EPA delivers final Fuels Regulatory Streamlining rule to OMB

By Erin Voegele | September 21, 2020

The U.S. EPA delivered its final Fuels Regulatory Streamlining rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget on Sept. 17. OMB review marks a final step before a rulemaking is released publicly.

The agency first released its proposed Fuels Regulatory Streamlining rule in April 2020. The rulemaking aims to streamline and modernize the agency’s existing fuels regulations. In the proposed rule, the EPA said it planned to make “some slight modifications to the Renewable Fuel Standard,” but stressed it does not plan to make substantive changes to the RFS as part of this rulemaking.

A fact sheet published by the EPA explains the rulemaking proposes to “update the agency’s existing gasoline, diesel and other fuels programs in 40 CFR part 80 to improve overall compliance assurance and maintain environmental performance, while reducing compliance costs for industry and EPA.”

According to the EPA, the rulemaking would streamline existing fuel quality regulations by removing expired provisions, eliminating redundant compliance provisions, such as duplicative registration requirements that are required by every EPA fuels program, and remove unnecessary and out-of-date requirements. These regulations would be replaced with a single set of provisions and definitions in a new 40 CFR part 1090 that would apply across all gasoline, diesel and other fuel quality programs currently regulated under 40 CFR part 80, with the exception of the RFS. The EPA said the rulemaking does not propose to change the stringency of the existing fuel quality standards, nor does it propose any new standards on fuels or remove any statutory requirement for fuels specified in the Clean Air Act.

The fact sheet outlines three key elements that are to be included in part 1090. First, the updated regulations would simplify the reformulated gasoline (RFG) summer volatile organic compound (VOC) standards. Second, the regulations would consolidate the regulatory requirements across the part 80 fuel quality programs. Third, the regulations would improve oversight through the leveraging of third parties to ensure in-use fuel quality.

The EPA held a virtual public hearing on the proposed rule on May 28. A public comment period was open through June 29. Information posted to the OMB website currently indicates a final rule is expected to be released in December. Additional information on the rulemaking is available on the EPA website.