EPA sends small refinery RFS compliance ‘alternative’ for OMB review

Source: By Stuart Parker, Inside EPA • Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022

 EPA has sent for White House review a draft proposal that appears aimed at implementing its novel renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance “alternative” for small refiners that saw their 2018 hardship waivers from RFS mandates retroactively scrapped, a measure the biofuels sector says is a “hollow victory” because refiners largely escape consequences.
The proposed rule sent to the Office of Management and Budget May 17 would provide an “alternative retirement schedule” for small refineries to “surrender” RFS credits known as renewable identification numbers (RINs) to EPA. EPA’s decision is in line with the Biden EPA’s view that the RFS does not cause small refiners “disproportionate economic hardship,” a position the agency says is supported by precedent on the issue from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in its 2020 decision in Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), v. EPA. However, the action “is a hollow victory for the biofuels industry because the remedy offered doesn’t cure the ill,” Geoff Cooper, RFA president and CEO, said at the time.