EPA delays RFS waiver ruling

By Kris Bevill | July 08, 2008
Web exclusive posted July 22, 2008 at 1:19 p.m. CST

U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced today that the EPA will not meet its July 24 deadline to issue a decision on the renewable fuels standard (RFS) waiver request submitted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

In late April, Perry sent a request to the EPA asking for a 50 percent reduction of the 2008 renewable fuels standard requirements. If granted, Perry's request would reduce the amount of renewable fuels required to be consumed this year to 4.5 billion gallons instead of 9 billion.

The administrator's press secretary Jonathan Shradar told EPM that additional time is needed to continue analyzing more than 15,000 comments that were received during the mandatory 30-day request period, which ended June 23. A spokesman for the EPA previously said the agency was unprepared for the sheer amount of comments it received.

Shradar said, in addition to more commentary analysis, the EPA needs to finish analyzing the effects of spring flooding in the Midwest, and how it has affected crops and food prices. Consultation with the USDA and the U.S. DOE is also needed, he added. "They're all in the process," he said. "It's just pulling them all together to have a definitive answer that remains to be done."

Johnson said he expects to issue a final determination on Perry's waiver request in early August.