Biodiesel Secures Big Win in California with B20 in Underground Storage

By The National Biodiesel Board | October 11, 2019

California has cleared the way for storing biodiesel blends of up to 20 percent (B20) in underground storage tanks (UST), removing the last major barrier to satisfying the state’s thirst for biodiesel.

Through an effort lasting more than 10 years, the National Biodiesel Board, several member companies and the California Advanced Biofuels Alliance provided the state water board with data necessary to demonstrate B20 compatibility in underground storage tanks.

“This is a major victory toward biodiesel’s mainstream integration into the California fuel supply,” said Donnell Rehagen, NBB CEO. “We recognize the huge potential for biodiesel to supply California with a better and cleaner fuel and applaud state regulators for working closely with us to clear this final hurdle that will allow for more low-carbon biodiesel to make its way to the consumers and fleets all across the state.”

The vast majority of diesel fuel is stored in underground storage tanks, particularly at retail fueling locations. Although biodiesel biodegrades in water as fast as sugar, regulators had concerns that any degradation of UST materials could allow diesel fuel to compromise the water supply.

The California State Water Resources Control Board amended California’s UST regulations Aug. 6. The new language reverses the previous wording of the regulation, which in effect required tank owners to prove that every component of the tank was compatible. The regulation will go into effect Jan. 1.

“This change in regulations represents a huge milestone for consumers in California, who will now have increased access to B20 in a state where protecting the environment is greatly valued,” said Tyson Keever of SeQuential and Crimson Renewable Energy, who also chairs CABA. “Our company is driven to make a positive impact on reducing carbon emissions, stimulate local economies and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and this new regulation will amplify our ability to do all three.”

 
 
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