EPA Finalizes Voluntary Quality Assurance Plan for Renewable Fuel Standard Program
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In order to help make the RFS program more efficient and effective for buyers of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), EPA is finalizing a means to help verify the validity of RINs. The rule provides a structured process for independent third parties to audit the production of renewable fuel and the generation of RINs.
The rule finalizes a voluntary third-party quality assurance program option for RINs that regulated parties may exercise as a supplement to the “buyer beware” liability as prescribed under existing regulations. The program provides a means for ensuring that RINs are properly generated through audits of renewable fuel production conducted by independent third-parties using quality assurance plans (QAPs), provides an affirmative defense for the transfer or use of invalid RINs that had been verified under an approved QAP, defines the conditions when RINs must be replaced, and a process for determining who will replace the RINs.
For RINs that have been verified according to an approved quality assurance plan (QAP), the program will provide an affirmative defense against liability for civil violations under certain conditions for the transfer or use of invalidly generated RINs, and specifies both the conditions under which invalid RINs must be replaced with valid RINs, and by whom. The program includes elements to allow verification of RINs beginning January 1, 2013.
Rulemaking and supporting documents.
- Fact Sheet: EPA Issues Final Rule to Establish a Voluntary Quality Assurance Program for Verifying the Validity of Renewable Identification Numbers Under the RFS Program (PDF) (3 pp, 155 K, June 2014, EPA-420-F-14-042)
- Fact Sheet: EPA Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Establish a Voluntary Quality Assurance Program for Verifying the Validity of Renewable Identification Numbers Under the RFS Program (PDF) (3 pp, 155 K, January 2013, EPA-420-F-13-005)
- Final Rule (PDF) (49 pp, 555.8K, published July 18, 2014)
- Proposed Rule (PDF) (61 pp, 651K, published February 21, 2013)