The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to a timeline for the publishing of future biofuel mandate blending targets and is expected to soon seek public comment on the proposed schedule.

A consent decree worked out between the agency and biofuel trade association Growth Energy would require EPA to propose the Renewable Volume Obligations for 2023 no later than Sept. 16 and then finalize those targets by April 28, 2023.

Growth Energy filed suit against EPA in April, asking a court to impose a schedule on the agency for setting the RVOs. Emily Skor, the group’s CEO, called the new timeline a “significant victory in our mission to ensure certainty when it comes to biofuel blending, especially as we face a new era of the RFS.”

“Releasing the proposed RVO is the first step for EPA to keep the RFS program on sound footing for 2023 and beyond. We look forward to EPA releasing an RVO that sets biofuel blending at levels that reflect a move toward more lower-carbon, lower-cost fuel in our transportation system." 

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The 2023 RVOs represent the first rollout the agency will conduct without the guidance of specific volumes set by Congress. Under the law that created the Renewable Fuel Standard, the agency is supposed to base the volumes for 2023 and beyond on six factors accounting for things like climate change and energy security.

The agency is currently operating under another consent decree reached with Growth Energy that established a June 3 deadline to publish RVOs for 2021 and 2022.

EPA’s Federal Register notice seeking comment on the consent decree is expected to be published Monday.

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