Renewable Fuel Standard Program

Proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) Rule

Rule Summary

EPA is proposing enhancements to its Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program and other related fuel regulations to support market growth of ethanol and other renewable fuels in the U.S. These proposed changes will provide the opportunity for increasing the production and use of renewable fuels by allowing the market to operate in the most efficient and economical way to introduce greater volumes of renewable fuels under the program.

Key actions in the proposed rule are:

  • An updated regulatory structure that would allow biofuel producers to partially process renewable feedstocks at one facility and further process them into renewable fuels at another facility under existing pathways. This would increase the economics and efficiency for the production of biofuels, particularly advanced and cellulosic fuels that have the lower carbon footprints.
  • Updating fuel regulations to allow expanded availability of high ethanol fuel blends for use in flex fuel vehicles (FFVs). FFVs are designed to operate on any gasoline-ethanol mixture of up to 83 percent ethanol. FFVs currently represent about 8 percent of the U.S. passenger vehicle fleet. EPA is revising its gasoline regulations to make it clear that E16-E83 fuel blends are not gasoline, and hence not fully subject to gasoline quality standards. However, we will also be putting in place standards that ensure the quality and environmental performance of this fuel. EPA believes this will clear the way for the expanded production and use of high ethanol fuel blends at a lower cost, and thereby the opportunity for increasing demand.
  • New feedstock approvals for cellulosic biofuels produced from short-rotation poplar and willow trees, cellulosic diesel produced from co-processing cellulosic feedstocks with petroleum, and renewable diesel and biodiesel produced from non-cellulosic portions of separated food waste.

EPA is also seeking comment on a variety of other issues that impact renewable fuels, including Renewable Identification Number generation for renewable electricity used as transportation fuel and requirements for facilities that could use carbon capture and storage as a way to reduce carbon in the production of renewable fuels in the future. The period for public input and comment will remain open for 60 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.”

Additional Resources

Notice of Extension of Comment Period (PDF)(3 pp, 20 K, pre-publication, signed December 20, 2016)

Public Hearing Information (PDF)(1 pp, 231 K, published November 10, 2016, About PDF)

Proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support Rule (PDF)(153 pp, 1.11 MB, published November 16, 2016, About PDF)

Notice of Data Availability