30-day comment period opens on RFS anti-backsliding proposal

By Erin Voegele | June 08, 2020

A 30-day public comment period is now open on the U.S. EPA’s proposal to determine that no additional fuel control measures are necessary to mitigate air quality impacts of required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The EPA released a pre-publication version of the finding on May 29 when it announced it had completed a required anti-backsliding study on the RFS and proposed to determine no actions are necessary.

RFS regulations contained in the Clean Air Act require the EPA to complete an anti-backsliding study to determine if required RFS blending volumes adversely impact air quality as a result of changes in vehicle and engine emissions. After considering the results of the study, the agency is required to either promulgate fuel regulations to mitigate adverse impacts on air quality, or determine no such measures are necessary. The EPA has proposed the second option, stating that the agency has determined no such measures are necessary.

Representatives of the ethanol industry have criticized the anti-backsliding study for rehashing outdated information while omitting critical data on the environmental advantages of low-carbon biofuels.

Comments on the proposed determination can be filed through July 8 on www.regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2020-0240. Additional information is available on the Federal Register website.