EPA opens comment period on RFS proposal

By Erin Voegele | July 21, 2017

On July 21, the U.S. EPA published its proposed rule to set 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements in the Federal Register, officially opening a public comment period that runs through Aug. 31.

The agency released a prepublication version of the proposal on July 5. The rulemaking sets 2018 renewable volume standards (RVOs) under the RFS, along with the 2019 RVO for biomass-based diesel. Overall, the proposed RVOs require approximately 19.24 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2018.

The proposal calls for 19.24 billion gallons of total renewable fuel, including 238 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel and 4.24 billion gallons of advanced biofuel. The 2.1 billion gallon biomass-based diesel requirement for 2018 was finalized last year. For 2019, the new proposal calls for the biomass-based diesel RVO to be maintained at 2.1 billion gallons.

When compared to the final RVO for 2017, the requirement for total renewable fuel drops slightly from 19.28 billion gallons to the proposed 19.24 billion gallons. The cellulosic RVO has also been lowered, from 311 million gallons in 2017 to a proposed 238 million gallons in 2018, with the advanced biofuel requirement dropping from 4.28 billion gallons in 2017 to a proposed 4.24 billion gallons in 2018. The final RVO for biomass-based diesel in 2017 was set at 2 billion gallons.

Written comments can be submitted online at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091. The EPA also recently announced plans to hold a hearing on the proposed rule Aug. 1 in Washington, D.C.

Additional information, including a copy of the proposed rule, is available on the Federal Register website.