Market News & Headlines >> Court Review of EPA's RFA Waiver Process Sought

A coalition of renewable fuel and agricultural trade groups has asked the U.S. court of appeals for the District of Columbia to review the process the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used to grant refineries exemptions to 2018 biofuels blending requirements under the U.S. renewable fuels standard, the groups said on Wednesday. 

The EPA on Aug. 9 announced that it was granting “small refinery exemptions” (SREs) to the 2018 RFA mandate to 31 out of 36 refineries that had applied for them. 

In a petition filed on Tuesday afternoon, the groups noted that while the EPA’s SRE decision memo was “short in length” and “different than the approach EPA has taken in the past” it is, according to EPA, the “only concrete, identifiable and reviewable EPA ‘final action’” concerning approval or denial of SRE applications for 2018. 

In a Wednesday press release, the groups noted the brief EPA document “does not reveal any details and contains only the most bare-bones reasoning for EPA’s decision”. “Further, the decision did not transparently address whether any of the small refineries were eligible to receive extensions of their exemptions and did not include an analysis of ‘disproportionate economic hardship’, as the statute envisions,” the groups said. 

The coalition includes the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association.