June 2022 Denial of Petitions for RFS Small Refinery Exemptions
On June 3, 2022, EPA announced the denial of 69 petitions from small refineries seeking small refinery exemptions (SREs) from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for one or more of the compliance years between 2016 and 2021.
Consistent with the April 2022 Denial of Petitions for RFS Small Refinery Exemptions, the denials announced today apply EPA’s current interpretation of the Clean Air Act SRE provisions, consistent with a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit holding in Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA. The Tenth Circuit held that SREs may only be granted when a small refinery’s hardship is caused by compliance with the RFS program. After reviewing more than a decade of RFS market data, public comments on a proposal EPA issued in December 2021, and confidential information submitted by petitioners, EPA concluded that none of the 69 SRE petitions demonstrated disproportionate economic hardship caused by compliance with the RFS program.
Concurrent with today’s announcement, EPA is also supplementing the “April 2022 Alternative RFS Compliance Demonstration Approach for Certain Small Refineries” to allow three small refineries to apply the alternative compliance approach to their RFS compliance obligations for 2016 and 2017. All small refineries covered by the “June 2022 Alternative RFS Compliance Demonstration Approach for Certain Small Refineries” may meet certain 2016, 2017, and/or 2018 compliance obligations without purchasing or redeeming additional RFS credits. EPA is granting this compliance flexibility because the Agency has determined that there are extenuating circumstances specific to this set of petitions, including the fact that SRE petitions were previously granted.
EPA is also taking action to provide extra time for small refineries to meet their 2020 compliance obligations. EPA is proposing this compliance flexibility because the Agency has determined that there are extenuating circumstances specific to the 2019 and 2020 compliance years, including a limited availability of RINs and the significant delay in EPA issuing its decisions on SRE petitions for these compliance years.
The June 2022 Denial of Petitions for SRE Exemptions is a final Agency action.
- Read the December 2021 proposal to deny all pending SRE petitions.
- Read the April 2022 denial of 36 SRE petitions for the 2018 compliance year.
- Read the April 2022 action to provide compliance flexibility to certain small refineries for the 2018 compliance year.
- Notice of June 2022 Denial of Petitions for Small Refinery Exemptions Under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (pdf) (published June 8, 2022)
- June 2022 Denial of Petitions for RFS Small Refinery Exemption (pdf) (June 2022, EPA-420-R-22-011)
- June 2022 Denial of Petitions for RFS Small Refinery Exemptions: Appendices (pdf) (June 2022, EPA-420-R-22-011A)
- June 2022 Alternative RFS Compliance Demonstration Approach for Certain Small Refineries
- Proposed Alternative RIN Retirement Schedule for Small Refineries