EPA’s SRE proposal under OMB review

By Erin Voegele | October 10, 2019

The supplemental rulemaking referenced by the U.S. EPA in an Oct. 4 announcement regarding its plans to reallocate Renewable Fuel Standard volume obligations waived through future small refinery exemptions (SREs) appears to be under White House Office of Management and Budget review.

Information posted to the reginfo.gov website shows the EPA delivered a proposed rule titled “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2020, Biomass-Based Diesel Volumes for 2021, and Other Changes” to the OMB on Oct. 8. That proposed rule likely contains language seeking public comments on the EPA’s plan for the reallocation of future SREs.

The agency released few details of what the supplemental rulemaking will include during a press briefing held Oct. 4. An EPA spokesman, however, did note that the agency was planning to soon release a supplemental proposal building off its pending proposed rule to set 2020 RVOs and the 2021 RVO for biomass based diesel. That rulemaking was released in July. An initial public comment period closed Aug. 30. An EPA spokesperson said the supplemental proposal will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020. The supplemental rulemaking is expected to solicit public comments on how and at what levels the agency should account for future SREs.  

“EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol will be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020 and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met,” the spokesperson said on Oct. 4. “This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries.”

The spokesman also noted the ranges to be included in the supplemental proposal are informed by the last three compliance years and statutory direction provided by Congress. The supplemental proposal is expected to include more specific information when it is released publically. The agency indicated it plans to finalize the full rulemaking package before the end of the year.