In a public workshop held yesterday, the California Air Resource Board discussed its proposed new regulations for alternative diesel fuels as well as conventional diesel fuels. There are a wide range of issues on the table which can best be reviewed on the CARB website for the proceeding. Of particular interest to the advanced biofuels community, CARB is proposing a phased process for introducing alternative diesel fuels to the California market. Prior to supplying any alternative diesel fuel to market, a producer would need to obtain a Memorandum of Exemption (MOE) granted by CARB. I raised the issue that the language was sweeping and would perhaps be more restrictive than the federal standard established by the Fuels and Fuel Additive Registration system found in 40 CFR Part 79 (FFARs). FFARs authorizes producers to provide some pre-commercial supply which can be highly valuable to companies testing and proving out new fuels for the marketplace. CARB officials who attended were receptive to further input on this issue during the public comment period. CARB encouraged public comments by June 24th if possible though the formal period is longer than that.
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