Thursday, August 23, 2012

Waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) due to Drought Conditions in the U.S. - EPA seeking comments

Governors of the States of Arkansas and North Carolina submitted separate letters requesting a waiver of required volumes of renewable fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comment on the requests and matters relevant to EPA’s consideration of the requests. Section 211(o) of the Act requires the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy, to approve or disapprove a petition for a waiver of the RFS volume requirements within 90 days after the date on which the petition is received by the Administrator.

The Governor of Arkansas submitted a letter dated August 13, 2012 requesting EPA “waive an appropriate volume of renewable fuel, pursuant to Section 211(o)(7)” of the Act. The letter includes statements regarding this year’s drought, crop price increases, and impacts in various economic sectors, including the poultry and cattle sectors. The letter submitted by the Governor of North Carolina, dated August 14, 2012, requests that “the applicable volume of renewable fuel be waived” under the Act and also includes statements regarding drought conditions in the United States and economic impacts in the State.

Other organizations and individuals – including among others the Governors of the States of Delaware and Maryland, the National Pork Producers Council, the Dairy Farmers of America, and various Members of Congress – have also submitted letters either requesting the Administrator utilize her authority to waive RFS volume requirements or expressing support for the granting of a volume waiver. All of these letters are available in the docket; any additional similar requests submitted to EPA will also be docketed and considered together with requests already received.

EPA is issuing this notice to solicit comments and information on the waiver requests, and the views of the public on whether the statutory basis for a waiver of the national RFS requirements has been met and, if so, whether EPA should exercise its discretion to grant a waiver.

Find Out More

Contact: Questions may be directed to Dallas Burkholder who is with the Office of Transportation and Air Quality of the EPA National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan at 734 214 4766; fax: 734 214 4050; e-mail:

Source: August 20, 2012 EPA Prepublication Federal Register Notice

Comments Due By: Within 30 days of the date of publication of the Notice in the Federal Register.

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