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Biofuels Bill in Governor’s Hands

After almost four years, the passage of HB 807 in the last week of session, gives the state Ag Department regulatory authority and enforcement tools over the biodiesel blends mandated under Act 78 of 2008.  The legislation amends the Pennsylvania Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act.  Governor Corbett must sign or veto the bill by July 6.

The bill establishes Ag Department authority, registration, blending, testing and record keeping requirements and establishes penalties for violations of the act. The provisions both protect the in-state biodiesel industry and consumers, insuring that the biodiesel blends made available for cars and trucks meet international standards and are blended properly. Diesel fuel for on road use in Pennsylvania currently must contain two percent biodiesel (B2), and when in state production reaches 100 million gallons, that will increase to five percent (B5). The bill also provides for mandated percentages of cellulosic ethanol blends when in state production of cellulosic ethanol hits certain targets, and exemptions for some types of fuels.

The bill was negotiated over more than three years among the biodiesel industry, oil refiners, the terminal industry, petroleum wholesalers and retailers, food merchants, and engine manufacturers’ groups.