NYC biodiesel-blended heating oil requirement starts Oct. 1
As New York City residents prepare for another winter, they can take comfort in knowing their oilheat is among the cleanest in the nation. Starting Oct. 1, every gallon of oilheat in the city will contain at least 2 percent biodiesel. The blend is known as Bioheat fuel, a greener heating oil that is gaining popularity in Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.
In 2010, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an air quality bill that included the Bioheat provision for heating homes and buildings. A New York State bill also required a switch to ultra-low sulfur heating oil, which took place in July.
“In passing this legislation, we set the stage to prevent the burning of 20 million gallons of petroleum each year,” said City Councilman James F. Gennaro, who sponsored the legislation. “This is the carbon equivalent of taking 30,000 cars off the road in New York City. But it's only the first step. Between the statewide requirement for ultra-low sulfur heating oil and this landmark Bioheat mandate, we are really starting to see the green future of home heating.”
Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from agricultural byproducts and coproducts such as soybean oil, and other fats and oils, including at least one abundant resource in New York City: recycled restaurant grease. It is the only domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel in the U.S., and supports 39,000 American jobs.
“Our members truly recognize Bioheat as the evolution of oilheat,” said John Maniscalco, CEO of the New York Oil Heating Association, which strongly supported the Bioheat mandate. “NYOHA has worked closely with the National Biodiesel Board in ensuring that our member companies and their customers recognize the many environmental and other benefits of Bioheat and we are proud to say that Bioheat usage has already increased dramatically. We are just getting started.”
Maniscalco points out that many pioneering New Yorkers have used even higher blends of biodiesel in their heating oil for years.
The National Biodiesel Board hailed the groundbreaking municipal legislation.
“The consumer is the ultimate benefactor of this law, now having access to truly 21st Century heating oil,” said Paul Nazzaro, who spearheads the Bioheat education program for the National Biodiesel Board. “The entire petroleum supply chain deserves credit for making the changes needed to embrace blending biodiesel with heating oil to deliver Bioheat.”
Biodiesel used in Bioheat fuel is eligible to meet the federal renewable fuel standard, which requires 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel be blended into the fuel supply in 2012.
No other city has a Bioheat requirement in place, but several states have passed requirements that will go into effect when contingent states pass similar laws.