Thursday, June 26, 2008

Preserving Access To Biodiesel In California - SB 1574

The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRB) recently issued a letter indicating that biodiesel cannot be used in underground storage tanks (USTs) because Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has not certified the USTs for use with biodiesel. The UST equipment manufactures have tested biodiesel with their equipment and approved them for use with biodiesel, but UL has not had sufficient time to complete its certification processes as it has been focused on other fuels like ethanol. This threatened to shut down municipal biodiesel programs and biodiesel stations throughout the state. The California Biodiesel Alliance sponsored SB 1574 to create a grace period for UL to compete its work, allowing biodiesel to continue to be used in USTs during the grace period.

I have included below a representative sample of a support letter, this one from the Mayor of Stockton, who's program was in jeopardy of being shut down.

We still have work to do to get this bill passed. It has been wonderful to receive broad based support for this bill and we are hopefully it will become law shortly.

Eric

* * *

June 24, 2008
FAX 916-319-2106
The Honorable Jared Huffman, Chairman
Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxics Materials Committee
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

SUBJECT: SUPPORT FOR SB 1574

I am writing to express our support for SB 1574, which will allow biodiesel stations and fleets operators to continue to use biodiesel in underground storage tanks (UST).

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRB) has recently issued a letter indicating that biodiesel cannot be used in UST because Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has not certified the UST for use with biodiesel. The UST equipment manufactures have tested biodiesel with their equipment and approved them for use with biodiesel, but UL has not had sufficient time to complete its certification processes as it has been focused on other fuels like ethanol. SB 1574 creates a grace period for UL to compete its work, allowing biodiesel to continue to be used in UST during the grace period, which will expire as soon as the UL standards are in place or until January 1, 2012, whichever is sooner.

The need for this legislation is extremely urgent. In a few short months, local enforcement agencies have moved quickly, shutting down city-run programs in Santa Monica and Pasadena, threatening the city of Stockton’s program, and red-tagging pumps at fueling stations around the state, making it illegal for them to receive future biodiesel shipments. Important state goals like the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and AB 32 are seriously threatened by this situation. Biodiesel is the only low carbon diesel fuel available on the market today.

We strongly support SB 1574, which would allow biodiesel fueling to continue while cities and industry cooperate to insure the best certification for underground storage tanks, pipes, and fittings. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.

Sincerely,



EDWARD J. CHAVEZ
MAYOR

EJC:CT:jml

cc: Louie Brown, CBA Lobbyist (FAX 916-448-3850)

2 comments:

Gary said...

It's a shame that the government puts up this kind of resistance against biodiesel. It's not like we don't "expect" it, but it would be nice if they wouldn't be so quickly and blantantly swayed by the "forces."

I'm trying to avoid harboring traditional paranoid thinking, but with respect to alternative fuels, it seems to me that the government needs to be bending over backwards to get any and all viable forms in place, doing so while providing extentions, breaks and other forms of support.

The biodiesel infrastructure has rolled out with a great deal of effort and attention paid to safe storage and other practices. Why does the gov't want to take two steps backwards? Safety factors of biodiesel over other fuels can be clearly established. Do we need to jump through all the regulatory hoops, business as usual? We have profound fuel problems and it's incumbent upon the government to show profound types of support!

RADscientist said...

Thanks for the great post. I live in the SouthEast US and used to buy biodiesel (B100) made from poultry fat from processing plants in North Georgia. It was consistently $.15/gallon cheaper than diesel. Unfortunately, companies from China now purchase every bit of rendered poultry fat and pay a processor in Rome, GA to make it into biodiesel and ship it by the container load to China. Now I have to pay a premium for biodiesel produced from virgin soy oil. This one disadvantage of letting the free market set the price and availability of fuel.
- Veggie Ranger
www.greasology.org