MARCH 7, 2019

EPA Requests Comments on Study Examining Renewable Fuel Volumes Impact on Air Quality

Late last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments regarding a proposed consent decree related to Sierra Club v. Pruitt, which calls for a study to determine whether renewable fuel volumes – including more ethanol in the fuel supply – will adversely impact air quality as a result of changes in vehicle and engine emissions of air pollutants required by the program (Anti-backsliding Study). Based on previous studies, NMMA is aware that higher volumes of ethanol in the fuel supply will lead to worse air quality, and the association will file comments to that effect.

The comment period is open until Monday, March 25, 2019. Click the following link to access the Federal Register page and submit a comment: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OGC-2018-0818-0001.

The proposed partial consent decree would partially resolve a lawsuit filed by Sierra Club seeking to compel the Administrator to take those actions under the Clean Air Act. Under the terms of the proposed partial consent decree, EPA shall complete the Anti-backsliding Study on or before March 30, 2020. In addition, within three months of completing the Anti-backsliding Study, if the parties cannot reach an agreement on a deadline for the Follow-up Action, they will promptly submit a joint motion (or, if the Parties are unable to agree, separate motions) to govern further proceedings.

For more information, please contact NMMA senior vice president of environmental health and safety, John McKnight at jmcknight@nmma.org.