Current Regulations: Federal RFG is required in four counties (Hillsborough, Rockingham, Merrimack and Strafford in the southeastern corner of NH, including Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester and Manchester), summer and winter.
SB 397 (which became law on May 27, 2004 without the Governor's signature) bans MTBE, any other ether and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) in quantities greater than 0.5 vol% effective on the later of January 1, 2007 or 6 months after EPA approval of new consumer products rules in the New Hampshire SIP; in addition, New Hampshire's Oxygen-flexible RFG rule is repealed effective when EPA approves new consumer products rules in the New Hampshire SIP. HB 58, as amended and signed by the Governor on May 10, 2005, sets the effective date as January 1, 2007 for the ban on MTBE, any other ether and TBA, eliminates the contingent provision on consumer products rules, and removes a requirement to opt out of the federal RFG program; see Chapter 16 of the 2005 Legislative Session Law. Also see NH Statutes, Chapter 146-G:12.
NH Code of Administrative Rules AGR 1411.04 requires that diesel fuel complies with specifications in NIST Handbook 130, which states in section 2.2 that diesel fuel shall meet the most recent version of ASTM D 975. The Bureau of Weights and Measures in the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food has regulatory oversight.
HB 1487 became law without signature on 6/21/12; see Chapter 280 of 2012 Legislative Session Law. It prohibits the state from joining, implementing or participating in any LCFS program requiring quotas, caps or mandates on any fuels used for transportation, industrial purposes or home heating without prior legislative approval.
In a letter dated 10/31/12, EPA issued a waiver to allow conventional gasoline in RFG areas and to relax commingling restrictions through 11/20/12 because of Hurricane Sandy.
In a multi-state letter dated 8/31/17, to address a fuel supply emergency caused by Hurricane Harvey, EPA waived RFG requirements and allowed 11.5 psi RVP gasoline throughout the state through September 15. In a multi-state letter dated 9/7/17, EPA extended the RFG waiver through September 26.
Proposed State Actions: Legislation was passed and signed on July 16, 1999 by Governor Shaheen relative to prevention of MTBE contamination of drinking water and groundwater. In part, it requires the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services to request an immediate temporary waiver of the RFG requirements in four opt-in counties (Strafford, Rockingham, Hillsborough and Merrimack) until January 1, 2002; it was submitted to EPA Region I in a letter dated July 21, 1999. However, the RFG opt-out procedures in 40 CFR 80.72 do not permit opt-out prior to January 1, 2004. In a letter dated August 23, 1999, EPA Region I (in Boston) responded to N.H.'s July 21 request: 1) EPA questions its authority to grant a temporary waiver of the RFG requirements and will continue to assess options, 2) encourages N.H. to reconsider because of a loss in air quality benefits, 3) mentions actions that NH could take to minimize the release of gasoline components into drinking water, and 4) suggests that NH consider encouraging the use of other oxygenates.
In a letter dated April 16, 2001, Gov. Shaheen asked EPA to approve its withdrawal from the federal RFG program immediately in order to sharply reduce the use of MTBE and to revise RFG opt-out.
Signed by the Governor on 7/17/01, HB758 requires NH to request opt-out of federal RFG, effective no later than 1/1/04. In December 2001, the state submitted to EPA an application for a waiver from the Clean Air Act's motor fuels preemption provisions; this was updated in October 2003. On October 23, 2001, NH adopted an interim rule for a state "Oxygen-Flexible RFG" for the four-county federal RFG area. The NHDES adopted a final OFRFG rule on May 2, 2002 (see NH Code of Administrative Rules Part Env-A 1611) and, in August 2002, submitted to EPA a revised SIP for opt-out of federal RFG. OFRFG is not yet effective because EPA has not promulgated opt-out of federal RFG.
EPA proposed to approve opt-out from the federal RFG program (69 FR 4903; 2/2/04). Retail stations could sell either federal RFG or NH Oxygen-Flexible RFG in Hillsborough, Rockingham, Merrimack, and Strafford Counties. At the request of the NH Department of Environmental Services (in a letter dated 5/31/06), EPA withdrew its proposed approval of NH Oxygen-Flexible RFG (71 FR 47161; 8/16/06).
The federal energy bill (Public Law 109-58), signed by the President on 8/8/05, eliminates the oxygen content requirement for federal RFG effective in May 2006 (71 FR 26691; 5/8/06). One of the provisions in HB58, as amended and signed by the Governor on 5/10/05, removes the requirement to opt-out of the federal RFG program.
The Commissioner of the NH Department of Environmental Services and representatives of ten other states signed a Letter of Intent, dated 12/31/08, to analyze low carbon fuel supply options and develop a framework for a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region. Governor Lynch and the governors of 10 NE/MA states signed a Memorandum of Understanding dated 12/30/09 for the development of a regional LCFS. New England states have adopted similar legislation; passed House on 3/7/12. HB 1487 became law without signature on 6/21/12; see Chapter 280 of 2012 Legislative Session Law. It prohibits the state from joining, implementing or participating in any LCFS program requiring quotas, caps or mandates on any fuels used for transportation, industrial purposes or home heating without prior legislative approval.
Legislature: Introduced in January 2009, HB 352 would ban corn-based ethanol as a gasoline additive effective 1/1/10.
HB 1401, introduced in January 2010, would cap corn ethanol in gasoline at 10% effective 1/1/11.
Introduced in January 2011, HB 374 would ban corn-based ethanol as a gasoline additive when at least 2 of the 6 New England states have adopted similar legislation; passed House on 3/16/11.
Introduced in January 2012, HB 1214 would ban corn-based ethanol as a gasoline additive when at least 2 of the 6 New England states have adopted similar legislation; passed House on 3/7/12.
HB 362, introduced in January 2013, would ban the sale of gasoline containing corn ethanol.
Introduced in January 2014, HB 1220 would limit corn-based ethanol blending to 10% of the gasoline mixture if two other New England states adopt a similar measure; passed on 3/25/14 by the House.
HB 409, introduced in January 2015, would ban the sale of gasoline containing corn-based ethanol.
Last updated September 2017