EPA: 59 SRE petitions now pending, down from 64 in July

By Erin Voegele | August 19, 2021

The U.S. EPA published updated small refinery exemption (SRE) data on Aug. 19, reporting that there are currently 59 SRE petitions pending under the Renewable Fuel Standard, down from 64 that were pending as of mid-July.

The data shows EPA has not acted on any SRE petitions in the past month. Rather, 11 “gap year” SRE petitions were withdrawn, with six new SRE petitions filed for compliance years 2020 and 2021.

Newly withdrawn SRE petitions include one for compliance year 2011, one for compliance year 2012, two for compliance year 2013, three for compliance year 2014, two for compliance year 2015, and one for compliance year 2016, and one for compliance year 2019. The six new SRE petitions include five filed for compliance year 2020 and one filed for compliance year 2021.

The withdrawal of the 11 “gap year” SRE petitions is likely in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 25 reversal of a portion of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal’s Jan. 20, 2020, decision on SREs. The Supreme Court ruled that the EPA can extend SREs to small refineries whose earlier, temporary exemptions had lapsed. Following the lower court’s ruling in early 2020, several small refineries had filed “gap year” SRE petitions in an effort to create a continuous string of exemptions that would allow the refinery to remain eligible for future exemptions.

The 59 pending SRE petitions now include one pending for compliance year 2016, one pending for compliance year 2017, three pending for compliance year 2018, 30 pending for compliance year 2019, 23 pending for compliance year 2020, and one pending for compliance year 2021.

Additional data is available on the EPA website