The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a direct final rule (DFR) that would allow home heating oil producers to receive renewable fuel credits for fuel produced from biomass. 77 Fed. Reg. 61,281 (10/9/12). Known as renewable identification numbers (RINs), the credits would be granted by EPA if the product in question meets the 20 percent life-cycle greenhouse gas reduction requirements in the renewable fuel standard (RFS). Under an amended definition in 40 C.F.R. Part 80, the scope of renewable fuels eligible to generate RINs will expand to include fuel oil produced from qualifying biomass to be used to heat buildings or other facilities where people live, work, recreate, or conduct other activities. Fuel oils used to generate process heat, power or other functions will not be included in the amended definition.
The DFR becomes effective December 10, 2012, unless EPA receives adverse comments or a hearing request by November 8. If the agency receives a timely adverse comment or a hearing request, EPA will withdraw the DFR and issue a proposed rule in its place.