Ethanol Blog

EPA Finalizes Rule Extending RFS Deadlines For Refiners

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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The EPA finalized a rule extending deadlines for obligated parties to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard. (DTN file photo)

The EPA will extend deadlines for obligated parties to comply with Renewable Fuel Standard deadlines for 2019 and 2020, the agency announced on Tuesday.

The rule proposed by the Trump administration has been opposed by the biofuels industry, https://www.dtnpf.com/….

"Under the extended deadlines, obligated parties must submit 2020 compliance documentation by Jan. 31, 2022, and the associated attest engagement reports by June 1, 2022," the agency said in an announcement.

"EPA is also extending the deadline for obligated parties to submit attest engagement reports for the 2021 compliance year to Sept. 1, 2022. The deadline for obligated parties to submit compliance documentation for 2021 is unchanged."

In addition, EPA is extending the deadlines for small refineries to comply with 2019 volume standards, the agency also announced.

"Under the extended deadlines small refineries must submit 2019 compliance documents by Nov. 30, 2021, and the associated attest engagement reports by June 1, 2022," EPA said.

Growth Energy Chief Executive Officer Emily Skor said in a statement the decision was disappointing.

"Refiners using COVID-19 as a pretext to attack the Renewable Fuel Standard is wrong, as biofuel producers were among the hardest hit by COVID-19, with over half the industry offline at the peak of the crisis," she said

"The intent of the RFS is to blend more biofuels into our nation's transportation fuel supply. It is not meant to have oil companies use questionable tactics to avoid blending biofuels and then demanding that the agency further delay compliance. These refineries have had ample time to blend more biofuels and comply with the RFS. We urge EPA to move expeditiously to finalize the 2021 and 2022 RVO, as well as restore the 500 million gallons that have been pending since 2017."

A number of biofuels and other groups submitted comments to the agency ahead of the recent public comment period deadline.

Renewable Fuels Association President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Cooper, said in comments to the agency, "This proposal is unnecessary, and the timelines are excessive. All that the extensions would do is compound problems that the EPA itself created under the last administration: the massive and unjustified increase in small-refinery exemptions and the failure to finalize the 2021 renewable volume obligations by the statutory deadline. The rationale that the EPA laid out is either not valid or not sufficient to extend the RFS compliance deadlines."

The final rule may come as a surprise to the biofuels and agriculture industries, as the Biden administration has committed to upholding the RFS.

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow me on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN

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