EPA Granted Waivers Against Energy Department Recommendations

The Environmental Protection Agency granted some small refinery waivers against recommendations by the Department of Energy.

Reuters obtained an August 9 memo that states the EPA granted “full exemptions for those 2018 small refinery petitions where the Department of Energy recommended 50 percent relief.”

The waivers allow the EPA to exempt small refineries from complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard if the refineries can prove compliance would cause economic hardship.

The memo did not specify how many refineries were involved. Biofuels producers and farmers are waiting for the White House to announce a mitigation plan for the waivers. President Donald Trump has promised a “giant package” for farmers to boost the ethanol market.

Many expect the plan will reallocate lost biofuels due to the waivers.

The 31 small-refinery exemptions granted by the EPA for 2018 amounted to about 1.6 billion gallons taken away from ethanol and biofuel use. Ethanol plants are stopping production, claiming the waivers are eroding demand for biofuels in the United States.