Scrap Ontario’s Biodiesel Proposal, OTA Urges

TORONTO— The Ontario Tories are pushing forward with their proposed biodiesel mandate and the Ontario Trucking Association is once again pushing back. 

The government wants to paint Ontario’s trucks and buses a brighter shade of green with a biodiesel initiative that calls for a renewable fuel mandate of 2 percent (B2) to come into effect between April 1, 2014 and December 2015. From 2015 onward, the mandate would increase to 4 percent (B4) biodiesel content.

But the OTA has cost concerns and questions the environmental benefit of biodiesel regulation in light of GHG regulations the trucking sector already has.

“The trucking industry has already undergone stringent EPA-mandated engine emission regulations and faces further GHG-reduction and fuel efficiency standards between 2014 and 2018 for heavy-duty diesel vehicles,” the association wrote to the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

If MTO intends to explore an alternative fuels program within the trucking sector, OTA says they should look at the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) networks in the province.

And what’s more, the proposed regulation is inflexible to trucking because it exposes Ontario’s trucking industry to high contents of biodiesel in the winter months and subjecting the fuel to gelling and causing operational issues. Not to mention, there is currently no fuel quality assurance when it comes to biodiesel.

The OTA claims the proposed regulation will cost Ontario carriers and give little or nothing at all in environmental gain.
Based solely on the results of the federal government’s own cost benefit analysis performed in 2011, a biodiesel mandate would cost the public $2.4 billion over 25 years, OTA points out.

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