.

A. Building and Maintenance Department –

1. Plumbing Department use of low flow fixtures:
a.) toilets < 1.6 gallons/flush;
b.) urinals < 1.0 gallons/flush;
c.) faucets < 2.2 gallons/minute
(equipped with aerators);
d.) shower heads < 2.5 gallons/minute;
e.) instantaneous hot water heaters.

2. Grounds Department:
a.) limited irrigation practices due to plantings.

B. Facility Engineering Department -

1. University Chilled Water Plant –
a.) installation and upgrade to more efficient chiller units;
b.) better water treatment that reduces cooling tower blowdown;
c.) conversion of laboratory lasers and other equipment from city water cooling to the University chilled water system.
2. University Co-Generation Plant –
a.) installation of new reverse osmosis system which lowers the amount of water used in the plant processes. Effluent from this system is used in the cooling tower systems;
b.) installation of new condensate return piping to minimize water losses with annual tracking of system.

C. Dining and Food Services Department –
1. Upgrade of all cafeterias to include modern dishwashing equipment;

Additional measures are still available on campus and may include better information provided to the overall University community. Some examples that are open for discussion include:

1. Brochure pamphlets provided to all incoming freshmen about water conservation;
2. Minor stenciling on all bathroom mirrors shadowing “conserve water”;
3. Campus wide emailing to all administrators indicating University efforts to limit water consumption.
4. Conversion of laundry facilities to use of front-loading, high efficiency washing machines for dormitories when required.

Facilities will continue to address water conservation measures for the University operations and may include use of new burner management in the case of the Co-Generation plant. Again, this information should be considered preliminary and is open for further development and discussion.

Blue Bar

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