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Please note: This summary is provided to help you understand the regulations. Consult the references provided for links to the full text of the regulations.

Alternative Fuels -- State Regulations for Massachusetts

This page contains selected data from the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) at the U. S. Department of Energy. Additional details and the latest updates may be found at the AFDC summary page for Massachusetts.

Vehicle Acquisition

All vehicles (emissions standards mandate)

The Massachusetts LEV Program requires all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks, medium-duty vehicles, and heavy-duty vehicles and engines sold and registered in Massachusetts to meet California emission and compliance requirements, as set forth in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. Manufacturers must comply with the Zero Emission Vehicle sales and greenhouse gas emissions requirements. (Reference Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Regulations and Standards 310 CMR 7.40)

State agency vehicles

When purchasing new motor vehicles, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must purchase HEVs or AFVs to the maximum extent feasible and consistent with the ability of such vehicles to perform their intended functions. HEVs and AFVs must be acquired at a rate of at least 5% annually for all new motor vehicle purchases so that not less than 50% of the motor vehicles the Commonwealth owns and operates will be HEVs or AFVs by 2018. (Reference Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 7, Section 9A)

State agency vehicles

State fleets must acquire AFVs according to the requirements of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 and the Massachusetts Office of Vehicle Management (OVM) must approve any light-duty vehicle acquisition. All agencies must purchase the most economical, fuel-efficient, and low emission vehicles appropriate to their mission. OVM, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, will set new minimum standards for vehicle mileage and work with agencies to acquire vehicles that provide the best value for the Commonwealth on a total cost of ownership basis. (Reference Executive Order 388, 1996, and Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance Administrative Bulletin 10, 2010)

Fuel Use

Biofuels Certification (voluntary)

In place of the formal Biodiesel Blend Mandate, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is launching a voluntary biofuels program through which DOER will work with biodiesel suppliers to certify biofuels. Lessons learned from this voluntary program will provide the basis for future expansion and full implementation of a state biofuels mandate. For more information, refer to the June 2010 Massachusetts Advanced Biofuels Mandate Program Announcement (PDF).

State agency vehicles

All Massachusetts agencies must use a minimum of 15% biodiesel (B15) in all on- and off-road diesel engines, provided that the Commonwealth Office of Vehicle Management and other appropriate agencies have determined that a B15 goal is appropriate. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) will set guidelines for a minimum required use of E85 in state flexible fuel vehicles, depending on the availability of the fuel in the state. Agencies may apply for exemptions from the biodiesel and E85 fuel use requirements if the agencies demonstrate that the alternative fuel is not available within a reasonable distance and/or the price of the alternative fuel is cost prohibitive, as determined by DOER. (Reference Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance Administrative Bulletin 13, 2006)

Tax Exemption (cellulosic biofuel)

For taxable years beginning January 1, 2009, and ending December 31, 2017, fuel consisting of cellulosic biofuel or a blend of gasoline and cellulosic biofuel is eligible for an exemption of the $0.21 per gallon fuel tax, in proportion to the percentage of the fuel content consisting of cellulosic biofuel. For these purposes, eligible cellulosic biofuel includes fuel derived from cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin derived from renewable biomass that yields at least a 60% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to the average lifecycle GHG emissions for petroleum-based fuel sold in 2005. (Reference Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64A, Section 1 and 1A and Massachusetts Department of Revenue TIR 09-4)