RFS comment period to close July 27

Source: By Erin Voegele, Biomass Magazine • Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2015

The public comment period on U.S. EPA’s renewable fuel standard (RFS) proposal is set to close July 27. As of July 22, more than 45,000 comments had already been filed on the proposal.

The rulemaking sets proposed 2014, 2015 and 2016 renewable volume requirements (RVOs) under the RFS along with a proposed 2017 RVO for biomass-based diesel. The proposal aims to set the 2014 RVO at the actual amount biofuel consumed last year. The 2015 RVOs would set a cellulosic requirement of 106 million gallons, a biomass-based diesel requirement of 1.7 billion gallons, an advanced biofuel requirement of 2.9 billion gallons and a requirement for total renewable fuel of 16.3 billion gallons. For 2016, the proposed rule aims to set the cellulosic biofuel RVO at 206 million gallons, with the biomass-based diesel RVO set at 1.8 billion gallons, the advanced biofuel RVO set at 3.4 billion gallons, and the total renewable fuel RVO at 17.40 billion gallons. In addition, the proposed rule aims to set the 2017 RVO for biomass-based diesel at 1.9 billion gallons.

While the proposal does call for gradually increasing volumes of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. transportation pool, the proposal has been criticized by the biofuel industry for the use of a “blend wall” methodology that limits RVOs to less than 10 percent of U.S. transportation fuel.

The EPA released a prepublication version of the rulemaking on May 29. On June 10, the agency published the proposed rule in the Federal Register, officially opening the public comment period.

Those who wish to weigh in on the proposal have until July 27 to do so. Comments can be filed online at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0111. Additional information on how to submit comments is available on the EPA website.