EPA delivers RFS ‘reset’ rule to OMB

By Erin Voegele | May 21, 2019

The U.S. EPA delivered its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard “reset” rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget May 20. OMB review marks a final step before a proposed rule is released for public comment.

According to information posted to the OMB website, the statutory provisions governing the RFS program require EPA to modify, or “reset,” the applicable annual volume targets specified in the statute for future years if waivers of those volumes in past years met certain specified thresholds. The notice explains those thresholds have been met or expected to be met in the near future. As a result, the agency’s rulemaking proposes to modify the applicable volume targets for cellulosic biofuels, advanced biofuels and total renewable fuel for the years 2020-2022.

Since the timetable for the “reset” rulemaking overlaps with that for annual standard-setting rulemakings, the proposed rule will also include renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2020, along with the 2021 and 2022 RVOs for biomass-based diesel.

The summary also indicates “this rulemaking includes several regulatory amendments designed to provide clarity and increase opportunities for renewable fuel production.”

The “reset” rulemaking is separate from the agency’s proposed rule to set RVOs for 2020, along with the biomass-based diesel RVO for 2021. That annual rulemaking was delivered to the OMB May 6 and is currently under review. In addition to the 2020 RVO, that rulemaking also includes “other changes” to the RFS program. The EPA has not elaborated on what those other changes might be.