10th Circuit requires EPA to reconsider definition of ‘refinery’ in RFS suit

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2022

A federal appeals court is requiring EPA to reconsider its definition of the term “refinery,” in a decision scrapping the agency’s 2019 rejection of small refinery waivers from renewable fuel standard (RFS) biofuel blending mandates for Colorado oil refineries, finding EPA wrongly combined two separate refineries for the purposes of RFS compliance.

In its unanimous Oct. 17 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit finds that EPA wrongly denied the waivers for Suncor, which operates facilities in Commerce City, CO, saying that the agency failed to properly justify its decision to aggregate the two facilities, known as East Refinery and West Refinery. The facilities are adjacent to each other and partially integrated in their operations. EPA’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious,” the court says.

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