EPA clarifies provision of RFS Quality Assurance Program rule

By Erin Voegele | April 15, 2016

The U.S. EPA recently announced it has finalized an amendment proposed last year that clarifies an aspect of the renewable fuels standard (RFS) program that was inadvertently put in place with the Quality Assurance Program rule.

According to documents published by the EPA, that the agency added product transfer document (PTD) requirements for renewable fuels to the final QAP rule. Those requirements informed parties who took ownership of renewable fuel that they would need to use the fuel as it was intended—for transportation use—and incur a renewable volume obligation (RVO) if the fuel was exported.

The EPA explained that shortly after it published the final QAP rule, it received questions over whether the PTD requirements would apply to downstream end users, such as residential heating oil owners and those filling up their vehicles at fuel retail stations.

According to the EPA, it provides downstream end-user exemptions to the PTD requirement for other fuel programs. The direct final rule included similar exemptions. However, when the introductory text of the direct final rule and parallel proposed rule was amended, the word’s “custody or” were inadvertently added. “The addition of the language ‘custody or’ would have further changed this provision such that we would also be adding PTD requirements to the transfer of custody of renewable fuels, which was not our intent,” said the EPA in the final amendment.

The new amendment clarifies that the EPA is providing downstream end-user exemptions to the PTD requirements in the RFS program.

A full copy of the EPA’s amendment document, which also includes two changes to provisions to correct and clarify portions of the Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards rule, is available on the EPA website. https://www3.epa.gov/otaq/documents/tier3/tier3-qap-tech-amends-frm-2016-04-12.pdf