EPA opens comment period on draft RFS report

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2023

The U.S. EPA on Jan. 3 released an external review draft of its third triennial report to congress on biofuels and environment for public comment. A 60-day public comment period will be open through March 6.

The EPA is required to report to congress on the environmental and resource conservation impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard program under Section 2004 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The reports are required to be made on a triennial basis. The first such report was completed in 2011, with the second completed in 2018. The third report will build on the previous two reports and provide an update of the impacts to date of the RFS program on the environment.

The draft report released Jan. 3 spans nearly 1,000 pages and addresses a wide variety of issues, including biofuel supply chain; biofuels and agricultural markets; domestic land cover and land management; air quality; soil quality; water quality; water use and availability; ecosystem health and biodiversity; invasive or noxious plant species; and international effects.

According to a notice published in the Federal Register, an EPA contractor has selected nine individuals to serve on an external expert panel to peer review the third triennial report. Those experts were selected from a pool of candidates announced last year. The members of the external panel, peer review meeting dates and registration information will be posted to an EPA webpage at a later date, according to the notice.

Members of the public are encouraged to submit technical comments on the draft report. A full copy of the report is available on the EPA website. Additional information on how to submit comments is available on the Federal Register website.