The original petition, sent by eight Midwestern governors, was received by the EPA on April 28, 2022. By law, the EPA was required to implement regulations in response to the petition no later than July 27, 2022. In March of this year, the EPA announced that it would propose to approve the petition, but that it would have to delay implementation until April 28, 2024. The signatories are urging the EPA to finalize the proposed regulation before the end of September of 2023 to give fuel refiners and suppliers "sufficient lead time to make supply chain modifications" before the rule takes effect next summer.
Read a copy of the letter below:
August 8, 2023
The Honorable Michael Regan Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20460
Dear Administrator Regan:
The undersigned state organizations represent renewable fuel producers and farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. We write today to urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to immediately finalize its proposed rule approving the petition from a group of Midwest states that would reduce volatile emissions and facilitate year-round sales of lower-cost, lower-carbon E151.
This letter follows yesterday’s news that the Iowa and Nebraska Attorneys General have filed suit against the EPA for failure to promulgate the proposed E15 rule within 90 days as stated in federal code. We support their effort to work with the EPA to set out a date certain by which final action will be taken.
EPA received the original petition from eight Governors on April 28, 2022, and was required by law to implement regulations responding to the Governors’ request no later than July 27, 2022.2 However, EPA waited until March 6, 2023—almost a year after receiving the petition—to propose approval of the request. And, because EPA was so late in issuing the proposed rule, the agency said it had no choice but to delay implementation of the Governors’ petition by one full year to April 28, 2024.
Today, more than a year after EPA was legally required to approve and implement the petition, the Agency still has not finalized the process or publicized a schedule for doing so. The reasons for this lengthy delay are unclear, especially because members of the public have expressed strong support for EPA’s proposal and no legitimate barriers to implementation have been identified.
We are urging EPA to finalize its proposed regulation before the end of this summer. Fuel refiners and suppliers in Midwest states say they need sufficient lead time to make supply chain modifications before the Governors’ petition takes effect next summer. Finalizing the rule before the end of September 2023 would provide all parties with more than enough time to make any necessary changes to their operations.
While we greatly appreciate the emergency action taken by EPA to allow continued sales of E15 during thesummers of 2022 and 2023, we understand that temporary waivers are not a sustainable, long-term solution. Themarketplace needs a permanent solution and greater certainty for year-round E15 moving forward. Expeditious finalization of the proposed rule would provide that certainty and stability for 2024 and beyond.
Thank you for considering our request and we look forward to continuing to work with EPA on this important issue.
Illinois Corn Growers Association
Illionois Renewable Fuels Association
Iowa Corn Growers Association
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Kansas Corn Growers Association
Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association
Minnesota Corn Growers Association
Missouri Corn Planting Opportunity
Missouri Renewable Fuels Association
Nebraska Corn Growers Association
Nebraska Ethanol Board
Renewable Fuels Nebraska
North Dakota Corn Growers Association
North Dakota Ethanol Producers Association
Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association
South Dakota Corn Growers Association
South Dakota Ethanol
Wisconsin Biofuels Association
Wisconsin Corn Growers Association
1 See 88 Fed. Reg. 13758 (March 6, 2023)
2 EPA received an additonal petition from Ohio on June 10, 2022 and from Missouri on December 21, 2022