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To the Earth Island Journal


Your story, “Make Fries, Not War!” may have left readers with the impression that biodiesel is illegal in California, which simply isn’t the case. Biodiesel is legal as both a fuel and fuel additive.
The existing biodiesel specification is for biodiesel used as a blend stock. This specification was proposed as a standard for biodiesel used as a pure motor fuel. However, due to a lack of experience with B100 used as a motor fuel, ASTM chose to change the scope of the specification.
The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) has not established specifications for biodiesel used as a neat motor fuel (B100), or for “finished blends.” Since there is no specification for B20 itself, B20 and all other biodiesel blends must meet the specification for conventional diesel fuel (ASTM D975) to be legal for sale. Blends up to B20 meet the ASTM D975 parameters in a majority of cases. This means B20 is legal for sale in the state to individual motorists, so long as it meets the D975 parameters.
The requirement for all finished blends to meet the diesel fuel specification is only a short-term measure. The B20 Fill-and-Go specification, when adopted by ASTM, will supersede this requirement automatically. When ASTM adopts a specification for B100 to be used on its own rather than in a blend, that will also be automatically incorporated.
I would like to also clarify one other point from the article. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is feedstock neutral. We are supportive of all types of biodiesel as long as they meet the national specifications.
Scott Hughes
National Biodiesel Board

Sara Knight responds:
I stand corrected on the National Biodiesel Board’s position regarding feedstock. Otherwise, it seems we’re essentially in agreement. Although gaining legislative support, B100 is still officially considered a “developmental fuel” not legally certified for public sale.

Sonoran parks
Thanks for the article in the Autumn 2004 EIJ describing a proposal to create a fantastic international park along the US-Mexico border by combining and upgrading five existing reserves into a group of Sonoran Desert Sister Parks. It is a terrific idea.
Your readers may be interested to learn about another new visionary park. We are working on a proposal for a grand 3.2 million-acre Maine Woods National Park and Preserve in northern New England along the Quebec border. It would be the largest national park in the US east of California. For information, contact RESTORE: The North Woods, 9 Union Street, Hallowell, ME 04347,, or see
Jym St. Pierre
Hallowell, Maine

Last issue’s IMMP report stated that dolphins offered for sale to aquaria command prices of 3,000,000 to 9,000,000 yen. The actual figure should be 300,000 to 900,000 yen.


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