[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 115 (Monday, June 16, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 34242-34245]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-14019]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 80

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0479; FRL-9912-00-OAR]
RIN 2060-AS25


Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Extension of Compliance 
and Attest Engagement Reporting Deadlines for 2013 Renewable Fuel 
Standards

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final 
action on two components of its annual rulemaking to establish the 2014 
renewable fuels standards under Clean Air Act 211(o). The two 
components are an extension of the compliance demonstration deadline 
for the 2013 renewable fuel standards, and the associated deadline for 
submission of attest engagement reports for the 2013 renewable fuel 
standards. The new deadlines are September 30, 2014 and January 30, 
2015, respectively. This action ensures timely amendment of existing 
deadlines, before compliance obligations would otherwise go into 
effect. The EPA intends to finalize the remaining portion of its 
rulemaking to establish the 2014 renewable fuel standards shortly.

DATES: This rule is effective June 16, 2014.

ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0479. All documents in the docket are 
listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, 
some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other 
information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other 
material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only 
in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either 
electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and 
Radiation Docket and Information Center, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 
1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is 
open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding 
legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is 
(202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air Docket is (202) 
566-1742.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julia MacAllister, Office of 
Transportation and Air Quality, Assessment and Standards Division, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 
48105; Telephone number: 734-214-4131; Fax number: 734-214-4816; Email 
address: macallister.julia@epa.gov, or the public information line for 
the Office of Transportation and Air Quality; telephone number (734) 
214-4333; Email address OTAQ@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Purpose

    The EPA is today taking action to amend existing regulatory 
deadlines for obligated parties under the Renewable Fuel Standards 
(RFS) program to submit reports demonstrating their compliance with the 
2013 RFS percentage standards, and to submit corresponding attest 
engagement reports.
    We received comments on our November 29, 2013 proposed rulemaking 
to establish the 2014 RFS standards \1\ reiterating the importance to 
obligated parties of knowing their RFS obligations for 2014 prior to 
the compliance demonstration deadline for the 2013 RFS standards. The 
EPA recognized the value of this timing to obligated parties in the 
2013 standards final rule, and for that reason delayed the normally 
applicable February 28, 2014 compliance demonstration deadline to June 
30, 2014 for the 2013 RFS standards.\2\ We reasoned at that time that 
an extension to June 30, 2014 would be sufficient in light of the 
expected date of issuance of the 2014 annual RFS rule.
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    \1\ 78 FR 71732 (November 29, 2013).
    \2\ 78 FR 49794, 49800 (August 15, 2013).
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    However, in light of the fact that the EPA has not yet issued the 
2014 annual standards rule, we believe it is appropriate to provide a 
further extension of the 2013 compliance demonstration deadline. The 
new deadline is September 30, 2014. Additionally, we are extending the 
deadline for submitting the corresponding attest engagement reports to 
January 30, 2015. Although these regulatory changes were not 
specifically proposed in the 2014 annual standards rule, we believe 
that they are appropriate as a logical outgrowth of the proposed rule. 
The EPA received several comments on the proposed rule emphasizing the 
need for the EPA to promulgate the 2014 RFS standards quickly and the 
need for obligated parties to know their obligations for the following 
year when finalizing their 2013 compliance demonstrations. As noted 
above, the EPA itself recognized the value to obligated parties of 
knowing their obligations for 2014 prior to having to demonstrate 
compliance with their 2013 RFS requirements. This is because, once the 
2014 RFS standards are known, obligated parties may choose to consider 
the impact of the new standards on their 2013 RFS compliance approach, 
including how many 2013 Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) they 
can carry-forward (there is a 20% limit based on the 2014 standard) for 
purposes of complying with the 2014 RFS standards.
    The 2014 RFS rulemaking has been more time consuming than 
originally anticipated, involving receipt of over 300,000 comments, 
concerning numerous specific issues related to the 2014 standards which 
the EPA needs, and wishes, to thoroughly consider and respond to. Given 
the need for the EPA to weigh these issues carefully, prior to taking 
final action on the 2014 RFS standards, the EPA believes it best to 
further extend the existing June 30, 2014 compliance demonstration 
deadline and associated attest engagement report deadline for the 2013 
RFS standards. While we do not believe that the EPA is constrained 
legally to extend the deadline, we do believe it is appropriate to do 
so in this instance. It will allow the EPA time to complete its work on 
the 2014 renewable fuel standards rule in a thorough manner, while also 
providing time between the expected date of finalizing that rule and 
the new 2013 compliance deadline which will be helpful to obligated 
parties. While this final rule is a logical outgrowth of the 2014 RFS 
proposed rule, and the

[[Page 34243]]

circumstances of completing that rule, the EPA needs to take final 
action on this rule separately from the other aspects of the 2014 rule, 
in order that the actions taken in this rule are effective prior to the 
existing 2013 RFS standards compliance deadline of June 30, 2014.
    We are setting the effective date for this rule as the date that it 
is published in the Federal Register. Section 553(d) of the 
Administrative Procedure Act (APA), generally provides that rules may 
not take effect earlier than 30 days after they are published in the 
Federal Register. However, the EPA is issuing this final rule under CAA 
section 307(d), and that provision specifies that the APA does not 
apply, with only limited exceptions that do not include Section 553(d). 
The EPA is nevertheless acting consistently with the policies 
underlying APA section 553(d) in making this rule effective on the date 
of publication in the Federal Register. The APA provides that the 
requirements of section 553(d) do not apply where the rule in question 
``relieves a restriction'' or where the EPA finds and publishes with 
the rule a determination that ``good cause'' exists that warrants an 
exception. We believe that the deadline extensions finalized today will 
operate to relieve restrictions, and that good cause exists for making 
this rule effective prior to the deadlines currently in effect for 
submission of the 2013 renewable fuel standards' compliance 
demonstration report and the associated attest engagement reports, for 
the reasons described above.

II. Affected Entities

    Entities potentially affected by this direct final rule are those 
involved with the production, distribution, and sale of transportation 
fuels, including gasoline and diesel fuel or renewable fuels such as 
ethanol and biodiesel. Potentially regulated categories include:

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                                                   NAICS \1\                         Examples of potentially
                   Category                          Codes       SIC \2\ Codes         regulated entities
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Industry......................................          324110            2911  Petroleum Refineries.
Industry......................................          325193            2869  Ethyl alcohol manufacturing.
Industry......................................          325199            2869  Other basic organic chemical
                                                                                 manufacturing.
Industry......................................          424690            5169  Chemical and allied products
                                                                                 merchant wholesalers.
Industry......................................          424710            5171  Petroleum bulk stations and
                                                                                 terminals.
Industry......................................          424720            5172  Petroleum and petroleum products
                                                                                 merchant wholesalers.
Industry......................................          454319            5989  Other fuel dealers.
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\1\ North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
\2\ Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system code.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a 
guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this 
action. This table lists the types of entities that the EPA is now 
aware could be potentially regulated by this action. Other types of 
entities not listed in the table could also be regulated. To determine 
whether your activities would be regulated by this action, you should 
carefully examine the applicability criteria in 40 CFR part 80. If you 
have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a 
particular entity, consult the person listed in the preceding section.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under the 
terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is 
therefore not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 
(76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    There are no new information collection requirements associated 
with this rulemaking. The extension of the existing regulatory 
deadlines for obligated parties under the Renewable Fuel Standards 
(RFS) program impose no new or different reporting requirements on 
regulated parties. The existing information collection requests (ICR) 
that apply to the RFS program are sufficient to address the reporting 
requirements in the regulations.
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the 
EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency 
to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to 
notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative 
Procedures Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that 
the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, 
small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.
    For purposes of assessing the impacts of this rule on small 
entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business as defined 
by the Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 
121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of 
a city, county, town, school district or special district with a 
population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is 
any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated 
and is not dominant in its field.
    After considering the economic impacts of today's rule on small 
entities, I certify that this rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule amends the 
existing regulatory deadlines for obligated parties under the Renewable 
Fuel Standards (RFS) program to submit reports demonstrating their 
compliance with the 2013 RFS percentage standards, and to submit 
corresponding attest engagement reports. This action ensures timely 
amendment of existing deadlines, before compliance obligations would 
otherwise go into effect. The impacts of the RFS2 program on small 
entities were already addressed in the RFS2 final rule promulgated on 
March 26, 2010 (75 FR 14670), and this rule will not impose any 
additional requirements on small entities beyond those already 
analyzed.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This action contains no Federal mandates under the provisions of 
Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 
1531-1538 for State, local, or tribal

[[Page 34244]]

governments or the private sector. Therefore, this action is not 
subject to the requirements of sections 202 or 205 of the UMRA.
    This action is also not subject to the requirements of section 203 
of UMRA because it contains no regulatory requirements that might 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This rule only 
applies to gasoline, diesel, and renewable fuel producers, importers, 
distributors and marketers and merely extends the otherwise applicable 
reporting deadlines.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between 
the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as 
specified in Executive Order 13132. This action amends the existing 
regulatory deadlines for obligated parties under the Renewable Fuel 
Standards (RFS) program to submit reports demonstrating their 
compliance with the 2013 RFS percentage standards, and to submit 
corresponding attest engagement reports. The new deadlines only apply 
to gasoline, diesel, and renewable fuel producers, importers, 
distributors and marketers. Thus, Executive Order 13132 does not apply 
to this rule.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This rule will 
be implemented at the Federal level and affects transportation fuel 
refiners, blenders, marketers, distributors, importers, exporters, and 
renewable fuel producers and importers. Tribal governments would be 
affected only to the extent they purchase and use regulated fuels. 
Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets EO 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) as 
applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety 
risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of the EO 
has the potential to influence the regulation. This action is not 
subject to EO 13045 because it does not establish an environmental 
standard intended to mitigate health or safety risks and because it 
implements specific standards established by Congress in statutes 
(section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act).

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355 
(May 22, 2001)), because it is not a significant regulatory action 
under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (``NTTAA''), Public Law 104-113, 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) 
directs the EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory 
activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies. NTTAA directs the EPA to provide 
Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use 
available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards. Therefore, 
the EPA is not considering the use of any voluntary consensus 
standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    Executive Order (EO) 12898 (59 FR 7629 (Feb. 16, 1994)) establishes 
federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision 
directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and 
permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission 
by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high 
and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, 
policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income 
populations in the United States.
    The EPA has determined that this rule will not have 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not 
affect the level of protection provided to human health or the 
environment. This action does not relax the control measures on sources 
regulated by the RFS regulations and therefore will not cause emissions 
increases from these sources.

 K. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. The EPA will submit a report containing this rule and 
other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot 
take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2).

IV. Statutory Authority

    Statutory authority for this action comes from sections 211 and 
301(a) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C 7545 and 7601(a).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 80

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Air pollution control, Diesel fuel, Fuel additives, Gasoline, Imports, 
Oil imports, Petroleum.

    Dated: June 6, 2014.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 80 is 
amended as follows:

PART 80--REGULATION OF FUELS AND FUEL ADDITIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 80 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 7414, 7521, 7542, 7545, and 7601(a).

0
2. Section 80.1451 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1)(xiv) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  80.1451  What are the reporting requirements under the RFS 
program?

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (xiv) For the 2013 compliance year, annual compliance reports shall 
be submitted by September 30, 2014.
* * * * *

0
3. Section 80.1464 is amended by revising paragraph (g) to read as 
follows:

[[Page 34245]]

Sec.  80.1464  What are the attest engagement requirements under the 
RFS program?

* * * * *
    (g) For the 2013 compliance year, reports required under this 
section shall be submitted to EPA by January 30, 2015.

[FR Doc. 2014-14019 Filed 6-13-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P