On December 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019 final rule. This final rule sets the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported in 2018, as well as biomass-based diesel for 2019. As reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post EPA Issues Final 2018 RFS Requirements, the final volume requirements are:
- Cellulosic biofuel, from 311 million gallons in 2017 to 288 million gallons in 2018;
- Advanced biofuel, from 4.28 billion gallons in 2017 to 4.29 billion gallons in 2018;
- Renewable fuel, from 19.28 billion gallons in 2017 to 19.29 billion gallons in 2018; and
- Biomass-based diesel, 2.1 billion gallons in 2018 and 2019.
These final volumes change the percentage standards to 0.159 percent for cellulosic biofuel, 2.37 percent for advanced biofuel, 10.67 percent for renewable fuel, and 1.74 percent for biomass-based diesel. This final rule becomes effective on February 12, 2018.
Additionally, EPA announced the availability of its “Periodic Reviews for the Renewable Fuel Standard Program.” Pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA must conduct periodic reviews of certain aspects of the RFS program. In the report, EPA describes its interpretation of the statutory requirement to conduct periodic reviews, and prior actions that EPA has taken to fulfill its obligations to conduct such reviews.