Bill would restrict RFS waivers for small refineries

Source: By Marc Heller, E&E Daily • Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2021

 A bipartisan group of senators yesterday proposed legislation to tweak regulations for small refineries seeking exemptions from biofuel blending requirements. The bill, mirroring legislation already introduced in the House — H.R. 1113 — in February, would give refineries a deadline of June 1 each year to apply to EPA for the exemptions, which the agency grants in cases of economic hardship. Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said the proposal would give EPA time each year to account for exemptions when drafting minimum blending requirements for ethanol and other biofuels — volumes EPA normally announces each November. Refinery operators don’t presently face a hard deadline to apply for exemptions. The legislation, called the “Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act,” addresses the fine print of one of the most hotly debated aspects of the renewable fuels mandate…”The EPA’s very opaque small refinery exemption process is unfair to hardworking farmers and ethanol producers across rural America,” Fischer said in a news release, adding that the legislation would bring “much-needed transparency” to the program.