EPA agrees to conduct years-late RFS air pollution study

Source: By Eric Wolff, Politico • Posted: Friday, February 22, 2019

EPA says it will conduct a long-overdue “anti-backsliding” study of the air pollution impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard under the partial settlement of a lawsuit with the Sierra Club.

In a pre-publication notice issued today, EPA opened a 30-day comment period on the settlement with Sierra Club to conduct the study by March 30, 2020.

The laws establishing the RFS require EPA to conduct a study on the air impacts of EPA’s ethanol requirements every three years. EPA issued the first report a year late, in 2011. But it has not issued the second report, which was due in 2013, nor the third, which was due in 2016, according to Sierra Club’s 2017 complaint.

The Sierra Club opposes the RFS, arguing that increased corn production to make ethanol damages critical ecosystems and creates both water and air pollution.