Sen. Barrasso Calls on EPA to Study the Renewable Fuel Standard’s Impact on the Environment

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt Dec. 1 requesting that the agency complete several outstanding studies assessing the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on air, water, and land quality.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) urged Administrator Pruitt to fulfill EPA’s obligation to complete studies assessing the environmental impacts of the RFS under the Clean Air Act and the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007.

Under the Clean Air Act, EPA was required by May 19, 2009, to study whether the RFS will adversely impact air quality. To date, EPA has not completed that study, Sen. Barrasso wrote. Under section 204 of EISA, EPA was required to report to Congress on the RFS’ impacts to the environment and resource conservation every three years. EPA issued only one report in December 2011, the Senator said.

Sen. Barrasso said in his letter that “EPA cannot ignore the will of Congress and the requirements of the Clean Air Act for 17 years.” Sen. Barrasso asked EPA to complete its study required under the Clean Air Act by Sept. 30, 2018, and to adhere to a completion date of the EISA study by Dec. 31, 2017.

EPA’s Inspector General in August 2016 issued a report calling on EPA to complete these studies. In response, EPA said it would finish the report under section 204 of EISA by Dec. 31, 2017, and the study under the Clean Air Act by Sept. 30, 2024. Senator Barrasso said the 2024 completion date is “unacceptable.”


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