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EPA Seeks to Extend RFS Compliance Deadline


The agency wants to reshape future deadlines for oil refiners to meet biofuel blending requirements.

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule change yesterday that would extend the deadlines for oil refiners to meet the 2020 and 2021 biofuel blending requirements.

Each year under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must calculate and promulgate Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) that ensure the program’s requirements are met in the upcoming year. The deadline each year is on Nov. 30.

The EPA previously extended the 2019 compliance deadline for small refineries (from March 31, 2020, to Nov. 30, 2021) and the 2020 compliance deadline (from March 31, 2021, to Jan. 31, 2022) earlier this year. The agency is proposing to further extend these deadlines.

The EPA is making four proposals: 

  1. Extend the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance deadline for the 2019 compliance year for small refineries only.
  2. Extend the RFS compliance deadline for the 2020 and 2021 compliance years for all obligated parties.
  3. For 2019, 2020 and 2021, extend the associated attest engagement reporting deadlines to the next June 1 annual attest engagement reporting deadline that is at least 60 days after the applicable 2019, 2020 and 2021 compliance deadline.
  4. change the way in which future (2022+) RFS compliance and attest engagement reporting deadlines are determined.

 “The proposed extensions (both for 2019-2021 and for 2022+) will help ensure that obligated parties are positioned to fully comply with their RFS obligations by ensuring that each year’s compliance deadline falls after the standards for the subsequent compliance year are known,” wrote the EPA.

Earlier this month, Growth Energy threatened to sue the EPA over the agency’s delay in releasing RFS volume proposals for 2021 and 2022. The EPA was supposed to issue the 2021 RVO by Nov. 30, 2020, which was an annual deadline set by the RFS, but the agency has yet to release the 2021 RVO.

The EPA is holding a hearing on the proposal on Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. EST.