The Environmental Protection Agency sent a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget December 15 for interagency review that would establish a third-party verification system for renewable fuel credits. The proposed rule comes after 30 companies reached a settlement with the agency in April in which they agreed to pay about $3.65 million in penalties after they purchased fraudulent renewable identification numbers. Two days later, OceanConnect LLC appealed a December 5 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, arguing that the agency’s mismanagement is responsible for fake credits entering the marketplace and should be allowed to be sued by a third party. On a related note, Toronto-based Bioversel Trading Inc. hired CN Rain to export biodiesel to the United States in order to generate 12 million credits. Though RINs must be retired when fuel is exported, once it reached the United States, Bioversel’s American partner, Verdeo Inc., transferred the fuels back to Canada, and Verdeo retired cheaper ethanol credits instead of the newly created biodiesel RINs. The agency and Canada’s Border Services Agency are investigating the situation.
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