Tag Archives: EPA

WASHINGTON- Representatives Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and the co-chairs of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 which establishes an annual June 1st deadline for refineries to submit small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions from their RFS blending obligations each year and increases transparency in the process.

“It is clear to me that EPA is abusing its authority by recklessly handing out small refinery waivers and refusing to account for them,” said Peterson. “This is hurting farmers and agriculture communities at the worst time. This bill ends the gamesmanship in the waiver process and increases transparency along the way.”

“The EPA has let oil refiners off the hook by circumventing congressional intent, putting ethanol producers at a disadvantage,” said Johnson. “The Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act makes sure that moving forward, the EPA’s waiver process will be fair, timely, and transparent.”

 

Since 2018, EPA granted 54 waivers to refineries for the 2016 and 2017 RFS compliance years totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons being taken out of the market place. By law, the RFS requires that the EPA make adjustments when determining future biofuels targets to account for waivers to ensure that the overall biofuels targets are not reduced by waivers. However, the agency is not accounting for these waivers and the demand for biofuels is being undercut.

By setting a June 1st petition submission deadline each year, the EPA will have time to account for renewable fuel gallons stripped from the market due to these waivers. The bill also increases transparency in the process by making information with respect to a petition subject to public disclosure.

The bill is supported by Growth Energy, Fuels America, National Corn Growers Association, Renewable Fuels Association, National Biodiesel Board, MN Corn Growers Association and MN BioFuels Association.

“Minnesota’s corn farmers greatly appreciate the work of Congressman Collin Peterson to bring much-needed transparency and a formal timeline to the EPA’s small refinery exemption process. Our state’s ethanol industry is a vital market for its 24,000 corn farmers, who continue to be impacted by exemptions taking billions of ethanol gallons from the nation’s fuel supply. This bill would make it possible to recoup future lost gallons while identifying what refineries are qualifying for an exemption.”-Brian Thalmann, President, Minnesota Corn Growers Association

(Lenexa, Kan) – Four Nebraska school districts were awarded $100,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to replace five older diesel school buses. The new buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage. The districts, cities, number of buses, and award amounts are listed below:

School District               City                Number of Buses             Amount
Hayes Center High School Hayes Center 1 $20,000
Johnson County Central Public Schools Tecumseh 1 $20,000
Palmer Public School (North of Grand Island) Palmer 1 $20,000
South Platte Public Schools Big Springs 2 $40,000

“Children’s health is a top priority for EPA, and these grants will help provide cleaner air and a healthier ride to and from school for America’s children,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This DERA funding reflects our broader children’s health agenda and commitment to ensure all children can live, learn, and play in healthy and clean environments.”

Nationally, EPA will provide more than $9.3 million to 145 school bus fleets to replace 473 older buses in 43 states or territories, each of which will receive rebates through EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding.

Applicants replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $20,000, depending on the size of the bus. Regional, state, or tribal agencies including school districts and municipalities, or private entities that operate school buses under contract with state, tribal or local agencies were eligible to apply.

Over the last seven years, EPA has awarded approximately $39 million in rebates to replace almost 2,000 school buses. Bus replacements funded through the rebate program reduce emissions and exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides for children at schools, bus stops, and on the buses themselves.

School buses travel over 4 billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, exhaust from diesel buses can harm health, especially in children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still operating. These older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.

The 2018 DERA school bus rebate recipients can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/awarded-rebates.