EPA to hold hearing on 2020 RFS proposal July 31 in Michigan

By Erin Voegele | July 11, 2019

The U.S. EPA has announced plans to hold a public hearing July 31 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on its proposed rule to set 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) and the 2021 RVO for biomass-based diesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The agency released the rulemaking on July 5. It proposes to require 20.04 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended with the U.S. fuel supply next year, up from 19.92 billion gallons in 2019. The proposed RVO includes 5.04 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, 2.43 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, and 540 million gallons of cellulosic fuel. The 2020 RVO for biomass-based diesel was finalized in a separate rulemaking last year. The July 5 rulemaking also proposes to set the 2021 RVO for biomass-based diesel at 2.43 billion gallons, level with the 2020 RVO. 

When compared to the 2019 RVOs, the proposal would increase the RVO for cellulosic biofuel by 120 million gallons. Due the nested nature of the RFS RVOs, the implied RVOs for advanced biofuel and renewable fuel would remain at the 2019 level.

Representatives of the ethanol industry, including the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the American Coalition for Ethanol, have slammed the rule for failing to reallocate RVOs waived by small refinery exemptions (SREs). The RFS Power Coalition, which includes the Biomass Power Association and American Biogas Council, have criticized the rule for failing to include renewable electricity. The ABC and Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas have also stressed the proposed rule falls short of accounting for actual 2020 cellulosic biofuel production and will do little to encourage greater development in biogas-based RNG fuels.

The hearing is scheduled to be held at the Ann Arbor Marioutt Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest starting at 9:00 a.m. The event will end when are parties present who wish to speak have had an opportunity to do so.

Additional information is available on the EPA website.