Deadline for EPA Biofuel Proposed Rule Extended by Two Weeks

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Growth Energy agreed under their consent decree to delay by two weeks the issuance of the proposed 2023 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). EPA is now required to propose the biofuel requirements by no later than November 30, 2022. This does not affect the consent decree deadline for finalizing the RVOs by no later than June 14, 2022.

“We agreed to EPA’s request for a two-week extension on the condition that November 30 will be the final deadline and there will be no further extensions of any deadline for action, as underscored in the stipulation document filed today,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “While any delay is unfortunate, this shift in timing only impacts the proposal. Importantly, the deadline for EPA’s final rule remains in place for June 14, 2022. Should the new proposal deadline pass without EPA action, Growth Energy stands ready to pursue further enforcement with the court.

“EPA cannot miss this opportunity to usher in a new era for the RFS and expand the critical role biofuels play in mitigating climate change and lowering prices at the pump.”

Background

On July 22, 2022, Growth Energy and EPA submitted a consent decree agreement to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that requires EPA to propose the 2023 renewable fuel volume requirements no later than November 16, 2022, and to finalize those requirements no later than June 14, 2023. Today’s action extends the proposal deadline to November 30, 2022, as outlined here:

Pursuant to Paragraph 6(a) of the decree entered by this Court, the parties provide notice of their stipulated extension to and including November 30, 2022, of EPA’s deadline to sign a notice of proposed rulemaking. The parties so stipulate with the understanding that EPA does not intend to seek further extensions of any deadline for action established by the decree and will make best efforts to sign a final rule in advance of the current deadline of June 14, 2023.

The consent decree agreement followed Growth Energy’s notice of intent to sue and filing of a complaint in federal district court in response to the agency’s violation of the statutory deadlines to issue renewable fuel volume requirements for the RFS program.

For 2023 and beyond under the RFS, EPA, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is required to set renewable fuel volume requirements through rulemaking, taking into consideration six statutory factors, including environmental, economic, and energy security. EPA is required to set the 2023 volume requirements at least 14 months prior to the calendar year in which they are to take effect. For 2023, EPA was required to finalize the 2023 renewable fuel volume requirements by November 1, 2021.

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