By Lynn L. Bergeson
On May 5, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice of disclosure to all obligated parties under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program that have submitted small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions and to all parties whose RFS information otherwise resides in EPA’s Moderated Transaction System (EMTS). EPA’s action is in response to a U.S. Government of Accountability Office (GAO) request to disclose such information that has been submitted to EPA that claims to be, or is determined to be, confidential business information (CBI). The information to be disclosed includes documents and data related to SRE petitions received by EPA since the beginning of the RFS program through the present. Such records include:
- All materials submitted by small refineries as part of its SRE petition;
- Any documentation sent by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to EPA summarizing DOE’s findings and score(s) associated with the petition(s) and any EPA responses to such petitions;
- Any EPA record that addresses the subject of the exemption petition(s), including EPA analysis done in addition to DOE’s findings;
- EPA’s final exemption decision sent to the refinery; and
- RFS related transaction-level data contained in EMTS, including Renewable Identification Number (RIN) transactions under RFS.
These records and information will be shared with GAO no later than 16 days after the publication of the notice. All CBI-claimed documents will be destroyed, deleted, or returned to EPA at the conclusion of GAO's review.