EPA: No new SRE petitions filed, 69 SREs remain pending

By Erin Voegele | April 21, 2022

The U.S. EPA released updated small refinery exemption (SRE) data on April 21, reporting for the third consecutive month that no new SRE petitions were filed under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The data also shows the agency did not act on any of the 69 SRE petitions that have been pending since at least mid-January.

There are currently five SRE petitions pending for compliance year 2021, 30 SRE petitions pending for compliance year 2020, 29 SRE petitions pending for compliance year 2019, three SRE petitions pending for compliance year 2018, one SRE petition pending for compliance year 2017, and one SRE petition pending for compliance year 2016.

The EPA on Dec. 7 proposed to deny more than 60 pending SRE petitions. The agency said the proposed decision results from its review of the pending SRE petitions and supporting information; its legal technical and policy analysis of the Clean Air Act provisions relating to small refineries; and its application of the holdings of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA.

A public comment period on the proposal was open through Feb. 7. According to information published on Regulations.gov, the EPA received nearly 250 public comments on its SRE proposal.

The EPA earlier this month denied 36 small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions for compliance year 2018 that were remanded by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Those 36 SREs included 31 that were originally approved and five that were originally denied. The agency overturned the 31 approvals, denying all 36 SRE petitions. The 31 small refineries whose previously approved SREs were overturned, however, will not need to purchase or redeem additional renewable identification numbers (RINs) to comply with RFS renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2018. The agency is instead allowing those 31 small refineries to use an “alternative compliance approach.” 

Additional SRE data is available on the EPA’s website