EPA posts call-in information for July 31 hearing on RFS proposal

By Erin Voegele | July 25, 2019

The U.S. EPA has posted call-in information for its July 31 hearing on the proposed rule to set 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) and the 2021 RVO for biomass-based diesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The agency announced plans to hold the hearing earlier this month. The event is scheduled to take place at the Ann Arbor Marriot Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti, Michigan, starting at 9:00 a.m. EST.  

The agency updated its website July 25 to include a toll free dial-in number and conference ID, allowing those who cannot attend the event in person the opportunity to listen in by phone.  The dial-in number is (844) 884-8829 and the conference ID is 3709059. According to the EPA, the conference line will open at approximately 8:45 a.m. EST and will be closed when the hearing has concluded.

The EPA 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.

Additional information on the hearing is available on the EPA’s website