Registering for the Future

The U.S. EPA has issued a new list of producers registered under the RFS2 program
By Erin Voegele | November 17, 2010
With 2010 coming to a close, the biodiesel industry seems eager to leave the sometimes awkward transition to RFS2 in the past. Although delays in implementation of the program did pose some challenges, the outlook for the program in 2011 is looking up. In October, the U.S. EPA released an updated list of renewable fuel producers that have completed new registrations under the RFS2 program, which is a prerequisite for the generation of renewable identification numbers (RINs). According to the document, a total of 317 renewable fuel producers have completed the process to date. While these represent both ethanol and biodiesel producers, National Biodiesel Board Vice President of Federal Affairs Manning Feraci notes that approximately 40 percent of those facilities produce biodiesel.

"Right now, 133 plants representing over 1.9 billion gallons of production capacity have registered with the EPA under the RFS2 program," Feraci says. "In addition, there is ample feedstock available to meet and exceed the 800 million gallons of biomass-based diesel that must by law be used domestically in the U.S. in 2011." Biodiesel plants that have not yet completed new registrations and those that need to update registration information under the RFS2 program can complete registration activities through the EPA's online Central Data Exchange (CDX) system.

According to the agency, an engineering review must be submitted and accepted by the EPA as part of the registration process. Existing plants that are operating and generating RINs were required to submit these reviews by July 1. However, renewable fuel producers are still able to complete the registration process by submitting the engineering review 60 days prior to the generation of RINs. The EPA also states that the agency has no set deadline for approval of engineering review. Rather, the agency will approve the review when the staff determines it is complete and meets all necessary requirements. Subsequent engineering reviews must be completed every three years, and when changes are made to a facility that will result in fuel production that does not fit into the original registration category.

Biodiesel plants that are ready to register under the RFS2 program don't have to go it alone. The NBB can provide assistance to help producers understand and comply with the program's many requirements. "Successful implementation of the RFS2 program is a top priority for the NBB, and the NBB has held multiple seminars and webinars to help biodiesel producers navigate the RFS2 program's various compliance requirements," Feraci says. "NBB members can also access a host of tools and information to help them navigate the program on our website, and the NBB's February 2011 conference in Phoenix, will provide additional information that will be invaluable to any stakeholder in the biofuels marketplace."

While many biodiesel plants have been operating at below capacity due to economic conditions and the expiration of the biodiesel tax credit, rising RIN prices and 2011 RFS2 volume requirements should help nudge a ramp-up in production.
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