RFS Program on Track; Begins Sept. 1

The nation's first renewable fuels standard (RFS) program is set to take effect Sept. 1. Authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the program will promote use of fuels largely produced from American-grown crops.

Sept. 1 marks the deadline when obligated parties, such as major refiners, blenders, and importers must meet reporting, registration, and other key compliance requirements. The RFS program requires that at least 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended into motor vehicle fuel sold in the United States by 2012. It also requires the obligated parties to use a minimum volume of renewable fuel each year between 2007 and 2012. That minimum volume is determined as a percentage of the total volume of fuel a company produces or imports. The minimum volume will increase every year through 2012. For 2007, 4.02 percent of the fuel sold or dispensed to U.S. motorists will have to come from renewable sources (roughly 4.7 billion gallons).

The RFS is also serving as one of the many pieces to help inform the greenhouse gas regulation that EPA and federal partners are developing under an Executive Order issued by President Bush in May. A proposal is expected by year's end.

To ensure smooth and successful implementation, EPA worked collaboratively with stakeholders and hosted numerous public workshops and webinars, as well as posted online compliance tools. In addition, EPA has extended the hours of the RFS Helpline to assist companies with registration related questions. The RFS Helpline at (202) 343-9755 will be staffed throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

For more information on the RFS rule: epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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