OMB agenda confirms timelines for RFS, E15, Biopreferred rules

By Erin Voegele | January 04, 2023

The White House Office of Management and Budget on Jan. 4 published its 2022 Fall Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan, confirming the expected timeline on federal rulemakings related to the Renewable Fuel Standard, E15 sales and the Biopreferred program.

According to the agenda, the U.S. EPA is still expected to finalize its RFS “set” rule by June 2023, as required as part of a consent decree filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The proposed rule, released on Dec. 1, 2022, aims to set renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2023, 2024 and 2025. It also addresses the generation of electric renewable identification numbers (e-RINs) from eligible sources of biomass-based electricity. A comment period on the rulemaking is open through Feb. 10.

The EPA is also expected to finalize a rulemaking that would allow year-round sales of E15 in several Midwestern states in March 2023, according to the agenda. The agency in early December delivered a proposed rule to the OMB related to a petition filed by several Midwest governors seeking a solution to year-round E15 sales in their states. A summary published by the OMB explains that the proposed rule “implements a provision in the Clean Air Act which provides that a governor of a state may request that the 1-psi volatility waiver provided in the statute for gasoline-ethanol blends be removed in the state.” The agency said it has received such a request from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

According to the agenda, the USDA is also working to complete a rulemaking of interest to the bioenergy and biorefining sector. The agency is expected to release a notice of proposed rulemaking in February related to its Biobased Markets Program (Biopreferred). The action will add 2018 Farm Bill provisions to the program, specifically proposing to codify program guidance into the regulations. The rulemaking is expected to reduce burden on both the applicants and the agency by reducing requirements, clarifying requirements, streamlining the application and certification process, and increasing efficiencies in program delivery.

Additional information on the Fall 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions is available on the OMB website