PA. Biodiesel Mandate Awaits Sustained Triggers

John Davis

Pennsylvania’s 2 percent biodiesel mandate, passed earlier this year, is on hold, despite the fact that the state is meeting a 40-million-gallon-a-year biodiesel production threshold.

This story from Biodiesel Magazine explains that there are some certification and sustainability measures that must also be met for the requirement to kick in:

Conditions that need to be met above and beyond the in-state volume requirements include certification that the biodiesel meets ASTM D6751 quality standards and installation of the necessary infrastructure, [John Nikoloff, a partner with the Pennsylvania Energy Resources Group LLC] said. “There is no storage infrastructure – storage facilities are not in place in the southeast part of the state,” Nikoloff told the conference audience. “There needs to be heated tanks with nitrogen blankets on top, so until that happens the mandate doesn’t take effect.”

Implementation of the Pennsylvania B2 mandate is under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. [Ben Wootten, Pennsylvania Biodiesel Producers Group spokesman and Keystone Biofuels Inc. president] explained how the process is intended to work. “When in-state production reaches 40 MMgy, they’ll look at us for three months and if they annualize those figures and it reaches the 40 MMgy threshold, then the trigger starts,” Wootten said. “The trigger is a 12-month waiting period so if it takes us six to 12 months to prove we meet the trigger point, then there’s 12 months until the mandate is enforced.” The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture may look at production numbers dating back to January, Wootten said, adding that if in-state production met the threshold then, it could count towards the trigger period.

The article goes on to say that the two men disagree on whether some of the infrastructure requirements at the pumps are delaying the implementation of the mandate as well.