On July 31, 2014, EPA again extended the 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) annual compliance reporting and attest engagement reporting deadlines for obligated parties under the law. The Agency issued a direct final rule extending the deadlines to 30 and 90 days, respectively, after the final 2014 RFS rule is published in the Federal Register. EPA simultaneously issued a rule proposing the new deadlines on which the public may comment. The new deadlines will become effective September 29, 2014, barring any adverse comment. Copies of the pre-published versions of the direct final rule and the proposed rule are available online and online.
EPA's action is significant in light of the current battle over the fate of the federal RFS. By law, EPA is required to issue the following year's annual renewable volume obligations (RVO) for obligated parties by November 30. This means that EPA was expected to issue the final 2014 RFS rule by November 30, 2013. Instead, EPA did not propose the 2014 RFS RVOs until November 2013, and it is still working to issue in final those revised volume obligations. RFS opponents, including many obligated parties, have used this delay in their arguments against the law. While RFS supporters, including many in the biofuels industry, remain supportive of EPA, they too have publicly called for EPA to issue the 2014 RFS final rule as soon as possible. This latest extension by EPA suggests to all sides that the issuance of the final 2014 RFS rule may be further delayed.
BRAG has been reporting on ongoing 2014 RFS developments. A recent report focused on ongoing 2014 RFS advocacy efforts. A copy of that report is available online.