OMB updates timelines for 2021 RFS, E15 label rules

By Erin Voegele | December 14, 2020

Information released by the White House Office of Management and budget indicates the a proposed rule to set 2021 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard could be released soon. A rulemaking is also underway to alter E15 labeling requirements.

The OMB on Dec. 9 published its Fall 2020 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which provides updated timelines for U.S. EPA regulatory actions of interest to the biofuel and bioenergy industries, including those related to the RFS and E15 labeling requirements.  

The fall agenda includes an update on the status of the EPA’s rulemaking to set the 2021 RVOs under the RFS and the 2022 RVO for biomass-based diesel. The agency has already missed the Nov. 30 statutory deadline to issue a final rule. In fact, the agency has yet to release a proposed rulemaking for public comment. According to the fall agenda, a notice of proposed rulemaking is scheduled to be released before the end of 2020, with a final rule expected in June 2021.

The fall agenda also indicates the EPA is expected to release a notice of proposed rulemaking on E15 label revisions and underground storage tank compatibility. In the action, the EPA co-proposes two actions regarding the E15 label. First, the agency proposes to modify the text and color of the E15 label. Second, the EPA proposes to remove the E15 label requirement entirely. The action also proposes changes to underground storage tank compatibility demonstration requirements that would help enable the use of E15 and higher-level ethanol blends. According to the fall agenda, a notice of proposed rulemaking was expected to be released in November 2020. That, however, has not yet occurred. The agenda includes no expected timeline for the release of a final rule.