The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is hosting four training courses to help biorefineries meet new requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The classes, which are FDA-approved, are geared toward ethanol plant employees overseeing the food safety plan of the ethanol plant. The course will assist ethanol plants with FSMA compliance, provide accurate and fact-based information and the means to compliance.
RFA Director of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis, who holds an instructors certification, will conduct the training classes. “With the rigorous FDA training I received, I understand the letter and spirit of the law, and the nuances ethanol plants will need to know in order to comply as cost effectively as possible,” said Davis. “These training classes will be essential to help navigate the FSMA requirements.”
Registration is now open for the four classes:
Training Session #1: July 27–29, Omaha, Neb.
Training Session #2: Aug. 17–19, Des Moines, Iowa
Training Session #3: Aug. 24–26, Minneapolis, Minn.
Training Session #4: Sept. 14–16, Indianapolis, Ind.
Each session will include course materials, refreshments and lunch. Attendees will receive an approved PCQI certificate upon successful completion of the course. Each session is limited to 40 attendees, reservations are required and slots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The course is offered to RFA members at no charge and the registration fee for non-members is $1,800. To reserve your spot at one of the above sessions, please contact Ann Lewis or Kelly Davis.
In September 2015, FDA finalized regulations for producing safe animal food, in the case of ethanol plants safe dried distillers grains (DDGs). Covered facilities must establish and implement a food safety system that includes an analysis of hazards and risk-based preventative controls. FSMA requires a Preventative Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) be in charge of the risk-based food preventative controls plan and receive certification through an FDA-sanctioned training course and those taught by FDA-certified lead instructors. RFA has been involved with the standardized curriculum development of the FDA recognized Food Safety Preventative Controls Alliance for the Animal Food.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its draft Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2017 on Wednesday proposing a total renewable fuel volume of 18.8 billion gallons, including four billion in advanced biofuels and 312 million gallons is cellulosic biofuel.
In this interview, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen says the proposal falls 200 million gallons short of the statute and that EPA is relying on an illegal interpretation of its waiver authority under the RFS. Dinneen does give EPA credit for releasing the proposal in a timely fashion and notes that the agency will be providing an opportunity for the industry to provide public comment during a hearing in Kansas City on June 9.
Members of the ethanol industry interested in learning more about the octane benefits of ethanol, as well as other ethanol benefits, can now do so in a five-part webinar series hosted by the Renewable Fuels Foundation (RFF), the education and research arm of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and MathPro, fuel refining experts. The webinar series kicks off next month and will focus on ethanol’s unique octane properties and ethanol’s potential role as the octane source of choice in future fuels. RFA says the webinar series is in response to the call from automakers for higher octane fuels that provide better engine efficiency and to assist in facilitating compliance with future fuel economy and greenhouse gas reduction standards.
The ethanol octane webinar series includes:
Webinar #1: “All About Octane” – June 9 (11am-12pm CDT)
Webinar #2: “Gasoline Refining and Blending 101” – July 7 (11am-12pm CDT)
Webinar #4: “Future CAFE Standards” – Aug. 18 (11am-12pm CDT)
Webinar #5:“Economics of High Octane Fuels” – Sept. 8 (11am-12pm CDT)
“Guided by the experts at MathPro, these webinars will provide stakeholders with a better understanding of ethanol’s important role in the fuel supply today, as well as the immense opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for ethanol-based high octane fuels,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “As automakers continue to pursue higher octane fuels, ethanol is well positioned to serve as the lowest-cost, lowest-carbon and cleanest octane source on the market. But there are a number of obstacles that must be overcome in order to solidify an expanded role for ethanol in our future fuels.”
For the fourth time, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), has won the TRANSCAER National Achievement Award for hosting its series of ethanol safety seminars last year for first and emergency responders. The award is given in recognition of great achievement in support of the TRANSCAER initiative, a volunteer coalition that works to ensure the safety of emergency responsders, in this instance how to prepare and handle hazardous material incidents. In 2015, RFA held 15 ethanol safety seminars and two Train the Trainer events, which trained 541 emergency responders on how to properly respond to an ethanol incident.
Additionally, RFA Technical Services Manager Missy Ruff received a TRANSCAER Individual Achievement Award for her work last year in planning the ethanol safety events.
“We are honored to receive this award for the fourth year in a row, and for Missy’s outstanding work in coordinating these essential events,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Safety is the ethanol industry’s top priority, and while recent data shows ethanol has been delivered 99.999 percent of the time without incident, we know accidents can happen. We want first responders to be prepared in the rare instance a release occurs.”
Since December 2010, RFA has held 167 ethanol safety seminars spanning 29 states, training more than 5,000 emergency responders.
A new bill was introduced this week that would cap ethanol blends in the U.S. transportation fuel system to no more than 9.7 percent by volume. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.), all biofuel critics. This bill is in conflict to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), an energy policy designed to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign sources of oil.
Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen responded to the bill by saying, “Passage of this bill would represent a complete capitulation to the oil industry that steadfastly refuses to provide consumers higher octane, lower cost alternative fuels at the pump. They whine about a so-called blend wall even as they continue to build it themselves by denying consumer access to E15 and E85. The RFS was made necessary by oil company intransigence. It was intended to break the stranglehold oil companies have on the motor fuel market by forcing access. This bill would gut the RFS and send America’s energy and climate change policy back decades. Americans want choices at the pump, they want to see lower carbon fuels, they want to spend less on motor fuel, and they want to stimulate investments in new technologies and new fuels to drive our economy in a low carbon world. This bill would sacrifice all of that at the altar of Big Oil, and that is why it will never pass.”
As the summer season kicks off (at least in the Midwest), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has kicked off an #E10 Boating campaign. This week, RFA ran an ad in The Hill to help combat misinformation on boating and #ethanol. Look for more to come as part of RFA’s extensive ethanol boating campaign.
The video, sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), addresses myths around the RFS, specifically that the legislation does not eliminate any fuel. As such, retail stations can still sell E0 (gasoline with no ethanol) along with other fuel options such as E15 and E85. Also addressed is ethanol damage, ethanol use in classic cars, phase separation, gasoline volatility, and more.
Watch the video now and help bust some ethanol myths.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is reporting that U.S. ethanol exports totaled 95.3 million gallons (mg) in March, a 42 percent increase from February. This is also the highest monthly volume in more than four years. The data comes from the latest report from the U.S. government. The top export market was China (37 mg) followed by Brazil (20.7 mg) and Canada (16.2 mg). Year-to-date ethanol exports are 249.4 mg and RFA says the U.S. is on pace to ship 1 billion gallons of exports this year.
March exports of denatured fuel ethanol were 50.1 mg, an increase of 49 percent from February. Two countries accounted for 99 percent of denatured fuel ethanol exports—China received 35.3 mg, while Canada took in 14.3 mg. Brazil was the only other major importer of denatured fuel ethanol in March, bringing in 0.5 mg.
Undenatured fuel ethanol exports stood at 41.2 mg in March, up 32 percent from February. At 20.7 mg, Brazil received roughly half of the undenatured product shipments followed by India (4.1 mg), Peru (3.3 mg), South Korea (3.3 mg), Jamaica (2.9 mg), Mexico (2.6 mg), and China (1.7 mg). Exports of denatured and undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use totaled 4.0 mg in March followed by Canada (1.9 mg) and Sweden (1.6 mg).
Exports of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) totaled 822,945 metric tons (mt) in March, up 5 percent from February. Mexico was the top destination for DDGS exports (142,117 mt) while China’s imports were down 42 percent from February (121,619 mt) followed by South Korea (83,196 mt), Vietnam (71,840 mt), Turkey (60,997 mt), Indonesia (51,554 mt), and Thailand (42,328 mt). Year-to-date DDGS exports through the first quarter stood at 2.4 million mt.
The unofficial first day of summer is fast approaching, Memorial Day, and people around the country will begin to hit the beaches and boats. To educate people about the safety of using E10 in marine craft, the Renewable Fuels Association has launched a boating campaign. The first ad appeared in the latest issue of Mariana Dock Age, which is delivered to most marina around the country. Going forward the campaign will include educational outreach and additional ad placements.
“There has been a lot of misinformation perpetuated by biofuel opponents surrounding boating and ethanol,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “For nearly 30 years, 10 percent ethanol (E10) has been used in all types of marine engines and the fuel blend is approved for use by all major marine engine manufacturers, including Honda, Mercury Marine, Kawasaki and Johnson/Evinrude. As a bonus, ethanol’s higher octane ratings increase engine performance, in addition to it also being the lowest-cost, cleanest-burning fuel on the planet.
“E10 is safe for marine engines. Period. Any organizations that say otherwise are not telling the truth,” Dinneen added.
RFA is also cautioning that while E10 is approved for use in all marine engines, higher ethanol blends, such as E15, are not – E15 is only approved for vehicles 2001 or newer. EPA requires E15 and higher ethanol blends to be clearly labeled at the pump, and mandates that E10 also be available at any station offering E15. So aware boaters need not be concerned. Through more than four years of E15 sales, there has not been a single case of E15 misfueling in a marine engine.
The signing of the Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day 2016 puts the focus on what countries are doing to make the world a better place, and some of the nearly 170 countries signing the accord are backing the use of renewable fuels like ethanol for cleaner air. In this Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen talks about the environmental benefits of ethanol and how the United States could have done more in the agreement to promote renewable fuels. He also shares his thoughts about what the oil industry costs American taxpayers on Tax Day.