EPA extends RFS compliance deadline, annoying biofuels industry
The Environmental Protection Agency on March 23 finalized a rule to extend the Renewable Fuel Standard program’s compliance deadlines for 2019 and 2020.
Under the extended deadlines, obligated parties must submit 2020 compliance documentation by Jan. 31, 2022, and the associated attest engagement reports by June 1, 2022. EPA also extended the deadline for obligated parties to submit attest engagement reports for the 2021 compliance year to Sept. 1, 2022. The deadline for obligated parties to submit compliance documentation for 2021 is unchanged.
Finally, EPA extended the deadlines for small refineries to comply with 2019 volume standards. Under the extended deadlines, small refineries must submit 2019 compliance documents by Nov. 30, 2021, and the associated attest engagement reports by June 1, 2022.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “We are disappointed in EPA’s decision to accept the refiners’ request to extend the deadline for their blending requirements for 2020. Refiners using COVID-19 as a pretext to attack the Renewable Fuel Standard is wrong, as biofuel producers were among the hardest hit by COVID-19, with over half the industry offline at the peak of the crisis.
“The intent of the RFS is to blend more biofuels into our nation’s transportation fuel supply. It is not meant to have oil companies use questionable tactics to avoid blending biofuels and then demanding that the agency further delay compliance. These refineries have had ample time to blend more biofuels and comply with the RFS. We urge EPA to move expeditiously to finalize the 2021 and 2022 RVO, as well as restore the 500 million gallons that have been pending since 2017.”
The Renewable Fuels Association noted that on March 11 RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper said, “This proposal is unnecessary, and the timelines are excessive. All that the extensions would do is compound problems that the EPA itself created under the last administration: the massive and unjustified increase in small refinery exemptions and the failure to finalize the 2021 renewable volume obligations by the statutory deadline. The rationale that the EPA laid out is either not valid or not sufficient to extend the RFS compliance deadlines.”
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