EPA rejects biofuel blending waivers for small refineries

Source: By Macr Heller, E&E News • Posted: Monday, April 11, 2022

In denying the exemptions, EPA said it was meeting a directive from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that economic hardship exemptions can only be issued if the hardship is tied to the RFS, not other factors.

EPA headquarters.

EPA yesterday denied three dozen requests from small refineries for exemptions from biofuel-blending requirements, citing a federal court ruling that had left the waivers in limbo.

The exemptions date to the 2018 compliance year for the federal renewable fuel standard, which requires the blending of biofuel into the nation’s transportation fuel supply. Additional petitions from 2016 to 2021 are still pending, EPA said.

In denying the exemptions, EPA said it was meeting a directive from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that economic hardship exemptions can only be issued if the hardship is tied to the RFS, not other factors. Because the agency had already granted 31 of them, EPA said yesterday it would allow those refineries to meet the blending obligation without having to buy or redeem additional renewable fuel credits.

“After reviewing more than a decade of RFS market data, public comments on a proposal EPA issued in December 2021, and confidential information submitted by petitioners, EPA concluded that none of the 36 2018 SRE petitions demonstrated hardship caused by compliance with the RFS program,” the agency said.

|