EPA sets public hearing for RFS2, clarifies heating oil RIN issue

By Luke Geiver | July 05, 2011

Following the release of the proposed rule for the 2012 renewable fuel standard’s volume requirements set forth by the U.S. EPA, a public hearing has been set for July 12. The hearing will allow interested parties to provide commentary on the 2012 version of RFS2. Under the currently proposed version for 2012, the RFS2 will require 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel.

The hearing will be held at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center in Washington, D.C., beginning at 9 am. According to the EPA, the hearing will “end when all parties present who wish to speak have had an opportunity to do so.” Anyone with plans to testify at the hearing needs to contact the EPA before the event.

In addition to the time dedicated to the publishing of the final rule, the EPA has also been busy with inquires regarding RIN generation for heating oil and renewable fuel use in heating oil. Through a statement sent out by the EPA’s electronic message system, EnviroFlash, the EPA stated that “parties may not blend fuel oils that only meet the definition of fuel oil grade Nos. 4, 5 or 6 to qualify as heating oil No. 1 or No. 2 and generate RINs.”

And, the EPA said, “RINs generated for renewable fuel (other than biodiesel) used as heating oil must be retired if it only meets the definition of fuel oil grade Nos. 4, 5, or 6.” The EPA explained that heating oil is defined, or means, any No. 1 or No. 2 or nonpetroleum diesel blend sold for use in furnaces, boilers and similar applications which are commonly known or sold as commercial heating oil, fuel oil “that is not jet fuel, kerosene or MVNRLM diesel fuel.” Based on the definition, the EPA said that fuel oils grade Nos. 4, 5 or 6 don’t qualify on their own as heating oil, nor does blending these fuels to produce No. 1 or No. 2 grade heating oil, satisfy the previously mentioned definition. “Therefore, producers of fuel oils grade Nos. 4, 5 or 6 cannot generate RINs for heating oil. Additionally, any RINs generated for a renewable fuel (other than biodiesel) used as heating oil that only meets the definition of fuel oil grade Nos. 4, 5 or 6,” the EPA said, “must be retired.” 


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