U.S. EPA proposes to extend refinery compliance deadlines for biofuel blending
By Stephanie Kelly
NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed further extending the deadlines for oil refiners to prove they have complied with the nation's biofuel blending laws, after the agency first delayed enforcement because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Refiners must hand in credits to the EPA each year to prove they complied with their annual blending obligations for the previous year. The extension, which will help oil refiners but could anger the biofuel industry, is one of the last actions from President Donald Trump's EPA before he leaves office.
The agency said it is proposing to extend the compliance deadline for 2019 to Nov. 30, 2021, and an associated deadline for submission of attest engagement reports to June 1, 2022. The EPA is also proposing to extend the 2020 deadlines to Jan. 31, 2022, and June 1, 2022.
The proposal was outlined in a document seen by Reuters that is scheduled to be posted on the Federal Register on Friday.
Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, refiners must blend billions of gallons of biofuels like corn-based ethanol into their fuel mix, or buy credits from those that do. Refiners can apply for exemptions if they can prove the obligations would cause them financial harm.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, EPA had not enforced compliance for some refineries for the 2019 compliance year. (Reporting by Stephanie Kelly Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky)
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