Comment periods on 2 EPA RFS proposals to close in mid-February

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine.

The comment periods on two U.S. EPA proposals that impact the renewable fuel standard (RFS) close later this month. Members of the public have until Feb. 16 to weigh in on the agency’s proposed Renewable Enhancement and Growth Support rule, and until Feb. 22 to submit comments on its proposed denial of petitions that seek to change the point of obligation under the RFS.

The original 60-day comment period on the REGS rulemaking was set to close Jan. 17. On Dec. 20, the EPA announced it would extend the comment period for 30 days. On the same date, the agency also announced a 30-day extension of the comment period on the proposed point of obligation ruling. That comment period was originally scheduled to close Jan. 23.

The EPA released its proposed REGS rule on Oct. 3. The proposal 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 the proposal addresses 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.