Drafted by City Council Member David Yassky of Brooklyn’s 33rd District, the New York City Bioheat Act of 2007 would require a phase-in of biodiesel (fuel made from combining animal fat or vegetable oil, including recycled restaurant grease, with alcohol) for all heating oil purchased in New York City beginning on January 1, 2009.
Pure biodiesel, which is referred to as B100, contains 100 percent biodiesel fuel, while B20 (twenty percent) can be used as an additive and combined with other fuels, obviating the need to retrofit fuel systems. The law would require B5 by 2009, B10 by 2011, and B20 by 2013. In addition, it would also mandate B10 and B20 for all heating oil purchased for use in any City-owned and operated building by 2009 and 2011, respectively.
According to an environmental law attorney, many state laws in the U.S.- including here in New York- require public buildings to use B2 in their heating systems, but Mr. Yassky’s bill would obviously place Gotham at the vanguard of alternative fuel regulation. Compared to conventional diesel emissions, B20 offers a 20 percent reduction in hydrocarbons and 12 percent reduction in carbon monoxide. The City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee will review the bill on Thursday afternoon at 1PM; we’ll follow up with more details in the aftermath of the hearing.