Presentation at BIO Pacific Rim Summit on New Fuel Pathway Petitions under the RFS and California LCFS

I’As I’ve mentioned in the last several blog posts, I will be speaking on a panel next week, Tuesday, December 9, at the BIO Pacific Rim conference. I’ll be speaking about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently announced new guidance and procedural changes for new fuel pathway petitions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), as well as the corresponding pathway application process under the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and the changes contemplated for this process.

As reported in a previous blog entry, the EPA announced on September 30, 2014 that it had completed its review of the new pathway petition process under the RFS, a process by which developers of novel renewable fuels can apply to have the new fuel reviewed and approved by the agency for inclusion in the program. This review had been announced in March, in part to address the significant backlog and long review times that had accrued in the petition program. In September, the agency unveiled a greatly-improved website with information on many aspects of the petition program, which can be found at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/new-pathways. The site features easily-understood menus with links to guidance on the petition process, information about the regulations governing new pathways, and listings of approved and pending petitions. Most importantly, EPA has issued a new guidance document for industry, with detailed instructions for how to prepare new pathway petitions.  In my talk at the BIO conference I’ll describe the improvements made to the RFS petition process, walk through EPA’s guidance to industry, and provide some additional insights into the new program gleaned from a recent conversation with EPA staff.

I’ll also discuss the new pathway application process under the California LCFS. This program in California is so important for industry because of the size of the fuel market in the state, and the LCFS provides a program to promote the use of renewable fuels in California that in many ways is analogous to the federal RFS program, although there are some key differences between the programs. The LCFS regulations provide a mechanism for new fuels to be accepted into the program, and the staff of the California Air Resources Board has been considering revisions to the application process to help alleviate the significant backlog of applications which has arisen. I described the staff’s first iteration of such revisions (among other topics) in a Biofuel Policy Watch blog post earlier this year. Although this revision process is still ongoing, at my talk I’ll discuss the current procedures and the proposed revisions.

I’ll plan to post a more comprehensive summary of my talk after the conference and I’ll also be posting my slides on my SlideShare site. I hope to also blog about other significant developments or interesting talks that I hear during the Pacific Rim Summit.

D. Glass Associates, Inc.is a consulting company specializing in government and regulatory affairs support for renewable fuels and industrial biotechnology. David Glass, Ph.D. is a veteran of over thirty years in the biotechnology industry, with expertise in industrial biotechnology regulatory affairs, U.S. and international renewable fuels regulation, patents, technology licensing, and market and technology assessments. More information on D. Glass Associates’ regulatory affairs consulting capabilities, and copies of some of Dr. Glass’s prior presentations on biofuels and biotechnology regulation, are available at www.slideshare.net/djglass99and at www.dglassassociates.com. The views expressed in this blog are those of Dr. Glass and D. Glass Associates and do not represent the views of any other organization with which Dr. Glass is affiliated. Please visit our other blog, Biofuel Policy Watch.

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