EPA Likely to Release Final RFS Volumes This Week

Source: By Jordan Godwin, OPIS • Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2016

After Friday morning rumblings that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) might have a Friday afternoon surprise release, the agency is likely to release its finalized 2017 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) this week, industry sources said Friday.

An EPA official told an industry group on Thursday that the release was “imminent” but did not give an exact indication, a source said.

EPA has been on track to release the finalized target mandates for 2017 — and2018 for biomass-based diesel — under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by Nov.
30 and will likely beat that deadline, sources said.

The source added that if the agency does not issue the final RVOs this Friday, it is still likely to do so before Thanksgiving.

On Wednesday, an industry source said he had no indication of what the finalized RVOs will look like. “EPA has been very, very tight-lipped on these numbers,”
the source said. “They’re playing it smart.”

EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have been meeting with obligated parties and key stakeholders in recent weeks, agency records show.

EPA in May issued a proposed rule that called for the production next year of 18.8 billion gal of renewable fuel, up from the 18.11 billion gal target it had set for 2016 under the RFS.

Under the proposal, EPA said conventional biofuel, most of which is produced from corn ethanol, would account for 14.8 billion gal, up from 14.5 billion gal this year. The advanced biofuel proposal was set at 4 billion gal, which includes the already finalized 2 billion gal 2017 RVO for biomass-based diesel. For 2018, the agency proposed the biomass-based diesel RVO at 2.1 billion gal, up from 1.6 billion gal this year. The RFS requires the agency to set biodiesel targets one year in advance of the other RVOs.

The 2017 cellulosic biofuel target is at 312 million gal, above the 2016 target of 230 million gal but far below the 5.5 billion gal Congress envisioned for
2017 in its statutory volumes.