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Home > Renewable Energy > Biodiesel Program > Biodiesel Task Force > Meeting Minutes - May 20, 2014

Biodiesel Task Force Meeting Minutes - May 20, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Room B555, Orville L. Freeman Building, 625 North Robert Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Attendance and Introduction

Task Force Members – Ron Marr (chairperson), Minnesota Soybean Processors; Kelly Marczak, American Lung Association of Minnesota; John Hausladen, Minnesota Trucking Association; Kevin Thoma, Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association; Chris Hill, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association; Darrick Zarling, University of Minnesota; Scott Hedderich, Renewable Energy Group; Ralph Groschen, At-large member; Doug Root, AURI; Dustin Haaland, CHS; Bruce Heine, Magellan Midstream Partners (by phone); Brett Webb, Flint Hills Resources (by phone); Steve Rupp, Ever Cat Fuels (by phone). Task Force members absent – Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farm Bureau; Gary Wertish, Minnesota Farmers Union.

Others present – Jake Hamlin, Matt Hughes, Sandy Neren, Darrel Bunge, Chuck Westin, Santo Cruz, Peter Brickwedde, Lisa Pedderson, Steve Kaari, Amber Backhaus, Scott Lambert, John Scharffbillig, Dan Larson, Mike Youngerberg, A.J. Duerr, Matt Lemke, Lance Klett, Donna Watts, Jacob Camp, Doug Busselman, Charlie Poster, Kevin Hennessy, Steve Howell (by phone), Julie Quinn (by phone).

The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Ron Marr at 10:30 AM sharp.

Introductions of the task force and others in attendance were made.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Assistant Commissioner Charlie Poster stated the purpose of the meeting was for the task force to give guidance to the Minnesota Department of Commerce regarding FTC labeling suggestions with the implementation of the B10 mandate coming in July.

Presentations and Discussion

Santo Cruz, director of Government Affairs for the MDA, gave a review of M.S. § 239.77 changes made during the last legislative session (see revised statute handout).

Julie Quinn, director of Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Weights and Measures division presented the PowerPoint titled “Be Ready for B10.” (see handout)

Summary of presentation:

  • Diesel defined in M.S. § 239.761, Subd. 8 and biodiesel blend defined in M.S. § 239.77, Subd. 1.
  • The conditions of the price on the retail station sign are given in M.S. § 239.751, Subd. 5, with enforcement given in M.S. § 239.75, Subd. 6.
  • Product identity is the most basic condition of the price.
  • Concerned people will object to the labeling of B10 as diesel.
  • Requesting input from the task force to:
    • Achieve successful implementation of B10 in Minnesota
    • Achieve a positive impact for station owners
    • Provide clear information to consumers.

Mr. Poster – A station selling B10/B20 last summer did not need to post biodiesel blend on the marque, correct?

Ms. Quinn – this should have been reported by a Weights and Measures inspector. Weights and Measures should have made them put biodiesel blend on their marque.

Mr. Heine – Weights and Measures’ position is that B10 blend needs to be labeled on the boulevard sign and even if the task force recommends something different this would need to be a statutory change?

Ms. Quinn – (passes to Mr. Brickwedde)

Mr. Brickwedde – we are looking for input from the task force. Certainly the way the law is worded is not living up to the intent. Long term there will need to be a legislative change.

Mr. Webb – Minnesota falls today into the group of 12 states that require a boulevard sign saying something other than just diesel, correct?

Ms. Quinn – yes.

Mr. Hedderich – the reference to M.S. § 239.781 where regular unleaded is E10. Does it reference signage there?

Ms. Quinn – No, it is a long-standing practice. The statute references condition of sale.

Mr. Hedderich – I don’t know if I agree with the discernment here between B10 and diesel, and do believe that the statute has been twisted in this case to create a problem that doesn’t really exist.

Ms. Quinn – there is a disagreement so statute needs clarification.

Steve Howell led the assembly through the PowerPoint titled “FTC and ASTM Overview for the Minnesota Biodiesel Task Force.”

Summary of presentation:

  • B20 level are for unmodified engines
  • National Biodiesel Board (NBB) first wanted B20 in the D975 specification
  • ASTM wanted a separate specification for over B5, with D975 containing up to 5% biodiesel. 
  • Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) directed public pumps be labeled if more than 5% and no more than 20% biodiesel
  • If more than 5% biodiesel and more than 5% biomass-based diesel, would need two stickers

Mr. Haaland – take B10 and add 7% renewable diesel, how many stickers are needed?

Mr. Howell – Two, one blue (biodiesel) and one orange (biomass-based diesel).

  • FTC required only stickers in cost analysis.
  • 5 to 20 interpretation – perhaps 5.1% would qualify for this designation. Clarification from FTC would be helpful.

Chairperson Marr – questions from the group?

Mr. Hedderich – How is #1/#2 labeled?

Ms. Quinn – diesel can be listed on the sign.

Mr. Thoma – What is the current label on the pump? Changes that vary from the term diesel will also affect other things including tickets, IRS sticker, and more.

Mr. Brickwedde – the Department of Commerce is not interested in adding cost or complication. The current wording in the law needs changing. We are looking for the task force to give guidance to the Department of Commerce.

Chairperson Marr – could the task force recommend that the sticker would be adequate until the legislature would clarify the law?

Mr. Hedderich – I believe the Department of Commerce is not interpreting the statute broadly enough and that this (signage, stickers, fuel labeling) is not an issue.

Mr. Root - #1, #2, and biodiesel blends are commonly understood to be diesel fuel. Dispensers should reflect more detail.

Mr. Groschen – a performance standard is generally adequate except in the case of petroleum products.

Mr. Thoma – MPMA would only support a sticker change at the point of sale, on the pump.

Mr. Haaland – CHS agrees with label change only.

Chairperson Marr – we need a recommendation. A motion?

Mr. Hausladen – are we talking about leave it alone or leave it alone until the legislature can clarify the law?

Mr. Brickwedde – we would eventually like the legislature to change the law.

Mr. Haaland – would you like D7467 to be defined as diesel fuel?

Ms. Quinn – yes.

Mr. Haaland – is it the legislature’s intent to define D7467 as diesel fuel?

Ms. Quinn – this was not a consideration.

Motion, Discussion, and Task Force Recommendation

Mr. Hausladen – I make a motion that the task force recommend that the Department of Commerce withhold sign enforcement until the end of the next legislative session so the legislature has a chance to clarify intent and until then pump labels be viewed as adequate.

Mr. Howell – pump labels would be FTC stickers.

Mr. Root – seconds motion.

Mr. Hedderich – this recommendation is unnecessary.

Chairperson Marr – we have been asked to make a recommendation before.

Mr. Thoma – Can we amend the motion to say “to the end of the biennium?”

[A short recess occurs to formulate the motion (reformulated by Mr. Hausladen) and the task force reconvenes]

At the end of the recess the motion looks like this and is presented to all on the computer screen:

The Biodiesel Task Force requests that proper FTC labels be sufficient to meet the requirement of the MN Department of Commerce Weights and Measures diesel sign enforcement for diesel fuel until the end of the next legislative biennium.

A vote is taken on the motion, passing 12-1, Mr. Hedderich dissenting.

Mr. Hedderich – I would like to go on the record as saying that pump labels are sufficient today and in the future.

Chairperson Marr – we will then move to updates on the agenda.

Mr. Heine – Magellan is now reassessing installing biodiesel blending infrastructure in Sioux Falls.

Mr. Hausladen – would like to address the cost issue at future meeting, and concerns about performance data from the third party such that everyone has confidence in their results.

Mr. Groschen moved to adjourn. Mr. Hill seconded and the motion was passed.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:07 PM.