EPA schedules public hearing on proposed rule to update RFS

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine. 

The U.S. EPA has announced plans to hold a public hearing on Dec. 6 in Chicago for its proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support Rule. Those who wish to testify must contact the EPA by Nov. 22.

The EPA released the proposed rule on Oct. 3. According to the agency, the proposal aims to enhance the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and related fuel regulations to support the growth of ethanol and other renewable fuels. It includes an updated regulatory structure to allow biofuels producers to partially process feedstock at one facility and convert the resulting material into fuels at another using existing pathways. It also updates fuel regulations to allow expanded availability of high-ethanol fuel blends for use in flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) and includes new feedstock approvals for cellulosic biofuels produced from short-rotation poplar and willow, cellulosic diesel produced from compressing of cellulosic feedstocks and petroleum, and renewable diesel and biodiesel produced from non-cellulosic portions of separated food waste. In addition, the EPA said it is seeking comments on a variety of other issues, including renewable identification number (RIN) generation for renewable electricity used as transportation fuel and requirements for facilities that could use carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reduce carbon in the production of renewable fuels in the future.