The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted five of the seven outstanding small refinery hardship waivers requested for 2017, bringing the total number of waivers to 37 for the compliance year.
The corn and ethanol industries have been vocal critics of these waivers, saying they effectively reduce blending mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard and EPA has overused the waivers. The bulk of these waivers were issued when Scott Pruitt was at the agency’s helm.
New EPA administrator, Andrew Wheeler, says the agency will now be able to shift its attention to the 2018 waiver requests. EPA has also received two more petitions for hardship waivers for the 2018 compliance year, bringing the total number of applications to 39.