RFS One Key in EPA Regulatory Agenda

Source: By DTN's Washington Insider • Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Biden administration on Friday released the unified regulatory agenda, with several issues ahead on biofuels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to release its proposals for renewable fuel percentages under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in July 2021 and finalize the action in December, according to the unified regulatory agenda released by the Biden administration.

As for the RFS levels for 2023 and beyond, the unified agenda noted that under the Clean Air Act, “EPA must set those volumes based on an analysis of factors specified in the statute. This rulemaking will establish volume requirements beginning in 2023.” The timeline laid out for the action is for a notice of proposed rulemaking to be released in December 2021, with a final rule in December 2022. EPA noted that the legal deadline is for the action is required 14 months ahead of the first applicable year–2023.

EPA also noted they are “required to modify, or reset,” the applicable annual volume targets specified in the statute for future years if waivers of those volumes in past years met certain specified thresholds.” While indicating those thresholds have been met, the agency said they are “considering proposing a rulemaking that would modify the applicable volumes targets for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for future years.” However, the timeline for that is listed as “to be determined.”

Regarding E15, EPA noted the notice of proposed rulemaking released in January by the Trump administration which proposed options to labeling of E15 fuel dispensers. “First, EPA proposed to modify the text and color of the E15 label,” the agency noted. “Second, EPA proposed to remove the E15 label requirement entirely.” The proposed reg also required future underground storage tank (UST) equipment to be compatible with higher blends of ethanol and provides additional options for demonstrating compatibility of existing UST systems with higher blends of ethanol. But as with the RFS reset, EPA indicate the timeline for the final rule is “to be determined.”