TORONTO—Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by diesel-powered vehicles in Ontario will need to be cut by 70 per cent in the next three years under new rules introduced by the province.
The new greener diesel rules will be phased in over three years, with a goal of boosting the amount of biofuel blended into regular diesel fuel by an average of at least four cent.
GHG emissions produced by diesel fuel in cars, trucks and boats will also have to be reduced by at least 30 per cent this year and 70 per cent by 2017, according to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Currently, the transportation sector is the largest GHG emissions contributor in the province.
The new regulations are expected to reduce the harmful emissions by about 600,000 tonnes a year by 2017—the equivalent of taking 140,000 cars off the road.
Home heating oils and aviation fuel are exempt from the new requirements, according to the ministry, and northern Ontario will be exempt from the new rules until 2017.
A blend of petroleum diesel and renewable biofuel made from feedstocks like canola and soy oils, animal fats and recycled cooking oils, renewable diesel can be used in diesel-powered vehicles with little to no modification.
The province hopes the broad implementation of renewable diesel will also encourage investment at fuel terminals in Ontario and help expand market opportunities for agricultural-based feedstocks.
According to the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA), the first phase of the plan will require as much as 160 million litres of renewable fuel content, which could mean demand for more than 680,000 tonnes of soybeans.
The new rules went into effect April 1.