Illinois biodiesel bill clears Senate panel, nears final vote

| 4/29/2005

A bill that would promote the use of biodiesel in Illinois has taken another step toward final approval.

The Senate State Government Committee unanimously approved the bill, HB112, April 21. It is now headed to the full Senate for a final vote. It has already passed the House.

The latest version of HB112 requires that any government-owned diesel vehicle in the state must use a 2 percent biodiesel blend. The vehicle has to use the 2 percent blend only under certain conditions. For example, use of the blend is required only if the state vehicle is fueling at a bulk, central fueling facility, and if it is fueling at a location where the blend is available.

The bill allows governments in Illinois to use a fuel with a higher percentage of biodiesel, but says it can use a higher percentage if “the engine is designed or retrofitted to operate on a higher percentage of biodiesel.”

Experts have told Land Line that fuel meeting the federal standard for biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine without modification.

The measure, which if passed would become effective Jan. 1, 2006, would apply to “all diesel powered vehicles owned or operated by the state, any county or unit of local government, any school district, any community college or public college or university, or any mass transit agency.”

If the bill passes the full Senate in its current form – without additional amendments – it will head to Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his signature.