The last minute small refinery exemptions granted by outgoing EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Tuesday night were put on hold by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today.
In response to an emergency motion filed Tuesday evening by the Renewable Fuels Association, the court ordered that EPA’s action to grant three small refinery petitions must be “administratively stayed pending further order of the court.”
The order prevents EPA from further processing the small refinery exemptions, at least until the court has had “sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for stay.” EPA has until February 3 to respond to the motion, and any replies are due to the court by February 10.
The stay comes roughly 36 hours after EPA approved two 2019 waiver petitions and one 2018 petition, which—if allowed to stand—would erase another 260 million gallons of Renewable Fuel Standard blending requirements.