EPA approves efficient producer pathway for Green Plains Obion

By Erin Voegele | August 18, 2016

In late July, the U.S. EPA approved an efficient producer pathway petition for Green Plains Obion LCC, bringing the total number of plants to receive pathway approvals under the efficient producer program to approximately 61.

Plants that have approved efficient producer pathways are able to generate renewable identification numbers (RINs) for production volumes above those grandfathered under current renewable fuel standard (RFS) regulations. When the RFS was established in its current form, the rulemaking grandfathered in the production volume of existing corn ethanol plants. To qualify for compliance with the RFS program, any new production above the grandfathered gallons must meet a 20 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction threshold when compared to the program’s gasoline baseline. The efficient producer pathway petition process is designed to aid ethanol plants in gaining pathway approval for expanded production above those grandfathered volumes.

According to documents published by the EPA, Green Plains Obion, a 120 MMgy ethanol plant located in Rives, Tennessee, achieved a 22.2 percent lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction when compared to baseline gasoline. A typical natural gas-fired dry mill ethanol plant that produces 100 percent dry distillers dried grains achieves a 16.8 percent GHG reduction when compared to the gasoline baseline.

A full copy of the petition approval is available on the EPA website.