Federal mandate for biodiesel to move ahead

Federal requirements for diesel and heating oil to contain at least two per cent renewable content are expected to take effect this summer.

The federal government announced Thursday it plans to publish amendments to its Renewable Fuels Regulations in the “coming weeks” for a 60-day public comment period, with a proposed coming-into-force date of July 1.

“When we announced our renewable fuels strategy, we were clear that the two per cent requirement would be implemented subject to technical feasibility,” Environment Minister Peter Kent said in a release.

“After positive results, we are moving forward with this requirement which will result in further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately in cleaner air for all Canadians.”

The requirement “will give our farmers another market for their crops and demonstrates how agriculture can contribute to reducing Canada’s environmental footprint,” Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz added in the same release.

The Renewable Fuels Regulations, which were published in September, already require an average five per cent renewable content in gasoline and contained “provisions” for biofuel content in diesel and heating oil.

Once fully implemented, federal and provincial regulations combined are expected to mandate a total volume of renewable fuel reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to four megatonnes, which the government described as “about the equivalent of taking one million vehicles off the road.”

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