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Administrator Pruitt Talks with Kansas Farmers

Administrator Pruitt Approves Registration of Bio-Isobutanol as Fuel Additive

06/12/2018
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Lenexa, KS.  — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited East Kansas Agri-Energy and Dedonder Farms, where he announced EPA has approved the first registration for bio-isobutanol as a fuel additive. Administrator Pruitt also visited EPA’s Region 7 office in Lenexa, Kansas.

“Today’s visit to the Sunflower State began with a candid and productive dialogue with Kansas corn and grain sorghum farmers on the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Separately, I made an important announcement approving the registration of bio-isobutanol as a gasoline additive, enabling new opportunities for expansion and continued growth of biofuels across the country.”

Administrator Pruitt and Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. Jackie McClaskey toured East Kansas Agri-Energy and attended a roundtable with over 40 local farmers and growers to discuss agriculture issues, specifically the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) — including the corn-oil and sorghum pathways, both of which the Agency is working diligently with federal, state, and local partners to advance.

“We appreciate the opportunity to show the EPA administrator the important work being done in Kansas to protect natural resources while growing Kansas agriculture, and we look forward to continuing the conversation in the future,” said Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. Jackie McClaskey. “Communication with our federal partners is key to developing policy that meets the needs of Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusiness.”

“We appreciate the opportunities provided by the Environmental Protection Agency to implement federal programs in ways that meet the needs of our state,” said Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Jeff Andersen. “We will continue to work with our State and federal partners, such as EPA, to identify innovative solutions to Kansas environmental concerns, such as smoke management and drinking water and wastewater system compliance.”

“Good to have Administrator Pruitt in Kansas and especially at an Ethanol plant where he could hear firsthand concerns about proposed changes to the RFS. I’m glad to see the EPA and this administration taking farmers concerns seriously and taking the time to hear from them firsthand,” said Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-01). “I’m also especially heartened by the discussion of progress on a sorghum Oil Biofuels Pathway.” 

Following the visit at Agri-Energy, Administrator Pruitt was joined by Lieutenant Governor Tracy Mann (R-KS) for a tour of Dedonder Farms followed by a smoke management demonstration and discussion with members of the Kansas Departments of Environment, Health, and Agriculture as well as members of the state’s Farm Bureau and Livestock Association. During this visit, Administrator Pruitt was able to hear firsthand how EPA is working closely with our partners at federal, state, and local air agencies to develop prescribed burn plans as an important tool to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and mitigate adverse impacts to public health and safety.

“Administrator Pruitt visited Farm Bureau members in the Flint Hills region of Kansas today to see first hand the need for prescribed wildland fire to maintain a native ecosystem of tallgrass prairie,” says Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts. “Kansas ranchers need a partner from regulators such as KDHE and EPA to ensure the centuries-old tradition of prairie fire continues to keep invasive trees and species at bay. We trust Administrator Pruitt and the Trump Administration will do everything in their power to ensure the Flint Hills region remains in native prairie and is not overcome with Eastern Red Cedar and other non-native plants.”

At Dedonder Farms, Administrator Pruitt also formally announced that EPA has approved the registration submitted by Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC — a manufacturer of bio-isobutanol, as an approved fuel additive. 

“Butamax welcomes the decision by the EPA, after thorough review of Butamax’s submission, to register isobutanol at 16% level as a gasoline additive. We believe that the combination of bio-isobutanol’s desirable fuel properties and Butamax’s production technology means that bio-isobutanol has the potential for widespread introduction into commerce,” said Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC CEO Jan Koninckx.

Following the meeting at Dedonder Farms, Administrator Pruitt visited EPA’s Region 7 Office where he met with Regional Administrator Jim Guilliford and numerous other Region 7 employees, including the Superfund team, who provided an update on the cleanup of the West Lake Landfill site. 

Background:

EPA has approved the registration of isobutanol as a gasoline additive at up to 16 percent volume after reviewing and taking comment on the application of Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC. Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC (“Butamax”), a manufacturer of bio-isobutanol, submitted an application pursuant to the regulations at 40 CFR Part 79, Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives, for the registration of bio-isobutanol. Butamax successfully demonstrated that bio-isobutanol meets all applicable requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA) for registration under Fuel and Fuel Additive Registration Program. Read Administrator Pruitt's letter: https://www.epa.gov/fuels-registration-reporting-and-compliance-help/epa-registers-isobutanol-blending-gasoline

With this registration, bio-isobutanol can be used as a gasoline additive or a “drop-in” fuel. Bio-isobutanol, which is produced from renewable resources like corn, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and is eligible to generate credits under the RFS program. Although not required, EPA published a Federal Register notice in March 2018 to make the public aware of the likelihood of this registration and sought public comment regarding any issues the Agency should take into consideration for this registration and/or any supplemental actions the Agency should take under the CAA to further protect public health and welfare. For more information, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/fuels-registration-reporting-and-compliance-help/notice-public-comment-epas-intent-register.

The comment period ended in April 2018. EPA received over 2,000 comments, most were positive comments in support of the registration of bio-isobutanol from across multiple stakeholders. After reviewing all comments received, EPA has determined that Butamax has demonstrated it has met all the applicable requirements under the CAA and therefore should be registered.