WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Mar. 20, 2007, the DOE published a final rule that offers state and alternative-fuel provider fleets a new way to comply with their Alternative Fuel Transportation Program requirements. The new rule was mandated by Section 703 of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005.

Known as Alternative Compliance, this new rulemaking allows state and alternative-fuel provider fleets covered under EPAct’s Alternative Fuel Transportation Program to apply for a waiver from its AFV acquisition requirements. The waiver lets fleets reduce petroleum consumption, in lieu of acquiring AFVs, by using methods such as energy-efficient technologies or fuel blends.

DOE will grant waivers based on the fleet’s ability to show it will reduce petroleum use by the amount of alternative fuel it would have used in the fleet’s AFVs notwithstanding the waiver. To apply for a waiver, fleets must file paperwork with DOE in several stages. An intent to file a waiver is due by Mar. 31 of the model year for which the waiver is sought (for MY 2008 the deadline was extended until May 31, 2007). Fleets must then file an application that calculates an annual petroleum reduction requirement and details how the required petroleum reduction will be achieved. Finally, fleets are required to submit annual reports certifying their actual petroleum reductions. DOE will decide to grant or deny the waiver within 45 days of receiving a complete application.

Three hundred fourteen state and alternative-fuel provider fleets are covered under the Alternative Fuel Transportation Program. In model year 2005, these fleets acquired more than 10,000 AFVs, used 3 million gallons of biodiesel, and traded over 1,000 credits. Statistics published by the Energy Information Administration show that covered fleets use more than 20 million gallons of alternative fuels per year.