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US EPA finalises RFS volumes for 2019, biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020

On November 30, 2018, the United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalised a rule that establishes the required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2019, and biomass-based diesel for 2020.

The Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes of biofuels that must be used for transportation fuel for four categories of biofuels: total, advanced, cellulosic, and biomass-based diesel.

Using the tools provided by Congress to adjust the standards below the statutory targets based on “current market realities, the EPA implements the RFS program in consultation with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE).

Issuing the annual renewable volume obligations rule on time is extremely important to all stakeholders impacted by the Renewable Fuel Standard program. Unlike the previous administration, the Trump Administration has consistently met the deadline on time and fulfilled our commitment to provide stability to the program and greater certainty to farming and refining communities across the country, said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

According to a statement, the key elements of the rule are as follows:

  • “Conventional” renewable fuel volumes, primarily met by corn ethanol, will be maintained at the implied 15-billion (US) gallon (≈ 56.78 billion litre) target set by Congress for 2019
  • Advanced biofuel volumes for 2019 will increase by 630 million gallons (≈ 2.38 billion litres) over the 2018 standard
  • Cellulosic biofuel volumes for 2019 will increase by almost 130 million gallons (≈ 492.1 million litres) over the 2018 standard
  • Biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020 will increase by 330 million gallons (≈ 1.25 billion litres) over the standard for 2019

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalised a rule that sets the required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2019, and biomass-based diesel for 2020 (graphic courtesy EPA).

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