Greener diesel regulation
Learn about environmentally friendly diesel fuels and the laws that apply to diesel supply companies in Ontario.
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By law, Ontario requires fuel companies to provide more environmentally friendly diesel fuels known as bio-based diesel fuels. This helps:
- reduce air pollutants
- improve air quality
- cut greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector — the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario
What is bio-based diesel fuel
There are two types commonly available:
- Biodiesel is a clean-burning renewable fuel made from vegetable oils, recycled frying oils, and animal fats. A vehicle using biodiesel-blended diesel emits lower amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
- Renewable diesel is made from the same materials as biodiesel but it is processed differently. It is almost the same chemically as regular diesel. You can use it anywhere you would use regular diesel.
Ontario has rules to lower the environmental impact of diesel fuel. These rules reduce air pollutants, improve air quality and cut greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector (the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario).
Bio-based diesel requirements
The province has set minimums for the amount of bio-based diesel in the diesel fuel distributed, used, and/or sold in Ontario.
As of 2017, 4% of the total volume of diesel fuel must be bio-based. The bio-based diesel component of this blend must have 70% lower greenhouse gas emissions than standard petroleum diesel.
Suppliers must complete and file compliance reports.
Reports are due by March 31 of the year following the compliance period. For example, you must file by March 31, 2020 for the 2019 compliance year.
Your report must confirm:
- the amount of diesel and bio-based diesel in diesel fuel that you have placed in the Ontario market
- the environmental performance specifications of the bio-based diesel.
GHGenius 4.03a is the lifecycle model used to calculate the greenhouse gas performance of renewable content in fuel. Send an email to Environment and Climate Change Canada to get a copy of the model, if needed.
You must keep a copy of your compliance reports and related records for 7 years. The document, Guide and Director’s Directions – Renewable Fuel Content Requirements for Petroleum Diesel Fuel, can help you complete your report.
This requirement can be waived if you get written permission from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
How to submit a report
E-mail us to request the latest reporting form or search the Central Forms Repository.
Use the email button on the completed form to send it back to us or mail it to:
Assistant Director, West Central Region
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Ellen Fairclough Building
12th Floor, 119 King St W
Hamilton ON L8P 4Y7
Re: Ontario Regulation 97/14 (Greener Diesel)
Who must comply
Fuels suppliers who:
- import diesel fuel into the province — and use or sell it in Ontario (wholesale or retail)
- manufacture or blend diesel fuel — and use or sell it in Ontario (wholesale or retail)
- acquire diesel fuel through an inter-refiner agreement — and use or sell it in Ontario (wholesale or retail)
You can find a complete set of provincial laws related to this activity in:
Quality standard requirements
You must ensure your blended fuel meets certain standards before it’s distributed - for use or sale - in the Ontario market.
- For low-level (0-5%) bio-based diesel blends, the latest standards are set out in:
Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) standard CAN/CGSB – 3.520-2011 – Automotive Diesel Fuel Containing Low Levels of Biodiesel (B1-B5)
- For mid-level (6-20%) bio-based diesel blends, standards are set out in:
Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) standard CAN/CGSB – 3.522-2011 – Diesel Fuel Containing Biodiesel (B6-B20)
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard ASTM – D7467-13 – Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oil, Biodiesel Blend (B6 to B20)
- For high-level (21-100%) bio-based diesel blends, standards are set out in:
Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) document CAN/CGSB – 3.524-2011 – Biodiesel (B100) for Blending in Middle Distillate Fuels
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) document ASTM – D6751-12 – Standard Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock B100 for Middle Distillate Fuels