Washington Laws and Incentives for Biodiesel

The list below contains summaries of all Washington laws and incentives related to Biodiesel.

State Incentives

Biofuels Distribution Tax Exemption

Fuel delivery vehicles, machinery, equipment, and related services that are used for the retail sale or distribution of blends of 20% biodiesel (B20) or greater or E85 motor fuel are exempt from state retail fuel sales and use taxes until July 1, 2015. Restrictions apply. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.08.955 and 82.12.955)

Biofuels Tax Deduction

A business and occupation tax deduction is available for the sale or distribution of biodiesel or E85 motor fuel. This deduction is available until July 1, 2015. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.04.4334)

Biofuels Production Tax Exemption

Qualifying buildings, equipment, and land used in the manufacturing of alcohol fuel, biodiesel, or biodiesel feedstocks, are exempt from state and local property and leasehold excise taxes for a period of six years from the date the facility or addition to the existing facility becomes operational. Applicants must submit their applications for this exemption by December 31, 2015. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.29A.135, 84.36.635 and 84.36.640)

Biodiesel Feedstock Tax Exemption

Waste vegetable oil, specifically cooking oil gathered from restaurants or commercial food processors, an individual uses to produce biodiesel for personal use is exempt from state sales and use taxes. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.08.0205 and 82.12.0205)

Utility/Private Incentives

Clean and Efficient Fleet Assistance

Western Washington Clean Cities and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency administer the Evergreen Fleets program, a comprehensive greening plan and certification system for fleets. Evergreen Fleets provides fleet managers with tools to help "green" public and private fleets, reduce pollution, and save money. Evergreen Fleets provides a step-by-step guide to identify the most effective way for fleet managers to green their fleets, including buying greener vehicles, switching to cleaner fuels, or improving fleet efficiency.

Point of Contact
Stephanie Meyn
Clean Cities Coordinator
Western Washington Clean Cities Coalition
Phone: (206) 689-4055
Fax: (206) 343-7522
stephaniem@pscleanair.org
http://www.wwcleancities.org/

Biofuel Volume Rebate Program - Propel Fuels

Propel Fuels offers a rebate to qualified fleet customers for monthly purchases of more than 500 gallons of biodiesel blends and E85. Fleet customers must purchase the fuel directly from Propel public retail locations using the Propel CleanDrive WEX fleet card. The program offers a rebate of $0.03 per gallon for purchases of less than 1,000 gallons of biofuel per month, and $0.05 per gallon for purchases of 1,000 gallons or more per month. The rebate is applied at the end of each monthly billing cycle. For more information, see the Propel Fuels website.

Laws and Regulations

Renewable Fuel Standard

At least 2% of all diesel fuel sold in Washington must be biodiesel or renewable diesel. This requirement will increase to 5% 180 days after the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) determines that in-state feedstocks and oil-seed crushing capacity can meet a 3% requirement. Renewable diesel is defined as a diesel fuel substitute produced from non-petroleum renewable sources, including vegetable oils and animal fats, meets the federal registration requirements for fuels and fuel additives and ASTM specification D975.

At least 2% of the total gasoline sold in the state must be denatured ethanol. The ethanol requirement increase if the Washington Department of Ecology determines that this increase will not jeopardize continued attainment of federal Clean Air Act standards, and WSDA determines that the state can economically support the production of higher ethanol blends.

All state agencies with jurisdiction over renewable fuel infrastructure, specifically storage, blending, and dispensing equipment, are required to expedite related application and permitting processes. The governor may suspend these requirements by Executive Order if the standard is temporarily technically or economically infeasible, or poses a significant risk to public safety.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.010 and 19.112.110 through 19.112.180)

Provision for Alternative Fuels Corridor Pilot Projects

The Washington Department of Transportation may enter into partnership agreements with other public and private entities to use land for alternative fuel corridor pilot projects. Minimum requirements apply and these agreements are subject to funding availability. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 47.38.070)

Biofuel Blend Dispenser Labeling Requirement

All motor fuel pumps dispensing alcohol blended gasoline must be labeled with the alcohol product name (e.g., ethyl alcohol) and the alcohol content. The statement must be posted in letters measuring at least half an inch high. Pumps dispensing ethanol or biodiesel blends must have a label that specifies the percentage of ethanol or biodiesel present in the fuel. Pumps dispensing biodiesel blends of 5% (B5) or less must include a label stating that the fuel "may contain up to five percent biodiesel." Pumps dispensing ethanol or biodiesel blends must have a label that specifies the percentage of ethanol or biodiesel present in the fuel. Ethanol pumps distributing between 1% and 10% must include a label stating that the fuel "contains up to 10% ethanol" and those distributing blends greater than 10% must be labeled with the capital letter E, followed by the numerical value volume of ethanol and the word "ethanol." Pumps dispensing biodiesel blends of 5% (B5) or less must include a label stating that the fuel "may contain up to five percent biodiesel" and those distributing blends greater than 5% must be labeled with the capital letter B, followed by the numerical value volume of biodiesel and the words "biodiesel" or "biodiesel blend." (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.020, and Washington Administrative Code 16-662-115)

Biofuel Quality Program

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Biofuels Quality Program tests and assesses biofuel quality and quantity to resolve any quality issues before the product reaches the consumer. WSDA samples biofuel throughout the state, monitors and tracks the quality of biofuel, and works with producers and manufacturers to help supply the highest biofuel quality fuel available to consumers. The goal of the program is to create equity in the biofuel marketplace for refiners, suppliers, distributors, and retailers, and protect consumers. For more information, see the WSDA Biofuels Quality Program website. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112)

Biodiesel Definition

Biodiesel fuel is defined as a mono alkyl ester of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats for use in compression-ignition engines and meets the requirements of the ASTM specification D6751 in effect as of January 1, 2003. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.010, 43.19.643 and 82.04.4334)

Biodiesel Storage Regulations

Underground storage tank regulations apply to all biodiesel blends with the exception of 100% biodiesel (B100). An owner changing the use of an underground storage tank from storage of diesel to B100 must notify the Washington Department of Ecology (Department) of the change and must first have a site assessment performed by a certified site assessor. For more information, see the Department's Biodiesel In Underground Storage Tanks fact sheet. (Reference Washington Administrative Code 173-360)

Point of Contact
Annette Ademasu
Underground Storage Tank Inspector
Washington Department of Ecology
Phone: (425) 649-7189
Fax: (425) 649-7161
annette.ademasu@ecy.wa.gov

Biodiesel Use Requirement

At least 20% of all diesel fuel used to fuel state agency vehicles, vessels, and construction equipment must be biodiesel. The Washington Department of Enterprise Development must assist state agencies by coordinating the purchase and delivery of biodiesel if requested, using long-term contracts if necessary, to secure a sufficient and stable supply of biodiesel. For state agencies complying with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) mandate, at least 2% biodiesel (B2) must be used as an additive to ULSD for lubricity, provided that the use of a lubricity additive is appropriate and that performance and cost are comparable with other available lubricity additives. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 43.19.642 and 43.19.646)

Alternative Fuel Use Requirement

Effective June 1, 2015, all state agencies must, to the extent practicable, use 100% biofuels or electricity to operate all publicly owned vehicles. To phase in this requirement, all state agencies were, to the extent practicable, required to achieve 40% biofuel or electricity use by June 1, 2013. Practicability and measures of compliance are defined in rules adopted by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

In addition, effective June 1, 2018, all local government agencies must, to the extent practicable, use 100% biofuels or electricity to operate all publicly owned vehicles. The Washington State Department of Commerce must define practicability and measures of compliance for local governments through a rulemaking by June 1, 2015. Transit agencies using compressed natural gas (CNG) and engine retrofits that would void vehicle warranties are exempt from this requirement. To allow the motor vehicle fuel needs of state and local government to be satisfied by Washington-produced biofuels, the Washington Department of Enterprise Services and local governments may contract in advance and execute contracts with public or private producers and suppliers for the purchase of appropriate biofuels. Government agencies may substitute CNG, liquefied natural gas, or propane in vehicles if the Washington Department of Commerce determines that biofuels and electricity are not reasonably available.

(Reference Washington Administrative Code 194-28 and Revised Code of Washington 43.19.647 and 43.19.648)

State Vehicle Purchasing Guidance

The Washington Department of Enterprise Services must develop guidelines and criteria for the purchase of high mileage gasoline vehicles as well as alternative fuel vehicles and systems that reduce the overall costs and energy use in the state. The guidance should include investigations into all opportunities to aggregate the purchasing of clean technologies with state and local governments, as well as federal fuel economy standards. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 39.26.090, 43.19.570 and 43.19.663)

Biofuels Production and Distribution Contracts

Conservation districts, public development authorities, municipal utilities, and public utility districts may enter into crop purchase contracts to produce, sell, and distribute biodiesel produced from Washington feedstocks, cellulosic ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol blended fuels for utility and public use. Additionally, municipal utilities and public utility districts may produce and distribute biodiesel, ethanol, and ethanol blended fuels. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 35.21.465, 35.92.440, 54.04.190, and 89.08.570)

State Emissions Reductions Requirements

Washington state must limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the following reductions:

  • By 2020, reduce overall GHG emissions in the state to 1990 levels;
  • By 2035, reduce overall GHG emissions in the state to 25% below 1990 levels; and
  • By 2050, reduce overall emissions to 50% below 1990 levels or 70% below the state's expected emissions that year.
Every other year, the Washington Departments of Ecology and Commerce must report to the governor and legislature on the total GHG emissions in the state for the previous two years. To reach these goals, the state will ensure that vehicles sold in the state meet stringent emissions standards; work with farmers, entrepreneurs, fuel distributors, and retailers to ensure that biofuel feedstocks are grown in Washington; ensure that refiners, blenders, and distributors of biofuels create jobs in the state; and strive to make it possible for the public to purchase fuel blends that reduce dependence on imported oil. The Washington Department of Ecology developed a comprehensive plan to reduce the state's GHG emissions.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 70.235.020 and Executive Order 07-02, 2007)