Biodiesel to be Part of NY’s Cleaner Heating Oil Plan

John Davis

New York City is trying to clean up the emissions from the city’s burning of heating oil, and biodiesel is part of the plan for the Big Apple to go greener.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Quinn that they have agreed on legislation to cut allowable sulfur levels for No. 4 heating oil in half. This press release from the Environmental Defense Fund says this bill will also work with current state law that tries to cut the pollution levels from the 9,500 buildings in New York City, which burn the dirtiest of diesel fuel grades and put out more pollution than all cars and trucks on the city’s streets combined:

“This landmark legislation shows that the mayor, the speaker and city council members care deeply about New Yorkers breathing cleaner air and living a healthier life,” said Andy Darrell, New York regional director and deputy director of Environmental Defense Fund’s national energy program, and a member of New York Mayor Bloomberg’s Sustainability Advisory Board…

The recently enacted state law—requiring regular No. 2 heating oil to go down to 15 ppm sulfur levels—will reduce emissions from all No. 2 heating oil burning buildings dramatically…

This new law also require that all heating oil contains 2% biodiesel, resulting in about 20 million gallons of biodiesel replacing petroleum heating oil. EDF hopes that this law will help stimulate the local waste vegetable oil market and that more restaurants will have their cooking grease turned into biodiesel. From an environmental perspective, it’s best to use the local restaurant grease right here in New York City, rather than shipping it to landfills or even worse, pouring it down the drain illegally, which does tremendous damage to sewage treatment plants.