PA 10-74—sSB 382

Environment Committee

Appropriations Committee

AN ACT REQUIRING BIODIESEL BLENDED HEATING OIL AND LOWERING THE SULFUR CONTENT OF HEATING OIL SOLD IN THE STATE

SUMMARY: This act (1) reduces the maximum allowable sulfur content in heating oil and (2) establishes biodiesel blending requirements for such oil. It reduces the heating oil sulfur standard from 3,000 parts per million (ppm) to 50 ppm beginning July 1, 2011, and to 15 ppm beginning July 1, 2014. The act defines “heating oil” as heating fuel meeting the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) standard D396 or ASTM standard D6751 (see BACKGROUND).

The biodiesel blending requirements begin at 2% in 2011, increasing in steps to 20% by 2020, if certain conditions are met. The act provides for a waiver from these requirements.

The maximum allowable sulfur content and the biodiesel blending provisions do not take effect until Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island each have adopted substantially similar requirements.

The act establishes a Distillate Advisory Board within the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), with members appointed by the DCP commissioner. The board must advise the commissioner on progress in meeting the act's requirements. The act also establishes reporting requirements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011 for the heating oil sulfur provision; October 1, 2010 for the biodiesel provisions.

BIODIESEL

Biodiesel Blend Requirements

The act requires that all heating oil sold in the state be a biodiesel blend with a certain percentage of biodiesel that increases over time. “Biodiesel blend” means a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats that meets the most recent version of ASTM International designation D6751.

The biodiesel blend requirements are not less than (1) 2% biodiesel by July 1, 2011; (2) 5% by July 1, 2012; (3) 10% by July 1, 2015; (4) 15% by July 1, 2017; and (5) 20% by July 1, 2020.

Production Standards

Unless the DCP commissioner issues a waiver (see below), any biodiesel blended with heating oil must be produced according to industry-accepted quality control standards. Marketers or producers of such biodiesel must provide a certificate of analysis verifying conformity with the critical specifications of designation D6751 of ASTM international as defined by the National Biodiesel Accreditation Program prior to the blending of the biodiesel with heating oil. DCP, within available appropriations, must verify that the biodiesel offered for sale in the state conforms to the critical specifications cited above and to the biodiesel fuel quality compliance protocol accepted by DCP.

Distillate Advisory Board

The act establishes a six-member Distillate Advisory Board in DCP. The DCP commissioner appoints all members, who must be present in Connecticut, as follows: two representatives each of biodiesel producers or suppliers, the retail heating oil industry, and the wholesale distillate supply industry. The board is not funded and members serve without compensation and at the commissioner's pleasure. The board must advise the commissioner on industry and market progress in meeting and enabling compliance with the act.

Sufficient In-State Production

By April 1, 2011 and April 1, 2012, DCP, in consultation with the Distillate Advisory Board, must, within available appropriations, determine if there is sufficient in-state biodiesel production to comply with the act's requirements. The act defines “sufficient in-state production of biodiesel” as 50% of the annual mandated volume of biodiesel, as determined by the most recent data from the Energy Information Administration of the U. S. Department of Energy, that is available from in-state producers based on the combined nameplate capacity of such producers.

If the DCP commissioner determines production is not sufficient, he can, in consultation with the board, delay implementation until July 1, 2012 or earlier, and July 1, 2013 or earlier, respectively. The commissioner must (1) post a notice specifying the length of the delay on the department's website within three business days after making the production insufficiency determination and (2) within 30 days of the posting, report to the Environment, General Law, and Energy and Technology committees on the reasons for the delay.

Temporary Waivers of Biodiesel Requirements

DCP, after receiving a petition from the board, must temporarily waive the biodiesel blend requirements when (1) the U. S. Department of Energy authorizes a release from the Northeast Heating Oil Reserve, (2) there is an inadequate supply of low sulfur distillate products, or (3) there is an inadequate supply of biodiesel blending stocks or an operational problem affecting supply of biodiesel blending stocks.

The waiver is for between 30 and 45 days and can be renewed. A waiver petition from the board must include:

1. a statement of the immediate threat to the health and safety of the state's citizens posed by the inadequate supply or operational problems as described above;

2. the cause, nature, and expected duration of the inadequacy or operational problem; and

3. as applicable, a description of any alternative distillate supply temporarily needed to take the place of the applicable supply required.

DCP must grant the waiver within three days of receiving the petition.

Reports

By February 1, 2012 and annually thereafter, the DCP commissioner, in consultation with the Distillate Advisory Board, must report to the Energy and Technology and Environment committees on the progress made in meeting the act's requirements and their effect on the price or supply of heating oil in the state.

BACKGROUND

ASTM Designation D6751, D396

ASTM is an international voluntary standards development organization. Designation D6751 covers certain biodiesel fuel blend stock for use as a blend component with middle distillate fuels. The biodiesel must be mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils and animal fats. The product must undergo chemical analysis for various substances.

Designation D396 covers grades of fuel oil intended for use in various types of fuel oil burning equipment under various climatic and operating conditions.

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