Fuels and Fuel Additives
RFS Voluntary Quality Assurance Plans
- Fact Sheet: EPA Issues Final Rule to Establish a Voluntary Quality Assurance Program for Verifying the Validity of Renewable Identification Numbers Under the RFS Program (PDF) (3 pp,153K, EPA-420-F-14-042, July 2014)
- Final Rule (PDF) (49 pp, 555.8K, published July 18, 2014)
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EPA Finalizes Voluntary Quality Assurance Plan for RFS Program
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires the use of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance with the RFS volume obligations. RINs are generated by renewable fuel producers and importers and represent volumes that meet the requirements for renewable fuel under the RFS program. Once RINs have been generated, they can be transferred between parties and used by petroleum refiners and importers (obligated parties) to show compliance with their volume obligations. However, only RINs that were validly generated by the renewable fuel producer may be transferred or used for compliance purposes. Because of this, in some cases parties in the RFS program spend considerable time and effort in evaluating whether RINs were validly generated.
EPA has finalized a voluntary third-party quality assurance program geared towards providing a more structured way to ensure that RINs entering commerce were validly generated. EPA expects the program to promote greater liquidity in the RIN market, especially for smaller producers, helping to make the RFS program more efficient and effective. The program provides a means for ensuring that RINs are properly generated through audits of renewable fuel production conducted by independent third-parties using QAPs, provides an affirmative defense under certain conditions for the transfer or use of invalid RINs that had been verified under an approved QAP, defines the conditions when RINs must be replaced, and provides a process for determining who will replace invalid RINs.
For the interim period only, which runs from February 21, 2013 (the publication date of the notice of proposed rulemaking) through December 31, 2014, we are finalizing both of the proposed QAP program options, QAP A and QAP B. Beginning January 1, 2015, after the interim period is over, the program will consist of a single QAP option, with its associated verified RINs referred to as Q-RINs.
QAP Process Flow Diagram
- Instructions for Fuel Producers that Intend to Participate in Quality Assurance Program (QAP) (PDF) (4 pp, 519K, EPA-420-B-14-089, September 2014)
- OTAQ Registration QAP User Guide (PDF) (64 pp, 6.7MB, EPA-420-B-14-082, September 2014)
- OTAQ Registration RCO User Guide (PDF) (50 pp, 5.4MB, EPA-420-B-14-088, September 2014)
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