EPA won’t require 2013 RFS reports until after 2014 quotas are out

Refiners and other obligated parties under the federal Renewable Fuels Standard won’t be required to file 2013 reports until after 2014 quotas for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel have been announced, the US Environmental Protection Agency said.

Regulated parties won’t have to submit annual compliance reports and attested engagement reports for 2013 until 30 days and 90 days, respectively, following publication of the 2014 final quotas have been published in the Federal Register, EPA said in a July 31 Direct Final Rule signed by Administrator Gina McCarthy.

EPA took the action “because we are still working on the 2014 RFS final standards, and we are taking the time to get them right,” a source at the agency said. “The goal is to put the RFS program on a manageable path that supports continued, achievable, realistic growth in renewable fuels.”

EPA delayed the reporting deadline for a second time in 2013 on June 16, moving it to Sept. 30.

The American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers separately expressed concerns that EPA’s latest announcement would further delay final quotas for 2014.

“The law requires EPA to finalize the next year’s volume requirements by Nov. 30,” an API spokesman said on July 31. “Right now, [it] should be proposing the 2015 requirements, but we’re still waiting for [it] to finalize requirements for this year. Unfortunately, this has become the rule rather than the exception when it comes to implementation of the RFS under this administration,” he said.

An AFPM spokeswoman, meanwhile, said, “We appreciate the additional flexibility, but their need to grant this extension only highlights the fact that we are more than halfway through the year and still do not know our 2014 obligation. This is more disconcerting in light of reports that the administration is backtracking on its proposal, which recognized the need to avoid the adverse consumer impacts of the blendwall.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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