Several renewable natural gas stakeholders attended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) public comment hearing today on the 2018 Renewable Fuel Volume Standard Proposed Rule to advocate for RNG transportation fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.
According to the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition), the RNG industry was heavily represented at the hearing, noting that nearly 40 of the 143 stakeholders pre-registered to provide public testimony carried the RNG Coalition’s message to the EPA.
At the hearing, RNG stakeholders advocated that EPA’s cellulosic biofuel calculation methodology in the final rule account for both increased cellulosic biofuel generation from projects currently producing fuel, and the projected production from 24 additional RNG projects nearing completion of construction that are planned to begin generating RIN credits under the RFS program later this year and throughout 2018.
“RNG has supplied 98% of the RFS’s cellulosic biofuel market since it received the D3 RIN designation in 2014,” says Ashley Patterson, vice president of government relations and public policy with Ameresco.
Kevin Dobson, vice president of business development with DTE Biomass explained to the EPA that “DTE Biomass is increasing production 18% in 2018 compared to 2017 due to plant upgrades and facility expansions currently underway at our existing projects.”
Patterson added, “Across the country, RNG projects are under construction and anticipated to generate new cellulosic biofuel next year. We are concerned that a 2018 Final RVO which does not take into account RNG projects under construction and increased generation from registered facilities has a strong risk of high inaccuracy – which can impact the RNG market, affecting jobs and slowing investments.”
“I join the RNG Coalition in requesting that EPA also account for current market data, including data from construction in progress, investments made, and pathway applications submitted and pending EPA approval,” said Kathy MacBeth, director of sales and marketing with EcoEngineers.
The RNG Coalition compiled data from RNG producers across the industry and presented a packet of 62 signed project affidavits to the EPA at the hearing.
“We look forward to further communication with EPA regarding the proposed rule via submission of our written comments from the RNG industry later this month,” added David Cox, RNG Coalition’s director of operations.