EPA approves efficient producer pathway for Minnesota plant

By Erin Voegele | May 18, 2021

The U.S. EPA on May 4 approved an efficient producer pathway for Poet LLC’s 46 MMgy ethanol plant located in Preston, Minnesota. The approval allows the facility to generate renewable identification numbers (RINs) for non-grandfathered volumes of ethanol.

Ethanol plants that have approved efficient producer pathways are able to generate RINs for production volumes above those grandfathered under current Renewable Fuel Standard 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 the pathway approval documents published by the EPA, ethanol produced at the Preston plant achieves a 22.1 percent GHG emission reduction when compared to baseline gasoline. A typical natural gas-fired dry mill ethanol plant achieves a 16.8 percent reduction.

A full copy of the EPA’s pathway approval notice can be downloaded from the agency’s website.