New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg has signed a new law that will utilize a 5% blend of biodiesel in the city’s vehicle fleet beginning next year, and increasing to 20% in the near future.
The measure, introduced by Councilman Jim Gennaro, codifies the city’s existing use of biodiesel blends in the city’s fleet of approximately 6000 vehicles. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has been using B5 for the last two years and began using B20 this year during warmer months.
The new law requires the city fleet to use a B5 biodiesel blend beginning July 1, 2014. Beginning July 1 2016, the city fleet must use a B20 blend from April to November. The city will also launch a pilot program prior to December 1, 2016 to study year round usage of B20 with no fewer than 5 percent of the city fleet.
In addition to the fleet law, the city has had a B2 biodiesel requirement for home heating oil in effect since last year. The New York State legislature recently passed B2 statewide legislation, requiring all heating oil for use in any building within Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties to contain at least 2% biodiesel, effective October 1, 2014. On July 1, 2015, all heating oil sold for use in any building statewide will meet this standard.
Biodiesel producer Renewable Energy Group (REG) noted its increase activities in the New York metropolitan biodiesel market, with a sales team in the area and distribution points in New Hyde Park, Port Chester and Brookhaven, New York as well as Whippany and Bayonne, New Jersey.