WASHINGTON—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced biofuel blending mandates for 2022 and the prior two years, reports Reuters.
The 2022 biofuel blending mandate for 2022 is 20.63 billion gallons, and the EPA retroactively set the volume mandates for 2021 at 18.84 billion gallons and for 2020 at 17.13 billion gallons.
The EPA also denied oil refiners waivers to be exempt from the requirements but said it would allow extra time for small refiners to meet their 2020 blending obligations.
“At EPA, we are laser-focused on providing more options for consumers at the pump, and today we are taking steps to increase the availability of homegrown biofuels,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Today’s actions will help to reduce our reliance on oil and put the RFS program back on track after years of challenges and mismanagement. We remain committed to working with all RFS stakeholders to build on today’s actions and deliver certainty and stability in the RFS program.”
Each year under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must calculate and promulgate RVOs that ensure the program’s requirements are met in the coming year. The deadline to finalize the renewable obligations each year is on Nov. 30. In separate rulemakings, EPA had previously extended the 2019 compliance deadline for small refineries and the 2020 compliance deadline.
In addition to finalizing the volume requirements, the EPA also finalized a regulatory framework to allow “biointermediates” to be included in the RFS program. Biointermediates are feedstocks that have been partially converted at one facility but are then processed into an RFS-qualified biofuel at a separate facility.
“Providing a way for producers to utilize biointermediates may reduce biofuel production costs and expand opportunities for more cost-effective biomass-based diesel, advanced, and cellulosic biofuels. This new regulatory framework will allow new facilities looking to make advanced, innovative biofuels to qualify under the RFS program, expanding access to the program for biofuel producers and increasing compliance flexibility,” wrote the EPA in a statement.
NACS has filed comments with the EPA on its annual RFS obligations. NACS reiterated that the biofuels obligations must be set so that they can reasonably be absorbed and consumed by the market and avoid hitting the “blend wall.”