Biofuels: EPA, USDA Announce Agreement

Photo: ©Debra L Ferguson

On October 4, 2019, EPA’s Andrew Wheeler and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue issued a joint statement making changes to the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

Under this agreement, the following actions will be undertaken by EPA and USDA:

  • In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020.
  • EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met. This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries.
  • EPA intends to take final action on this front later this year.
  • In the most recent compliance year, EPA granted 31 small refinery exemptions.
  • Building on the President’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E15, EPA will initiate a rulemaking process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15.
  • EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform.
  • USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends.
  • The Administration will continue to work to address ethanol and biodiesel trade issues.

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