USDA Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) Grant funding for UST Fuel System Upgrades Summary

By: Jesse Hoppes, P.G., Leaaf Environmental

 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) Grant that can provide a 50% match for upgrading your underground storage tanks (USTs) and dispensers to increase the sales/use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. The increase will expand the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products. Each UST owner can receive up to $5,000,000 towards upgrading their sites. 

The application window is open and will close on November 21, 2022 and the process is not complicated, so if you have a SAM ID, and a plan on what sites you would be interested in applying for, now is the time to apply. Over 75% of applicants from last year's grant run received funding, and there are not an overwhelming number of applicants to date. Next year's application window is likely the Summer of 2023, so there is still time to plan if you are not ready to apply quickly. They will have $500,000,000 more in funding available over the next 3-5 years. 

About 75% of the funding is available for transportation facilities (service stations), with 25% for rail and marine facilities. Fleet facilities and bulk plants can also apply, and non-federal government agencies are eligible. The preference for grant awards will be for the proposed increase in biofuels at the facility based on these upgrades, with additional points for being in a western or northeastern state (Louisiana and Texas included), proximity to the interstate, and being in an area without other gas stations. 

These upgrades will pay 50% of the cost of upgrading your USTs and dispensers, and there will be a cap on each component. For example, no more than $55,000 will be allowed for each new E85 dispenser. Up to a 10% match can be used for new signage that promotes these new biofuels. 

The website with webinars on the process, the application, and additional information is https://www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip . 

I met Jeff Carpenter, the USDA manager of this program, at the 2022 Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) Conference, and he is helpful and easy to communicate with if you are ready to apply or have more questions from the USDA. His contract information is (402) 318-8195 or [email protected].

Jesse Hoppes, P.G.

Co-Owner/ Senior Geologist