RFS Volumes Delayed by One More Week

EPA, Growth Energy Announce Last-Minute Delay in Release of RFS Volumes

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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The EPA has delayed the release of the final Renewable Fuel Standard volumes by one week. (DTN/Progressive Farmer file photo)

OMAHA (DTN) -- EPA will have one more week to finalize a multi-year Renewable Fuel Standard proposal after Growth Energy agreed to a stipulation in a previous consent decree hammered out in court with the agency.

The EPA and Growth Energy filed a notice of the agreed-upon delay in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday. The EPA was under a previous court-ordered June 14 deadline to finalize volumes for 2023, 2024 and 2025.

"After discussion with EPA leadership, Growth Energy consented to this new deadline to finalize the RVOs," Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said in a statement.

"We fully expect EPA to comply with the new deadline and look forward to a robust final rule that strengthens the RFS and enhances the biofuels industry's ability to decarbonize the transportation sector."

Although it's not official, previous media reports suggest EPA is scrambling to pull an electric-vehicle renewable identification numbers, or eRINS, program from the proposal. In addition, representatives of the Advanced Biofuels Association and others had a meeting slated with the White House's Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday.

The Advanced Biofuels Association has been pushing the Biden administration to increase volumes for biomass-based biodiesel and other advanced biofuels, above and beyond the proposal, to match industry expectations for production in the years to come.

In July 2022, Growth Energy and EPA submitted a consent decree agreement requiring EPA to propose the 2023 renewable fuel volume requirements no later than Nov. 16, 2022, and to finalize those requirements no later than June 14, 2023.

On Nov. 4, 2022, EPA and Growth Energy agreed to a two-week extension of the release of EPA's proposed rule. Similarly, Tuesday's action extends the final rule deadline to June 21, 2023.

"Please take notice that, pursuant to paragraph 6(a) of the decree entered by this court, the parties provide notice of their stipulated extension to and including June 21, 2023, of EPA's deadline to sign a final rule," the notice said.

"Based on the parties' discussions and mutual understandings, the parties so stipulate with the understanding that EPA will not seek a further extension of any deadline established by the decree."

EPA was required to set the 2023 volume requirements at least 14 months prior to the calendar year in which they are to take effect.

For 2023, EPA was required to finalize the 2023 renewable fuel volume requirements by Nov. 1, 2021, and the 2024 renewable fuel volume obligations by Nov. 1, 2022 -- 19 months and 7 months late, respectively.

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

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Todd Neeley

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