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Guidance on the Petition Process for Evaluation of New Renewable Fuels and Pathways under 40 CFR 80.1416

This page provides general guidance for petition submissions to EPA under 40 CFR §80.1416.

Questions?

Please send your questionss about feedstocks for the production of biofuels to support@epamts-support.com

Background
For the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) rule, EPA assessed the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for multiple renewable fuel pathways. Assessment of lifecycle GHG emissions is necessary to determine which fuel pathways could provide sufficient GHG reductions to qualify under RFS2, and for which renewable fuel category or categories. Classification of the fuel pathways that EPA has completed assessments on are included in the final regulation. Recognizing that it was not feasible to analyze all potential existing pathways and that there will be new pathways requiring assessment in the future, the final rule includes a process in 40 CFR §80.1416 for parties to request that EPA conduct new assessments and make future determinations. This document provides guidance regarding this process.

It is important to note that while there are fuel pathways whose GHG emissions were not evaluated as part of the final RFS2 rulemaking, under certain conditions as established in the final rule, certain facilities utilizing these pathways may nevertheless be able to generate RINs in accordance with exemptions provided in the statute. If a facility qualifies for one of the exemptions set forth in §80.1403 of the RFS2 regulations, it can generate RINs under the RFS2 regulations (D Code 6) as long as the fuel it produces meets the definition of “renewable fuel”, including the requirement that feedstocks used to produce the fuel meet the definition of renewable biomass. (The fuel produced by these facilities may also qualify for the application of other D codes, as specified in Table 1 to §80.1426. ) For facilities that do not qualify for an exemption under §80.1403, and which use a fuel pathway that is not addressed in Table 1 of §80.1426, the petition process described in this document may be used to request that the fuel pathway be assessed by EPA. This process may also be used by facilities using a pathway addressed in §80.1426, but where the fuel producer seeks approval of a different D code for the fuel pathway.

The petition process is meant for parties with serious intention to move forward with production of renewable fuel via the petitioned fuel pathway and who have moved sufficiently forward in the business process to show feasibility of the fuel pathway’s commercialization. In addition, if the petition addresses a fuel pathway that already complies for one or more categories of renewable fuels under RFS, the new pathway must have the potential to result in qualification for a legally allowed renewable fuel category for which it was not previously qualified in order to be considered under these provisions. EPA will process petitions as expeditiously as possible, taking into consideration that some fuel pathways are already commercial, or are closer to commercialization than others.

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General Instructions
As outlined in 40 CFR §80.1416(b)(1), all petitions to EPA must include the following information. Where we believe that additional guidance may be useful, we elaborate in italics below the specific entries from the regulation. The information should also be accompanied by supporting information where available. Supporting information includes, but is not limited to, independent studies, engineering estimates, process modeling, industry survey data, and reports or other documents demonstrating claims.

  1. The petition must provide the information specified in 40 CFR §80.76.
  2. A technical justification that includes a description of the renewable fuel, feedstock(s) used to make it, and the production process. The justification must include process modeling flow charts.
    • The petition should describe relevant information, including significant differences between fuel production processes already evaluated in the RFS2 rule and the petitioned fuel pathway.
  3. A mass balance for the pathway, including feedstocks, fuels produced, co-products and waste materials production.
  4. Information on co-products, including their expected use and market value.
  5. An energy balance for the pathway, including a list of any energy and process heat inputs and outputs used in the pathway, including such sources produced off site or by another entity.
    • Energy input information should include fuels used by type, including purchased electricity and the source and fuel required for any steam or hot water purchased for the fuel production process.
    • Energy output information should include energy content (with heating value specified) of the fuel product produced and any co-products produced.
    • The extent to which excess electricity is generated and distributed outside the production facility should be described.
  6. Any other relevant information pertaining to energy saving technologies or other process improvements.
  7. The Administrator may ask for additional information to complete the lifecycle greenhouse gas assessment of the new fuel or pathway.

All applicable information should be provided in a format that can be normalized on a fuel output basis (for example, tons feedstock per gallon of fuel produced)

Producers of new fuels and additives will also need to apply for an equivalence value for their product(s) under 40 CFR §80.1415(c).

The petition should demonstrate technical and commercial feasibility of the fuel pathway. For example, a petition could include copies of applications for air or construction permits, copies of blueprints of the facility, or photographs of the facility or a pilot plant. This information will help EPA prioritize action on the petition, since it is EPA’s intent to address on a priority basis petitions for products that are closest to actual production.

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Petitions Involving Feedstocks not Previously Modeled
For fuel pathways that utilize feedstocks that were not modeled in the final RFS2 rulemaking, the petitioner must also submit information on the feedstock or feedstocks that will be used in the conversion process, pursuant to 40 CFR 80.1416(b)(2). The requirements, and additional guidance in italics, follow. The information should also be accompanied by supporting information where available. Supporting information includes, but is not limited to, state, county or regional crop budget data, commodity reports or other agricultural data, independent studies, process modeling, industry or farm survey data, and reports or other documents demonstrating claims.

  1. Type of feedstock and description of how it meets the definition of renewable biomass at §80.1401.
  2. Market value of the feedstock.
    • This includes market data such as current and projected commodity prices, if applicable.
  3. List of other uses for the feedstock.
    • This includes information on current and projected uses, including domestic use, as well as current and projected exports for international markets.
  4. List of chemical inputs needed to produce the renewable biomass source of the feedstock and to prepare the renewable biomass for processing into feedstock.
    • E.g., fertilizer, pesticides, etc.
  5. Energy needed to obtain the feedstock and deliver it to the facility. If applicable, identify energy needed to plant and harvest the renewable biomass source of the feedstock and modify the source to create the feedstock.
    • Identify type of energy (i.e. diesel, gasoline, electricity, etc.).
  6. Current and projected yields of the feedstock that will be used to produce the fuels.
    • Identify any anticipated changes in feedstock and fuel production yields over time.
  7. The Administrator may ask for additional information to complete the lifecycle greenhouse gas assessment.

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EPA Determinations
If EPA makes a technical determination based on the results of the assessment that a petitioned fuel pathway qualifies for an RFS2 renewable fuel category, an appropriate D-code will be assigned for the fuel pathway. EPA anticipates that renewable fuel producers and importers will be able to generate RINs for the assigned fuel pathway immediately following the next update of the EPA Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) that follows the determination. EPA expects to update the EMTS quarterly. Renewable fuel producers should be able to complete the registration information required by §80.1450 that applies to the fuel pathway through the EPA Fuels Programs Registration System two weeks after the date of determination. However as described above, producers will not be able to generate RFS2 RINs under the newly qualified pathway until the next quarterly EMTS update occurs.

For more information, please see the RFS regulations and the RFS preamble.

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Submission
Petitions must be printed and signed by a Responsible Corporate Officer and mailed to:

US Mail:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Fuels Programs Registration
OAR/OTAQ/TRPD/FPSG (Mail Code 6406J)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Commercial Delivery:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Fuels Programs Registration
Room 647C; 202-343-9038
1310 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Please be aware that sending petitions via US Mail will expose them to an irradiation process and could possibly delay delivery. The irradiation process may damage any CDs or DVDs contained in the petition package.

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If you have questions or request information, please contact the appropriate support or help line found on the Support & Help page.

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