Recent Federal Actions
This list includes recent federal actions, such as Federal Register notices and rulemaking actions, agency directives or agency communications, that are all publicly available. These actions relate to alternative fuels and vehicles, fuel blends, hybrid vehicles, and idle reduction and fuel economy measures. When rulemakings are finalized, they will move to the list of Federal Laws and Incentives.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule to modify the volatility requirements for gasoline containing up to 15% ethanol (E15) during the summer season and to implement additional requirements for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS2). Under the proposed rule, E15 is granted a waiver to exceed the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements for gasoline that are detailed in the Clean Air Act Section 211(h)(1) by 1 pound per square inch from May 1 through September 15. Additionally, the proposed rule defines E15 as “substantially similar” to gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol (E10), which is used to certify light-duty vehicles under the Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards program.
EPA also proposes additional requirements for RINs, including prohibiting certain parties from purchasing separated RINs, requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds, limiting the length of time a non-obligated party can hold RINs, and increasing the compliance frequency of RFS2 from once annually to quarterly.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the 2019 volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel that must be blended into transportation fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS2). EPA also finalized the 2020 volume requirements for biomass-based diesel.The final renewable fuel volumes are as follows:
|Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons)||418||N/A|
|Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons)||2.1||2.43|
|Advanced biofuel (billion gallons)||4.92||N/A|
|Renewable fuel (billion gallons)||19.92||N/A|
The associated renewable fuel percentage standards are as follows:
|Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons)||0.230%|
|Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons)||1.73%|
|Advanced biofuel (billion gallons)||2.71%|
|Renewable fuel (billion gallons)||10.97%|
The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a request for nominations for the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act Section 1413 Alternative Fuel Corridor Designation process. Under the FAST Act Section 1413, DOT designates national electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling corridors to improve mobility of alternative fuel passenger and commercial vehicles. Any state or local agency is invited to nominate an alternative fuel corridor for designation. The solicitation deadline is January 31, 2019. For more information, including updated nomination criteria and instructions, see the FHWA Alternative Fuel Corridors website.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule identifying additional renewable fuel production pathways that can be used to produce qualifying renewable fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) program. The new pathways include distillers corn oil, distillers sorghum oil, and comingled distillers corn oil and distillers sorghum oil. Additionally, EPA removed non-food grade corn oil as an eligible renewable fuel production pathway. For more information, refer to the final rule and the RFS2 website.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a proposed rule, the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for MY 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks, to retain light-duty MY 2020 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and carbon dioxide standards though 2026. Additionally, EPA proposes to withdraw California's 2013 Clean Air Act waiver, which allows California's Advanced Clean Cars program to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG), low emission vehicle (LEV), and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards at a more stringent standard than EPA. EPA and NHTSA will accept comments until October 26, 2018. For more information, refer to the notice in the Federal Register, EPA's Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 website, and NHTSA's SAFE website.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule to establish new renewable fuel volume blending requirements and associated percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) program. The proposed rule determines the amount of cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel that obligated parties in the United States must blend into transportation fuel in 2019, and the volume requirements for biomass-based diesel in 2020. The 2019 proposed standards are 381 million gallons (0.209%) cellulosic biofuels; 4.88 billion gallons (2.67%) advanced biofuels; and 19.88 billion gallons (10.88%) total renewable fuels. The 2020 proposed volume requirement for biomass-based diesel is 2.43 billion gallons. EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule until August 17, 2018. For more information, refer to the notice in the Federal Register and the EPA Renewable Fuel Standard Program website.