The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday said it would extend the compliance deadline for 2013 renewable fuel standards on concerns from refiners that 2014 RFS obligations should be known before the deadline for 2013 compliance.
The new deadline is now Sept. 30, 2014. Compliance on 2013 standards has already been extended once – from the original deadline of Feb. 28, 2014, to June 30, 2014.
"In light of the fact that the EPA has not yet issued the 2014 annual standards rule, we believe it is appropriate to provide a further extension of the 2013 compliance demonstration deadline," the EPA wrote in its Federal Register post.
According to the post, the EPA received several comments on the proposed rule that emphasized the "need for the EPA to promulgate the 2014 RFS standards quickly" and the need for obligated parties to know their obligations for the following year when finalizing their 2013 compliance demonstrations.
As part of the same rule, EPA also extended the deadline for submission of attest engagement reports for the 2013 renewable fuel standards to January 30, 2015.
EPA said the move ensures timely amendment of existing deadlines, before compliance obligations would otherwise go into effect.
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers group, which supported the extension, said it may help to mitigate market instability, but the 2014 RFS obligations must be finalized soon.
"While we do not believe that delaying the compliance date eliminates the injury caused by the late promulgation of the rule, it will provide obligated parties with a degree of certainty by knowing their blending obligations," said AFPM President Charles Drevna.
"AFPM and other obligated parties still need EPA to finalize the 2014 RFS rule. Now more than six months late, the agency’s inability to recognize the impact of continued delays is yet another reason that Congress must address this set of mandates whose very premise has proven obsolete."
Though a specific date wasn't identified, the EPA said it intends to finalize the remaining portion of its rulemaking to establish the 2014 renewable fuel standards "shortly."
Earlier this year, the agency discussed having the final rule out by the end of spring – officially June 20.