10-day comment period on PES settlement agreement closes March 26

By Ron Kotrba | March 19, 2018

The public comment period opened March 16 after publication in the Federal Register on the proposed consent decree and environmental settlement agreement lodged by the U.S. Department of Justice with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in the PES Holdings bankruptcy case.

According to the Federal Register publication, the U.S. filed this settlement agreement with PES Holdings LLC on behalf of the U.S. EPA to resolve a dispute about the obligations and liabilities of the bankrupt oil refiner and related parties under the Renewable Fuel Standard program, which requires refiners to blend renewable fuels into gasoline or diesel fuel or obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to meet renewable volume obligations (RVOs).

The bankrupt oil refinery, which has blamed RIN prices and the RFS for its financial woes, is Sen. Ted Cruz’s primary justification as to why the RFS must be overhauled and a cap placed on the price of RINs, the subject of many White House meetings and rhetoric in recent weeks.

Under the settlement agreement, debtors have agreed to retire a total of 138 million currently held RINs to resolve PES’s liability for RVOs prior to the effective date of the debtors' proposed plan of reorganization; to retire 64.6 million RINs toward their post-bankruptcy 2018 RVO; and to consent to retirement of RINs on a semiannual basis for their post-effective date RVOs through 2022. This obligation will be extended and the company will be subject to stipulated penalties if it fails to meet this obligation.

Comments must be submitted by March 26 and should be addressed to Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division in reference to PES Holdings, LLC, et al., D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-2-1-10993/1. Comments can be submitted by email here.

For more information, or for the physical mailing address to which hardcopy comments can be sent, click here.


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