Amendments to the federal Renewable Fuel Regulation are one step closer to becoming law. As discussed in an earlier post the proposed amendments will implement provisions in the Regulation requiring a 2% renewable content for diesel fuel and heating oil sold in Canada. This is in addition to the 5% renewable content in gasoline required under the Regulation. On February 26, 2011 the proposed amendments were published in Part I of the Canada Gazette for a 60 day public comment period. The proposed regulatory text published in the Gazette sets the renewable content requirements to come into force July 1, 2011.

Only the amendment relating to heating oil will affect Alberta suppliers and consumers. This is because the province has already set a 5% renewable content on all gasoline and diesel fuel sold in the province through the Renewable Fuels Standard Regulation.

In other regulatory news, changes to Alberta's provincial tire recycling program will be coming into effect April 1, 2011. The changes, which were announced by Alberta Environment and Alberta Recycling at the end of 2010, will add a disposal surcharge for industrial and off-road tires purchased in the province. The surcharge imposed will vary depending on the size of the industrial/off-the-road ("OTR") tire, with small OTR tires (rim size up to 24 inches) having a $40 charge added, a $100 charge for medium OTR tires (rim size between 24 and 33 inches) and a $200 charge for large OTR tires (rim size greater than 33 inches). There is no increase to the existing surcharge on car, pickup truck, or other light duty vehicle tires which make up roughly 80 percent of the tires in Alberta.

Alberta's tire recycling program collects more than four million tires from landfills and vehicle dealers each year, which are then processed and made into a variety of recycled materials and products. Since its inception in 1992 the program has recycled more than 60 million tires in the province.