Oregon DEQ releases biodiesel fact sheet for small producers

By | December 15, 2006
Due to a growing amount of interest in biodiesel production in the state, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) posted a biodiesel fact sheet on its Web site to educate people on the regulations of biodiesel manufacture.

The three-page document, which was posted online at the end of September, lists common questions and answers regarding biodiesel production for personal use or small-scale commercial production. "We were getting these questions all the time," said Kevin Downing, DEQ clean diesel program coordinator. "Rather than sending people out to state agencies, we compiled a single [source of information]."

Some key questions are, "How do I start a biodiesel production business in Oregon?" and "I am a farmer, and I'm interested in on-farm biofuels production. Where do I start?" The document forwards readers to various sources of information, such as the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and the correct government agencies, depending on the topic. It addresses safety, storage, air quality requirements and chemical handling. "It's a collection of everything you want to know, including road taxes, fuel quality standards, NBB testing and some guidance, including zoning," Downing said.

The Washington Governor's Office of Regulatory Assistance (ORA) posted a similar informational tool online earlier this year. Called the "Biodiesel Facility Permits Fact Sheet," the 15-page document details six steps in the biodiesel permitting process; offers tips for how to reduce permits, saving time and money; and lists online resources and contact information for additional permitting information and regional regulatory assistance.

Michelle Vasquez of the ORA echoed Downing's reason for offering the document-increased interest. She said another fact sheet for "microproducers" was under development. "We don't have clear lines about what is large and what is small [production]," she said.
Downing said a recent string of biodiesel fires-one that destroyed a barn in rural Canby, Ore.-catalyzed Oregon's fact sheet effort. "The people that call us are trying to do it right, so we need to support them," Downing said.

Oregon is looking at other ways to support the biodiesel industry, as well. Downing said the state is considering more tax incentives that would encourage the use of biodiesel while conveying caution about the aspects of making biodiesel in one's home.
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