The Environmental Protection Agency and biofuel trade association Growth Energy have finalized a proposed consent decree that would set an early summer publishing deadline for the biofuel mandate targets of the current and prior year.
Under the decree – expected to be published in the Federal Register Wednesday – EPA will finalize the Renewable Volume Obligations for the Renewable Fuel Standard by June 3. If achieved, that timeline would be more than six months after the 2022 targets were to be finished and more than a year and a half following the statutory deadline for 2021’s volumes.
Growth Energy first filed its intent to sue the EPA over the publishing delays in November. Then, the group said it planned to take the agency to court if it failed to meet the Nov. 30 deadline to publish the following year’s RVOs set in law. The RVO proposals were not released until December and frustrated the biofuels industry with proposed retroactive reductions to the 2020 and 2021 RVOs.
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Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor called the agreement “a significant milestone for the biofuels industry” that “reflects Growth Energy’s persistent efforts to hold EPA accountable to its responsibilities under the RFS to issue timely RVOs and provide market certainty.”
“Furthermore, we are hopeful that EPA’s agreement to submit to judicial oversight of a binding RVO deadline gives credence to the agency’s commitment to get the RFS back on track and provide regulated parties and the biofuels industry with timely guideposts to enhance market certainty and incentivize innovation for the future of biofuels,” she added. “This is particularly important as EPA moves to consider the blending obligations for the already-delayed RFS 'Set' in the year ahead.”
EPA will take comment on the consent decree for 30 days.
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