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Ontario Biodiesel Regs. Inch Closer

TORONTO, ON — The Ontario government announced that it’s going ahead with a provincial biodiesel mandate, requiring the fuel to be made up of four percent biofuel by 2017.

In December 2013, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment called for an annual average of two percent biofuel content in all diesel fuel sold in the province for the period of April 2014 to December 31 2015. The next step was an annual average of biofuel content of four percent biodiesel starting after 2016, but on April 1, the ministry published a regulation that delays full implementation to 2017.

The new regulation calls for three percent biofuel content in all diesel fuel sold in the province as an intermediary phase before the full four percent mandate begins in 2017 and northern Ontario is excluded from the mandate until 2017.

The Ontario mandate, unlike the federal biodiesel mandate, will also require fuel producers to use biodiesel from plant based product. Currently, most of the biofuel content used to meet the federal mandate is synthetic and is imported from off-shore sources.

Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) President David Bradley commented: “It’s unfortunate that the legitimate concerns of the consumer were not more explicitly addressed when the Ministry of the Environment had the chance to do so during the writing of the regulation.”

The OTA had raised concerns about the averaging amounts and mandate timeline.

“The association fears [the mandate] will inevitably lead to the use of biodiesel with a higher biofuel content than that currently accepted by most heavy truck engine manufacturers’ warranties and the need for strict requirements for adherence to fuel quality standards,” the OTA stated in a press release.

The association pushed for a cap on biofuel at five percent.

“With the introduction of the regulations we have no choice but to see what happens,” Bradley said. “However, going forward, we’re calling upon the Ministry of the Environment to now work with us and the Ministry of Transportation to ensure that warranty issues, fuel quality and winter performance are monitored and corrective action taken when necessary.”

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ontario trucking fuel trucks regulations environment government diesel biofuel biodiesel