Following New York City's lead, New York has now passed legislation requiring that all heating oil sold in the state contain at least 2% biodiesel, a product also known as bioheat.
Biodiesel is the first alternative fuel designated as an advanced biofuel by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reach a billion gallons of annual production, the National Biodiesel Board said. It is domestically produced from agricultural co-products and byproducts such as soybean oil, animal fats, and recycled cooking oil.
The legislation calls for all heating oil sold in the City of New York, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, and Rockland counties to contain at least 2% biodiesel by Oct. 1, 2014, and all heating oil sold statewide to meet this standard by July 1, 2015. The legislation will become effective upon the governor's signature.
Julia Robbins, Executive Director, New York Corn and Soybean Association, said the policy will provide farmers a new market for soybean oil. The NBB estimates that the 2% standard will replace about 30 million gallons of petroleum annually with the bioheat.
In New York City, testing has shown that biodiesel blended with traditional heating oil improves fuel efficiency through cleaning and preserving equipment, John Maniscalco, CEO of the New York Oil Heating Association said.
"This law extends these tremendous benefits to all New Yorkers and will provide the state with the cleanest, most sustainable heating oil in the country," he added.
The legislation was supported by the City of New York, Office of the Mayor; NYC Citywide Administrative Services; Environmental Defense Fund; American Lung Association in New York; New York League of Conservation Voters; WE ACT for Environmental Justice; Environmental Advocates of New York; New York Public Interest Research Group; Empire State Petroleum Association, Inc.; Oil Heat Institute of Long Island; New York Oil Heating Association, Inc.; United Metro Energy Corp.; New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association; and the National Biodiesel Board.