The first decision by the new administration that impacts biofuels is a disappointment to the industry. Late Tuesday afternoon, the Environmental Protection Agency extended compliance deadlines for the Renewable Fuel Standard, a move proposed under the Trump Administration that is opposed by biofuels supporters.
EPA finalized a rule to extend the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program’s compliance deadlines for 2019 and 2020. Under the extended deadlines, obligated parties must submit 2020 compliance documentation by January 31, 2022; and the associated attest engagement reports by June 1, 2022. EPA also extended the deadline for obligated parties to submit attest engagement reports for the 2021 compliance year to September 1, 2022. The deadline for obligated parties to submit compliance documentation for 2021 is unchanged.
Finally, EPA extended the deadlines for small refineries to comply with 2019 volume standards. Under the extended deadlines small refineries must submit 2019 compliance documents by November 30, 2021; and the associated attest engagement reports by June 1, 2022.
In comments on the proposal made earlier this month, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said it was unnecessary and the timelines excessive. “All that the extensions would do is compound problems that the EPA itself created under the last administration: the massive and unjustified increase in small refinery exemptions and the failure to finalize the 2021 renewable volume obligations by the statutory deadline. The rationale that the EPA laid out is either not valid or not sufficient to extend the RFS compliance deadlines.”