EPA: 2 additional SRE petitions filed, 70 now pending

Source: By Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2021

The U.S. EPA on May 20 published updated small refinery exemption (SRE) data, reporting that two additional SRE petitions have been filed for Renewable Fuel Standard compliance year 2020. The agency also changed the status of three previously filed SRE petitions.

There are now 70 SRE petitions pending, up from 66 that were pending as of mid-April. The pending petitions include 18 for compliance year 2020, 32 for compliance year 2019, three for compliance year 2018, one for compliance year 2017, two for compliance year 2016, three for compliance year 2015, four for compliance year 2014, three for compliance year 2013, two for compliance year 2012, and two for compliance year 2011.

The updated data shows that two SRE petitions previously approved for compliance year 2019 are once again pending. In addition, one SRE petition that had been approved for compliance year 2018 is now listed as denied. The change in status of those three SRE petitions is likely related to a decision handed down by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on May 19 vacating three SREs granted by the EPA to Sinclair on the day before President Biden’s inauguration.

The EPA is not currently expected to act on any of the 70 pending SRE petitions until after the U.S. Supreme Court completes its review of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ January 2020 ruling that struck down three SREs that the court said were improperly issued by the EPA and held that the agency cannot “extend” exemptions to any small refineries whose earlier, temporary exemptions had lapsed. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments pertaining to the challenge on April 27 and is expected to issue its decision this summer.