The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comment on the current process for issuing Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) that would allowing names of refineries who have applied for and received waivers to be made public in an effort to expand transparency.
EPA has reopened the comment period for 15 days on one aspect of a 2016 proposal “that basic information related to EPA actions on petitions for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) small refinery and small refiner exemptions may not be claimed as confidential business information (CBI).”
National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik called the move a step in the right direction. “The agency should make this information public when the petition is submitted, not just when it is granted,” said Kovarik. “NBB will continue to aggressively advocate for a solution to the demand destruction resulting from retroactive small refinery exemptions.”
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor challenged EPA to go even further. “Any move by EPA to increase transparency is long overdue but always welcome by this industry,” said Skor. “For years, we’ve been trying to navigate these exemptions in the dark, all while over 2.6 billion gallons of ethanol demand has been lost. It is imperative that EPA and the Department of Energy reveal the methodology behind granting these exemptions, and for EPA to fully recognize that every time they grant an exemption, they are taking away critical demand from our already struggling rural economy.”