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June 20, 2014
RFS 2013 deadlines extended

In a final rule, the EPA has extended two key compliance deadlines for parties subject to the renewable fuel standards (RFS) program.  The extensions apply specifically to reports that must be submitted to demonstrate compliance with the 2013 standards.  The extensions are as follows:

  • The submittal deadline for annual compliance reports is extended to September 30, 2014.
  • The submittal deadline for attest engagement reports is extended to January 30, 2015.  (Attest engagement reports are developed by independent third parties, typically certified public accountants or accountant firms that review compliance by obligated parties with the RFS requirements.  Attest engagements are intended to identify compliance problems to a company early and therefore prevent the problem from continuing into compliance periods and growing into larger violations.)

2014 RFS not issued

According to the EPA, the extensions are necessary because the Agency has not yet issued the RFS that must be met for 2014.  The EPA says that it recognizes the value of obligated parties knowing their obligations for 2014 before having to demonstrate compliance with their 2013 RFS requirements.  This is because, once the 2014 standards are known, obligated parties may choose to consider the impact of the new standards on their 2013 compliance approach, including how many 2013 renewable identification numbers (RINs) they can carry forward (there is a 20 percent limit based on the 2014 standard) for purposes of complying with the 2014 RFS.

300,000 comments

The EPA notes that the 2014 RFS rulemaking has been more time-consuming than originally anticipated, involving receipt of over 300,000 public comments concerning numerous specific issues related to the 2014 standards, which the Agency says it needs to thoroughly consider and respond to.

The EPA adds that it “believes” it is not legally obligated to extend the above deadlines.  However, given the need to carefully weigh issues raised by commenters before taking final action on the 2014 RFS, the Agency says extending the above deadlines will be helpful to obligated parties. 

EPA’s final rule extending two 2013 RFS compliance deadlines was published in the June 16, 2014, FR.
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