The Low Carbon Fuel Standard is set to go into effect in less than two weeks yet there are concerns among the ethanol industry that regulations will be implemented without having the appropriate reporting and compliance tools in place.
Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association submitted a letter earlier this week to Dean Simeroth, Chief of the Criteria Pollutants Branch at CARB. In the letter, Dinneen wrote, “Many of our member companies, including both ethanol producers and marketers, have raised numerous questions regarding LCFS reporting and compliance requirements. Unfortunately, the final regulation order and the supporting materials released Nov. 25, 2009, did little to address these lingering questions and concerns.”
As declared in the ruling, the first year of the program will require quarterly and annual reports; however, mandatory greenhouse gas reductions will not be enforced until 2011. The problem with meeting this requirement lies in the fact that the means of demonstrating compliance with the program and submitting reports is still unavailable to regulated parties.
“With the CARB about to implement far reaching regulations for its Low Carbon Fuel Standard, it is vital that the agency have in place all of the methods and systems necessary to collect information to make the program operate,” said Dinneen. “Unfortunately, those methods and systems are not in place – a situation which is likely to cause confusion and delay in getting the program up and running.”
Several of the issues identified included: reporting requirements for ethanolproducers when ownership of fuel is transferred once the fuel is inside the State of California; CARB’s definition of “neat ethanol”; if CARB was developing a standardized application form for the submission of information on delivery methods; why the CARB had not yet publicly released its online Compliance and Reporting Tool (CRT) and when it intended to do so; and more.
Dinneen concluded, “It is incomprehensible that implementation of a regulation could occur before the means of demonstrating compliance is completed and accessible to regulated parties. For these reasons and others, we believe the Office of Administrative Law will be forced to return the LCFS package to CARB and require the agency to complete its unfinished work related to the compliance and reporting system.”