In Washington, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a structured process for buyers of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) in order to verify their validity. Under the proposal, RINs would be verified through a new voluntary quality assurance program that also includes alternative compliance options which leverage existing industry practices and market forces. This proposal will now be available for public comment. EPA will consider feedback from a range of stakeholders before the proposal is finalized. Quality Assurance Plans (QAPs) would provide a recognized means for independent third parties to audit the production of renewable fuel and verify that RINs have been validly generated.
For RINs that have been verified according to an approved QAP, the program would provide protection against liability for civil violations resulting from the transfer or use of invalidly generated RINs under certain conditions. The rule would also specify both the conditions under which invalid RINs must be replaced with valid RINs, and by whom. The proposed rule allows verification of RINs to begin this year. “While we are still reviewing the details, this proposal appears to be another positive step toward ensuring that RIN fraud is a thing of the past,” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “We want to thank the EPA for working aggressively to address this issue and for proposing constructive solutions that will restore confidence in RIN markets.”