Montana Biomass Energy Program
The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) receives grant funds from the U. S. Department of Energy Pacific Regional Biomass Energy Program (PRBEP) through the federal Department of Energy Organization Act 1977, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for the current fiscal year.
Following PRBEP guidelines, the funding is provided to help Montana:
- Assist in commercial development of biomass as an economical and environmentally preferable energy resource option, including applied research, development, and education;
- Develop, demonstrate, and bring to the marketplace new bioenergy technologies relating to energy efficiency, renewable resources, or technologies that use local (biomass) waste streams; and
- Provide technical assistance, information development, and information to local business, government, and industry that match innovative energy technologies to local energy needs, focusing on solutions.
Examples of several partnered-projects conducted since 1994 have focused on the use of biodiesel, 10 percent ethanol blend (E-10), and E-85 (85 percent ethanol). These renewable transportation fuels could be part of the remedy to increase transportation efficiency and reduce vehicle pollution in Montana and help support Montana's agricultural and tourism sectors, with special emphasis in Montana’s Yellowstone National Park (NP) region.
Further assistance from DEQ persuaded NPS managers to require that E-10 be available year-round in all of Yellowstone’s public service stations, starting in September 2000. The NPS also included the use of E-10 and low-emission bio-based lube oils for all alternatives in winter use environmental impact statement. This requires the exclusive use of bio-based fuels and lubes in Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP, starting the winter season of 2001-2002.