EPA proposes June 3 deadline to finalize 2021, 2022 RVOs

By Erin Voegele | February 22, 2022

The U.S. EPA is scheduled to publish a notice of proposed consent decree in the Federal Register on Feb. 23 related to a legal challenge filed by Growth Energy that would establish deadlines for the agency to finalize 2021 and 2022 Renewable Fuel Standard renewable volume obligations (RVOs) by June 3, 2022. A public comment period on the notice of proposed consent decree will be open for 30 days following its publication.

Growth Energy filed multiple notices of intent to sue the agency over delays in setting RFS RVOs. The group also filed a compliant with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Feb. 8 seeking an injunction requiring the EPA to promptly promulgate RVOs for 2021 and 2022.

Rulemaking to establish the 2021 and 2022 RVOs is already underway. The EPA in December issued a proposed rule that aims to set 2021 and 2022 RVOs, as well as revise the previously finalized 2020 RVO. A public comment period on the proposal closed Feb. 4.

The proposed consent decree would require the EPA to finalize the 2021 and 2022 RVOs by June 3. A 30-day public comment period will begin following publication of the proposed consent decree in the Federal Register.

Growth Energy issued a statement applauding the EPA’s action. “This agreement is a significant milestone for the biofuels industry and reflects Growth Energy’s persistent efforts to hold EPA accountable to its responsibilities under the RFS to issue timely RVOs and provide market certainty,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “We are pleased that EPA has agreed to take this action.”

“Furthermore, we are hopeful that EPA’s agreement to submit to judicial oversight of a binding RVO deadline gives credence to the agency’s commitment to get the RFS back on track and provide regulated parties and the biofuels industry with timely guideposts to enhance market certainty and incentivize innovation for the future of biofuels. This is particularly important as EPA moves to consider the blending obligations for the already-delayed RFS ‘set’ in the year ahead,” Skor continued.

A pre-publication version of the proposed consent decree can be downloaded from the Federal Register website