New York state mandates “bioheating fuel” effective July 2018

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law on September 13 a bill requiring the blending of biodiesel into heating oil sold in three downstate counties in the U.S. state, in alignment with the state’s environmental conservation efforts.

The bill mandates that effective July 1, 2018, all heating oil sold for use in all buildings within the counties of Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester contain at least 5% biodiesel. Referred to as “bioheating fuel” in the bill, the fuel is comprised of biodiesel blended with petroleum heating oil that meets the specifications of ASTM D396 or “other specifications as determined by the commissioner.”

Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Senator Phil Boyle sponsored the legislation, which was supported by a broad range of industry and environmental advocates.

“New York has long been a leader in recognizing the environmental, public health and economic benefits of biodiesel, not only in transportation applications but in the heating oil market as well,” said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Donnell Rehagen.  “We commend Governor Cuomo for signing this important bill that will provide cleaner air for more New Yorkers by improving emissions from heating oil.”

NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.

Biodiesel was the first alternative fuel designated as an “advanced biofuel” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has been verified to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% compared to petroleum. Under the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard, biodiesel receives credit for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

New York City, the largest municipal consumer of heating oil in the United States, instituted a citywide 2% biodiesel requirement in 2012 that increases to 5% on October 1, 2017. Now the entire New York City Metropolitan Area, representing approximately 70% of the state’s heating oil market, will have a 5% biodiesel blending requirement.

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification.  To be called biodiesel, the fuel must meet the strict quality specifications of ASTM D6751.