EPA rolls out environmental manual for biodiesel facilities

By | January 01, 2009
As the biodiesel industry continues to grow, the National Biodiesel Board welcomes a new U.S. EPA guide that will help the industry navigate existing environmental regulations. EPA Region 7 released a user-friendly manual that identifies environmental regulatory rules and requirements for the construction and operation of biodiesel production facilities.

"We are taking steps to provide useful tools to help biodiesel facilities comply with environmental regulations," said Region 7 Administrator John B. Askew. "The manual serves as a road map of federal environmental information. EPA is addressing our nation's growing energy demand in a way that supports our goals for a clean environment, supports farmers and rural America, and supports greater energy security."

As in other parts of the nation, the Midwestern states of EPA Region 7 are active on America's renewable fuels frontier. Through the long-term efforts of the agricultural and biodiesel community, rural residents are seeing growth in the construction of biodiesel plants and the supporting infrastructure.

The manual provides practical examples to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. EPA includes a contact directory of key federal and state officials. EPA Region 7 staff members are available to answer questions about the applicability of environmental requirements to renewable fuel facilities.

Joe Jobe, NBB chief executive officer, commended EPA on developing the manual for the industry. "We appreciate that the document includes EPA's recognition that biodiesel contributes to the wellbeing of the environment by 'significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions' and other pollutants," he said. "Biodiesel use is a viable part of protecting the environment, and we look forward to working closely with the agency on future mutual goals."

The manual also cites research that shows "the production of biodiesel compared to the production of petroleum fuels generates 78 percent less carbon dioxide, 79 percent less wastewater and 96 percent less hazardous waste."

An EPA Region 7 biofuels team of engineers, scientists and environmental protection specialists developed the manual after seeking input from a variety of stakeholders. The biodiesel manual is available at http://www.epa.gov/region07/priorities/agriculture/index.htm#biofuels
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