EPA asked to process RIN applications for biomass, biogas power

By American Biogas Council | September 06, 2018

This morning, 111 organizations sent a letter to the EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging the immediate inclusion of renewable electricity in the Renewable Fuel Standard. In 2007, Congress approved the participation in the RFS of electricity produced using renewable feedstocks as fuel, including certain types of biomass, biogas and the biogenic portion of municipal solid waste. Despite this approval and EPA’s approval of renewable electricity in 2014, EPA has yet to register facilities and recognize RINs for electricity producers, also known as “eRINs.”

“It’s well beyond time to process applications submitted by biomass power producers and allow them to participate in the RFS program,” said Bob Cleaves, president and CEO of Biomass Power Association. “There is no good reason to deny the ability of biomass and waste-to-energy to produce RINs—particularly when Congress has already given its explicit approval. Biomass power and waste-to-energy provide value and essential services to rural communities, shoring up forestry and agriculture-based economies and aiding in forest fire prevention and the avoidance of landfill use. Biomass and waste-to-energy must be allowed to finally participate in the RFS, and we look forward to working with the EPA to establish pathways for our members.”

“EPA’s inaction on this issue has halted construction and further investments in new biogas systems that are ready to use this approved pathway,” said Patrick Serfass, executive director of the American Biogas Council. “It’s time for EPA to take action and the steps necessary to approve the renewable electricity pathway. Once that happens, we will all be able to benefit from increased economic activity to build biogas systems which displace fossil fuels, produce soil amendments and protect our environment.”

“EPA has the opportunity to provide critical assistance to resilient municipal infrastructure that is currently challenged by market conditions and policy oversights by establishing a program to recognize eRINs,” said Ted Michaels, president of the Energy Recovery Council.

Many of the organizations signing the letter have submitted applications to participate in the RFS program to the agency and await EPA action. When these organizations are permitted to participate in the program, they will be classified in the cellulosic fuel (D3) category, where the EPA has fallen far short of its targets. Allowing biomass, biogas and waste-to-energy to register would expand the availability of cellulosic fuels by about 170 million gallons per year.

A full copy of the letter is available on the ABC website