One signature: that's now all it takes for a cleaner, more sustainable future to become a reality for the residents and businesses of Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties. Legislation requiring all heating oil sold in these counties to contain a minimum 5% biodiesel has passed the New York State Assembly and State Senate and now awaits the signature of Governor Cuomo.
The senate and assembly bills (S5422 and A6954), sponsored by Senator Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), respectively, enjoy broad bipartisan support ... and for good reason - this legislation represents a win-win scenario for the environment and the economies of one of the country's most populous suburban metro areas.
"As New York State continues to lead the nation in reducing air emissions, improving energy efficiency, and growing the clean energy economy, biodiesel is a renewable fuel that can help the state continue on this path, while improving air emissions and saving consumers on fuel costs," said Senator Boyle in an interview with Oil & Energy Magazine.
B5 Bioheat(R) fuel, a blend of heating oil with 5% biodiesel, has been documented to reduce heating systems' Carbon Dioxide emissions by 4% and Sulfur Oxide emissions by 5% while also drastically decreasing emissions of particulate matter. New York already requires all heating oil sold statewide to be ultra-low sulfur heating oil, containing 15 sulfur parts-per-million or less, and New York City, which currently requires all heating oil to be B2 Bioheat(R) fuel (2% biodiesel) will increase its minimum biodiesel level to 5% on October 1, 2017.
The Downstate NY legislation would take effect July 1, 2018. At that point, a 5% biodiesel-blending standard would cover some 70% of the state's heating oil market (NYC + Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties).
"The adoption of a 5 percent minimum biofuel blending requirement for all heating oil sold in the Downstate NY area heralds a new day for our industry," said Oil Heat Institute of Long Island CEO Kevin Rooney in a statement published by Biofuels International. "Our goal for the past four years has been to establish [ultra-low sulfur] B5 as a uniform standard for cleanliness, efficiency, and environmental compatibility for the heating oil industry; and with the Governor's expected signature, this goal will soon become a reality."