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NBB Asks EPA to Fully Account for Small Refinery Waivers

Oct 30, 2019, 9:04 AM
NBB and biodiesel industry members testify at EPA field hearing

NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Contact: Paul Winters
 202-737-8801
pwinters@biodiesel.org

YPSILANTI, MI - Today, National Biodiesel Board (NBB) staff and members testified at the Environmental Protection Agency's public hearing on the Supplemental Notice for Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021. NBB made a case that in the final 2020 rule, EPA should account for the impacts of past small-refinery exemptions, properly address the D.C. Circuit's remand in Americans for Clean Energy, and increase advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel volume that drive growth in renewable fuel production.

NBB expressed appreciation for the proposal to account for small refinery exemptions in the future but asked that EPA use the best estimate available.

"EPA should change how it accounts for small refinery exemptions in the final rule in order to ensure that the renewable volume obligations are achieved," said Kate Shenk, NBB Director of Regulatory Affairs. "EPA could do so by taking further steps to limit the number of exemptions it grants in the future. Or, it could base its estimate for the number of small refinery exemptions in 2020 on the number of exemptions it has actually granted in recent years."

Kent Engelbrecht, Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and Trade Manager, Biodiesel, at ADM, also stated, "Because this proposal provides no certainty that EPA will follow DOE's recommendations going forward, it leaves the industry skeptical that the rule will prevent the demand destruction that the industry has been experiencing since EPA increased the granting of SREs in 2016. If EPA proceeds with using an average of DOE's recommendations, rather than an average of actual waived gallons, the agency will continue to reduce the applicable volumes, creating an effective volume requirement well below what EPA is bound to ensure."

NBB also highlighted parts of the overall 2020 RFS annual rule that need to be improved.

"The Supplemental Notice does not propose to do anything about small refinery exemptions before 2020. Yet, over 4 billion gallons of demand for biofuels has been lost due to small refinery exemptions from 2016 through 2018," added David Cobb, NBB Federal Affairs Director. "This impact has been particularly significant for biomass-based diesel producers because biomass-based diesel can be used to satisfy multiple categories of fuel under the RFS."

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation's first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.

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For more about biodiesel, visit www.biodiesel.org.

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