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US EPA finalizes 2022 renewable fuel volume requirements

6 June 2022

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the volume requirements that apply under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program in 2022 for the four RFS fuel categories: cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel.

The renewable fuel volumes for 2022 have been increased. In addition, a supplemental standard of 250 million gallons has been adopted, after a federal court found the EPA inappropriately reduced RFS blending requirements for 2016.

The agency also retroactively reduced the total renewable fuel (ethanol) volumes for 2021 and 2020—to 18.84 and 17.13 billion gallons, respectively—down from a prior target for each year of 20.09 billion gallons.

Final volume requirements for 2020-2022 (billion gallons)
Cellulosic Biofuel0.510.560.63
Biomass-Based Diesel2.432.432.76
Advanced Biofuel4.635.055.63
Total Renewable Fuel17.1318.8420.63
Supplemental Standardn/an/a0.25
Note: All values are ethanol-equivalent on an energy basis, except for BBD which is biodiesel-equivalent

The rule also finalized a regulatory framework to allow “biointermediates” to be included in the RFS program. Biointermediates are feedstocks that have been partially converted at one facility but are then processed into an RFS-qualified biofuel at a separate facility. Providing a way for producers to utilize biointermediates may reduce biofuel production costs and expand opportunities for more cost-effective biomass-based diesel, advanced, and cellulosic biofuels, the EPA said.

Separately, earlier this year the EPA proposed a rule that would find that renewable diesel and other biofuels made from canola oil would qualify as advanced biofuel under the RFS. The agency is on track to finalize this rule by the end of this year.

The EPA has also announced a suite of small refinery exemption actions. These include a final decision to deny a set of about 70 pending exemptions spanning the 2016–2021 compliance years, a proposed alternative schedule for small refineries to comply with their 2020 RFS obligations, and a revision to an alternate compliance approach for certain small refineries for the 2016, 2017, and/or 2018 compliance years.

Source: US EPA