Fuels and Fuel Additives
Renewable Fuels: Notices
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Approval Letter for an Alternative Renewable Biomass Tracking Program
After an extensive review process, EPA has approved a plan submitted by a consortium of Argentinean renewable fuel producers (Camara Argentina de Biocombustibles, CARBIO) to demonstrate compliance with U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) regulatory requirements. The plan satisfies one aspect of the RFS, which is that importers are required to keep records which demonstrate that the feedstocks used to produce the fuel come from qualified land. CARBIO’s plan includes a robust tracking program that requires an independent third party to conduct an annual survey of the entire biofuel supply chain, from soybean production through intermediate processing, to biodiesel production. This approved plan enhances existing regulatory oversight requirements currently applied to qualifying renewable fuels being imported from Argentina.
- Approval Letter (PDF) (7 pp,177K, January 27, 2015)
UPDATE: The deadline for response to EPA's request for substantiation of any confidentiality claims related to information referenced in the Federal Register Notice published December 11, 2014 (79 FR 73577 available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/12/11/2014-29155/fuels-and-fuel-additives-request-for-substantiations-of-claims-of-confidential-business-information) has been extended to January 23, 2015 as per agreement between the parties in litigation, Perkins Coie LLP v McCarthy, Case 1:13-cv-01799 (D.D.C filed Nov. 11, 2013).
In regard to businesses that have already submitted comments, no additional responses are required. However, supplemental comments in addition to those already submitted will be accepted. All submissions must be sent to EPA either via email or postmarked by January 23, 2015.
Request for Substantiations of Claims of Confidential Business Information (CBI) from Businesses that have Submitted Reports and Transactional Information under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) has received a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for certain records submitted to EPA under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program between January 1, 2011 and November 2014. These records were submitted to EPA pursuant to the RFS program’s annual reporting, quarterly reporting and transactional information reporting within EPA’s Moderated Transaction System (EMTS). EPA has published a notice in the Federal Register requesting substantiations of confidentiality claims from businesses that have submitted any or all of the information listed in the notice and are claiming the information as confidential business information (CBI). The procedures by which businesses may voluntarily substantiate claims of CBI in regard to the information at issue in the FOIA request are provided in the notice, which is referenced in the parties’ joint briefing schedule in the case, Perkins Coie LLP v. McCarthy, Case 1:13-cv-01799 (D.D.C filed Nov. 11, 2013). EPA’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) will review comments received in response to this notice in preparing a Final Confidentiality Determination under 40 CFR part 2, Subpart B, to determine whether the information at issue should be released publicly in response to the FOIA request at issue in the above-referenced litigation. If OGC determines after reviewing the substantiations that some or all of the documents responsive to the FOIA request are not entitled to confidential treatment under 40 CFR Part 2, and therefore should be released, EPA will provide notice of this determination by letter, prior to release, to businesses who have submitted the information, allowing such businesses 10 working days to respond, pursuant to 40 CFR 2.205(f).
The notice can be found in the Federal Register here.
Notice of Opportunity to Comment on the Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Renewable Fuels Produced from Biomass Sorghum
EPA is publishing and inviting comment on its preliminary analysis of the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the growth and transport of biomass sorghum feedstock for use in making biofuels such as ethanol or diesel.
- Federal Register notice (PDF) (7 pp, 249K, published December 31, 2014)
Denial of Requests for a Waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard
In August 2012, Governors from several States requested a waiver of the national volume requirements for the renewable fuel standard program (RFS) pursuant to Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act. EPA's extensive analysis makes clear that Congressional requirements for a waiver have not been met and that waiving the RFS would have minimal impact on ethanol demand.
- Fact Sheet: EPA Decision On Requests for a Waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (PDF) (2 pp, 154K, EPA-420-F-12-075, November 2012)
- Notice of Decision Regarding Requests for a Waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (PDF) (25 pp, 4351K, published November 27, 2012)
- Extension of Comment Period (PDF) (4 pp, 48K, signed September 10, 2012)
- Request for Comment (PDF) (2 pp, 196K, published August 30, 2012)
- Letter from Mike Beebe, Governor of the State of Arkansas, to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of EPA (PDF) (1 pp, 453K, August 13, 2012)
- Letter from Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor of the State of North Carolina, to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of EPA (PDF) (2 pp, 1.01MB, August 14, 2012)
Notice of Approval of RFS2 MSW Separation Plan
EPA has approved Fiberight Blairstown LLC's municipal solid waste separation plan. The plan demonstrates the removal of recyclable materials from the municipal solid waste they intend to use as a feedstock for renewable fuel production under EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard Program.
- Decision Document: Approval of Fiberight Municipal Solid Waste Separation Plan (PDF) (7 pp, 200K, June 2012)
- EPA response to Fiberight Blairstown LLC's request for approval of a separation plant (PDF) (2 pp, 420K, July 2012)
- Notice for the opportunity to comment on the petition (PDF) (2 pp, 150K, published December 9, 2011)
Notice of Response to Petition
(published March 22, 2011)
On May 24, 2010, EPA received four petitions for reconsideration of the final rule, Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS2), (75 FR 14670, March 26, 2010). The petitioners raised several concerns associated with the final RFS2 rule. Specifically, all four petitioners requested reconsideration on the issue of EPA's adoption of the "aggregate compliance approach" as part of implementing the requirements for renewable biomass for certain feedstocks grown in the U.S. In addition, one petitioner cited the exclusion of the global "rebound" effect in the lifecycle analysis used in determining compliance with the required greenhouse thresholds for various renewable fuels. On February 17, 2011, EPA issued it's denial of these petitions because they fail to meet the criteria for reconsideration.
- Federal Register Notice (PDF) (2 pp, 140K)
- EPA response to Clean Air Taskforce, World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, and Friends of the Earth's petitions for reconsideration of the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS2) (PDF) (30 pp, 160 KB, February 2011)
- Letters from EPA Administrator Jackson to Clean Air Taskforce, World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, and Friends of the Earth (PDF) (4 pp, 662 KB, February 17, 2011)
Notice of Receipt of Petition from Canada for Application of the Renewable Fuel Standard Aggregate Compliance Approach
(published March 15, 2011)
EPA is issuing notice of receipt of a petition for EPA to authorize the use of an aggregate approach for compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard for renewable biomass. This petition was submitted by the Government of Canada. The petition requests that EPA determine that an aggregate compliance approach will provide reasonable assurance that planted crops and crop residue from Canada meet the definition of renewable biomass. In this notice, EPA is soliciting comment on all aspects of the petition.
- Notice (PDF) (3 pp, 66K)
Partial Grant and Partial Denial of Clean Air Act Waiver Application Submitted by Growth Energy to Increase the Allowable Ethanol Content of Gasoline to 15 Percent; Decision of the Administrator
(published November 4, 2010)
EPA reviewed the March 2009 application from Growth Energy, available test data and public comments on the waiver request. On October 13, 2010, EPA determined that, subject to compliance with all of the conditions listed in the waiver decision, a gasoline produced with greater than E10 and no more than E15 will not cause or contribute to a failure of certain motor vehicles to achieve compliance with the emission standards to which they have been certified over their useful lives. Therefore, EPA partially and conditionally granted the waiver request application submitted by Growth Energy for its gasoline-ethanol blend with no more than 15 vol% ethanol.
- Response to Application for Waiver (PDF) (58 pp, 4.58M, published November 4, 2010)
- More information about E15
Notice of 2009 Requirement
(published November 21, 2008)
EPA announced the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2009: 10.21 percent. This standard is used by obligated parties -- refiners, importers and blenders (other than oxygen blenders) -- to calculate their renewable volume obligation. This notice, which is required under section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, supersedes the notice published February 14, 2008.
Notice of Extension of Public Comment for the proposed rule to implement the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard Program(published July 7, 2009)
EPA is extending the comment period for the proposed rule "Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard Program." Under the Federal Register Notice, published May 26, 2009 (Can be found at U.S. Government Printing Office), the public comment period was set to end on July 27, 2009. The purpose of this document is to extend the comment period an additional 60 days until September 25, 2009. This extension of the comment period is provided to allow the public additional time to provide comment on the proposed rule.
Denial of the State of Texas Request for a Waiver of a Portion of the Renewable Fuel Standard
On August 7, 2008 EPA denied the Texas waiver request for a portion of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Governor of Texas requested that EPA waive a portion of the renewable fuel standard under section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act on April 25, 2008. According to the Act, EPA's Administrator s required to grant or deny the request within 90 days of receipt. On July 22, 2008, the Administrator announced that additional time was needed to adequately respond to the public comments and develop a decision document that explains the technical, economic and legal rationale of EPA's decision. Below is EPA's response and the related documents.
- Notice of Response to Request (published August 13, 2008) (Can be found at U.S. Government Printing Office)
- Press Release (August 7, 2008) announcing EPA's response to the request
- Fact Sheet: EPA Decision on Texas Request for Waiver for Portion of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) (3 pp, 153K, EPA-420-F-08-029, August 2008)
- Notice of Receipt of Request (published May 22, 2008) (Can be found at U.S. Government Printing Office)
- Press Release (July 22, 2008) announcing that EPA needed additional time to respond to the request
- Letter to EPA Administrator Johnson from Governor Perry (PDF) (3 pp, 129K, April 2008)
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