LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- One day after attorneys general in Iowa and Nebraska sued the EPA to force the agency to finalize a rule to allow permanent E15 sales in eight Midwest states, state-level corn and ethanol groups asked EPA Administrator Michael Regan to finish the rule "immediately."
In April 2022, eight Midwest governors exercised their Clean Air Act authority to equalize the summer regulations for E10 and E15, asking the agency to allow the states to sell E15 year-round.
EPA was required to approve the requests of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin within 90 days. EPA waited until March 6, 2023 -- nearly a year after receiving the petition -- to propose approval of the request of the rule that has yet to be finalized.
The Clean Air Act allows governors to notify EPA that they wish to reject the use of the 1-psi waiver for E10 in their states. This would result in the application of the same volatility limitation to both E15 and E10 -- essentially putting E10 and E15 on the same footing in those states beginning in 2024.
"We are urging EPA to finalize its proposed regulation before the end of this summer," the state groups said in a letter to Regan on Tuesday.
"Fuel refiners and suppliers in Midwest states say they need sufficient lead time to make supply chain modifications before the governors' petition takes effect next summer. Finalizing the rule before the end of September 2023 would provide all parties with more than enough time to make any necessary changes to their operations."
The groups said although they "greatly appreciate" emergency action taken by EPA this year to continue E15 sales this summer, they said the temporary waivers are "not a sustainable, long-term solution. The marketplace needs a permanent solution and greater certainty for year-round E15 moving forward. Expeditious finalization of the proposed rule would provide that certainty and stability for 2024 and beyond."
The letter is signed by the Iowa Corn Growers Association; Iowa Renewable Fuels Association; Iowa Ethanol; Renewable Fuels Nebraska; Nebraska Corn Growers Association; Nebraska Ethanol Board; North Dakota Ethanol Producers Association; Missouri Renewable Fuels Association; Wisconsin Biofuels Association; North Dakota Corn Growers Association; Missouri Corn; Wisconsin Corn Growers Association; Minnesota Ethanol; Minnesota Corn Growers Association; Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association; Illinois Corn Growers Association; Illinois Renewable Fuels Association; South Dakota Ethanol; Ohio Ethanol Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association; South Dakota Corn Growers Association; Renew Kansas; Kansas Corn Growers Association; and Indiana Ethanol.
Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said in a news release the agency is running out of time to make the E15 rule timely.
"Federal law required EPA to act on the governors' E15 request over a year ago, yet we're still waiting," Shaw said.
"Patience has run out. It's beyond time to provide certainty for E15. Consumers need year-round sales of lower-cost, lower-carbon E15. Retailers and suppliers need certainty to make investments. Finalizing the rule by the end of this summer would allow sufficient time for refiners to be ready for the summer of 2024."
Read more on DTN:
"Nebraska, Iowa Sue EPA for Missing Deadline to Finalize Year-Round E15 Sales," https://www.dtnpf.com/…
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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