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EPA Finalizes 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards

Posted on August 6, 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program established by Congress. The final 2013 overall volumes and standards require 16.55 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply (a 9.74% blend).

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) established the RFS program and the annual renewable fuel volume targets, which steadily increase to an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022. To achieve these volumes, EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year. Based on the standard, each refiner and importer determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel.

The newly-announced standard specifically requires:

 - Biomass-based diesel (1.28 billion gallons; 1.13%).

- Advanced biofuels (2.75 billion gallons; 1.62%).

- Cellulosic biofuels (6.0 million gallons; 0.004%).

EPA said the standards reflect the agency’s updated production projections, which are informed by extensive engagement with industry and a thorough assessment of the biofuels market.  

As part of the rulemaking process, EPA said it received comments from a number of stakeholders concerning the “E10 blend wall,” a reference to the waiver the agency has granted concerning higher blends to 15% (E15). In this rule newly issued, EPA is announcing that it will propose to use flexibilities in the RFS statute to reduce both the advanced biofuel and total renewable volumes in the forthcoming 2014 RFS volume requirement proposal.

EPA said it is also providing greater lead time and flexibility in complying with the 2013 volume requirements by extending the deadline to comply with the 2013 standards by four months, to June 30, 2014.

More information on the standards and regulations is available at:

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm

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