EPA Takes Positive Steps Forward for Ethanol

January 15, 2021

EPA Takes Positive Steps Forward for Ethanol

Jan 15, 2021

Key Issues:EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued proposed regulatory changes related to required pump labeling and infrastructure compatibility for E15. This is a long-awaited proposal and gives stakeholders, including NCGA, the opportunity to provide comments that will be considered by the incoming Biden Administration to complete this rulemaking process to address retail barriers.


The agency today also issued a request for comments on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waiver requests made by oil state Governors and refiners in 2020.


“Today’s announcement is a positive step forward for corn growers,” said NCGA Public Policy Director, Renewable Fuels, Kathy Bergren. “NCGA looks forward to working with the incoming Biden Administration to restore RFS integrity and stop RFS waiver abuse.  We also stand ready to work with them on a final rule that supports greater E15 distribution and sales by addressing labeling and infrastructure barriers.”


EPA’s announcements today did not include the granting of any further small refinery exemptions (SREs). House and Senate lawmakers on both sides of the aisle this week urged the agency not to take that step, which would undermine the RFS. Lawmakers also outlined ethanol policy priorities for the incoming Biden Administration, shared by NCGA. Also this week NCGA joined farm and biofuel leaders in condemning reports of any pending SREs.


“NCGA thanks lawmakers for their support for corn farmers and ethanol. As the new Congress gets underway, we look forward to continuing to work with them to uphold the RFS and ensure a strong role for ethanol, including higher blends, as an integral part of the solution for reducing emissions,” Bergren added.


The EPA also proposed extension of the RFS compliance deadlines for refiners and issued a final determination of the RFS anti-backsliding study.  The review, required by the RFS, concludes that the RFS is not negatively impacting air quality.   As NCGA outlined in comments to EPA earlier this year, the RFS provides significant air quality benefits.