Canadian Biomass Magazine

EPA issues quality assurance draft plan for RIN reform

November 1, 2012
By Argus Media

November 1, 2012, Houston, TX — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a drafted plan to enforce quality assurance among renewable identification number (RIN) generation and reporting.

The agency is working with members of the renewable fuels and petroleum industries to gather feedback on its new proposal on its quality assurance program, the agency said in a statement. A meeting will be held in early November and follows the initial round of meetings held in late July and early August with gasoline and diesel refiners and importers, biofuels producers and RINs traders.

“The proposal would provide a recognized means for independent third parties to audit the production of renewable fuel and the generation of RINs,” the EPA said. Audits will be developed and executed through independent third parties.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS-2), diesel and gasoline refiners and importers are mandated to buy RINs in volumes that offset production or import of petroleum fuels. A weakness in the RFS-2 program was exposed over the past year as hundreds of millions of credits were generated without concurrent production of biofuel.

Petroleum refiners and importers that purchased the invalid credits in good faith were required to purchase additional credits to replace the invalid RINs and fined more than $200mn by the EPA, according to David McCullough, an associate with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan's Energy and Environmental Practice Group.

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