OPIS Biofuels Headlines
January 30, 2014
EPA Timeframe for Finalizing 2014 RFS Slips to Summer
EPA now expects to issue its final 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) this summer, a delay from previous estimates, OPIS has confirmed.
"We appreciate this level of engagement and additional information from stakeholders as the agency works in consultation with the Departments of Agriculture and Energy toward the development of a final rule, which we expect to issue by the summer of 2014," EPA said in a statement sent to OPIS this morning.
No further information was provided, but EPA previously estimated a final 2014 RFS rule out by the spring of this year.
Earlier this week, EPA completed a 60-day public comment period of its 2014 RFS proposal, which calls for nearly across-the-board reductions to the biofuel targets. The agency received well over 16,000 comments on the proposal, which could be part of the reason for the delay of the final rule.
The delay appears to be a recent change, as last week during the National Biodiesel Board's (NBB) annual conference, OPIS asked Paul Argyropoulos, senior policy advisor for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation division, during a panel discussion whether the agency still planned to issue the finalized RFS rule by spring. In response, he said that was still the plan.
Additionally, biofuels groups which met with White House officials earlier this month were also told the rulemaking would still be finalized this spring.
However, sources following the RFS rule were not surprised by the delay. "We expected it late spring or summer. But it illustrates why we need EPA to release the proposal by early summer for the following year, so it can be finalized by the Nov. 30 statutory deadline," one source said.
A second source said technically, spring doesn't end until June 20, and the source always pegged July/August as a more likely timeframe.
During last week's NBB panel, Argyropoulos elaborated on the agency's next steps after closing out the comment period. "We know we're going to get some very substantive comments and some not substantive. All of those take time," he said. The agency will then sift through the comments, categorize them and look for any new data submitted, he explained. "Anything we do in our final process is going to be legally and technically justified," he added. EPA plans to finalize the rule "as expeditiously as possible," he added.
--Rachel Gantz, firstname.lastname@example.org
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