OMB’s spring regulatory agenda includes timelines for RFS rules

By Erin Voegele | June 21, 2022

The U.S. EPA has indicated it will release proposed rules related to the 2023 Renewable Fuel Standard renewable volume obligation (RVO) and state requests to allow summer E15 sales within the next several months. The agency will also soon finalize pending canola oil fuel pathways under the RFS. 

The EPA provided an estimated timeline for each of these RFS-related actions in the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Spring 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, released on June 21.

According to the spring 2022 agenda, the EPA currently expects to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to set 2023 RFS RVOs in September, with a final rule scheduled to be released in April 2023. An abstract of the rule published by OMB explains that the statutory provisions governing the RFS program provide target volumes for RVOs only through 2022. For years 2023 and thereafter, the EPA must set RVOs based on an analysis of factors specified in the statute. The upcoming rulemaking “will establish volume requirements beginning 2023,” according to the OMB.

The timeline for the upcoming RVO rulemaking is in line with a proposed consent decree issued by the EPA in May related to a legal challenge filed against the agency by Growth Energy. That consent decree, if approved by the court, would require the EPA to release the proposed 2023 RVOs by Sept. 16, 2022, and issue a final rule by April 28, 2023. A public comment period on the proposed consent decree closes June 22.

The EPA is expected to issue a separate notice of proposed rulemaking in August related to recent requests filed by various governors to enable year-round E15 sales within their states. An abstract published by the OMB explains that a provision included in the Clean Air Act provides that a governor of a state may request that the 1-psi volatility waiver provided in the statute for gasoline-ethanol blends be removed in the state. The EPA said it has received such requests from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The OMB does not indicate when the rulemaking could be finalized.

Also related to the RFS, the regulatory agenda addresses the EPA’s proposed rule to establish canola oil fuel pathways for renewable diesel, jet fuel, naphtha, LPG and heating oil. A proposed rule to establish those canola oil fuel pathways was released by the U.S. EPA in April. A public comment period was open through May 18. According to the OMB, a final rule is currently expected to be issued in September.

A full copy of the Spring 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions is available on the OMB website.



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