Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $26 million to build infrastructure to expand the availability of higher-blend renewable biofuels by 822 million gallons annually in 23 states.
USDA is making the awards under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. The funding will help significantly increase the use of biofuels derived from U.S. agricultural products and prioritize climate-smart solutions that will help rural America build back better.
“Investments like these increase opportunities for American consumers to make climate-smart decisions and move the country closer to President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Maxson said. “By expanding the availability of higher-blend biofuels, we’re giving consumers more environmentally-friendly fuel choices when they fill up at the pump and stimulating an important market for U.S. farmers and ranchers.”
The announcement includes investments in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin.
Examples of projects include:
In California, AltAir Paramount LLC will use a $1.5 million grant to install a pump, safety infrastructure and piping at its fuel distribution facility. Funds will also be used to retrofit and upgrade a biodiesel storage tank. This project is expected to increase biodiesel sales by 135 million gallons per year.
In Ohio, United Dairy Farmers Inc. will use a $634,000 grant to replace 21 dispensers and four storage tanks at four fueling stations. The company also will install 13 dispensers at two more fueling stations in Ohio and Kentucky. This project is expected to increase ethanol sales by 4 million gallons per year.
In North Carolina, Zenith Energy Terminals Holdings LLC will use a $614,930 grant to install a truck rack biodiesel blending system at a fuel distribution facility. This project is expected to increase biodiesel sales by 24 million gallons per year.
The announcement marks the one-year anniversary of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. To date, USDA has invested $66.4 million for projects that are expected to increase biofuels sales by 1.2 billion gallons annually.
Through this program, USDA helps transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities offer higher ethanol and biodiesel blends to customers by sharing the costs to install fuel pumps, equipment and infrastructure. For more information on the program, visit www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas.
For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.