EPA  Issues Final Rule for Additional
                  Qualifying Renewable Fuel Pathways
                  under the  RFS Program
                     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final
                     action to identify additional fuel pathways that the Agency has
                  determined meet the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction
                  requirements for biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and cellulosic
                  biofuel under the National Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.
                  This final rule describes EPA's evaluation of biofuels produced from
                  camelina oil, which qualify as biomass-based diesel or advanced bio*
                  fuel, as well as biofuels from energy cane which qualify as cellulosic

                  This final rule also qualifies renewable gasoline and renewable gaso-
                  line blendstock made from certain qualifying feedstocks  as cellulosic

                  By qualifying these new fuel pathways, this rule provides opportuni-
                  ties to increase the volume of advanced, low-GHG renewable fuels—
                  such as cellulosic biofuels— under the RFS program. EPA's compre-
                  hensive analyses show significant lifecycle GHG emission reductions
                  from these fuel types, as compared to the baseline gasoline or diesel
                  fuel that they replace.

                  Lastly, the rule clarifies the  definition of renewable diesel to explicitly
                  include jet fuel. This clarification offers additional market certainty
                  and opportunity for renewable diesel producers.
United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Transportation and Air Quality
                  February 2013

In the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule, published in March 2010, EPA assessed the
lifecycle GHG emissions of multiple renewable fuel pathways (defined as feedstock, fuel type,
and fuel production process). Assessment of lifecycle GHG emissions is necessary to determine
which fuel pathways meet the GHG reduction thresholds for the four required renewable fuel
categories specified in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which made
revisions to the RFS program. EISA requires a 20% reduction in lifecycle GHG emissions for
renewable fuel produced at new facilities (those constructed after enactment), a 50% reduction
for biomass-based diesel or advanced biofuel, and a 60% reduction for cellulosic biofuel,

Assessing whether a fuel pathway meets these thresholds requires a comprehensive evaluation of
the lifecycle GHG emissions of the renewable fuel  as compared to the lifecycle GHG emissions
of the gasoline or diesel fuel that it replaces.

Although EPA included lifecycle GHG assessments for a number of fuel pathways in the final
RFS rule, EPA recognized during the rulemaking that there would new pathways requiring
assessment in the future. Therefore, we provided §80.1416 in the RFS regulations, "Petition
process for evaluation of new renewable fuels pathways." This mechanism allows parties to
request that EPA conduct a lifecycle GHG assessment for a new fuel pathway and provide a
determination of the RFS fuel category for which the new pathway may be eligible.  In response
to requests we received through the petition process, this final rule adds determinations for new
feedstock and process technology pathways to the regulations.
Our Analysis
In order to calculate lifecycle GHG emissions for this final rule, EPA utilized models developed
for the 2010 RFS final rule. These models take into account energy and emissions inputs for fuel
and feedstock production, distribution, and use, as well as economic models that predict changes
in agricultural markets. In developing these models, the Agency employed a collaborative,
transparent, and science-based approach. Through technical outreach, the peer review process,
and the public comment period, EPA received and reviewed a significant amount of data, studies,
and information on our proposed approach, and in the 2010 RFS final rule, we incorporated a
number of new, updated, and peer-reviewed data sources into our methodology.
Rulemaking Process
EPA published a direct final rule (77 FR 700) and a parallel proposed rule on January 5, 2012
(77 FR 462) to amend the RFS regulations Table 1 of § 80.1426 to identify the additional
renewable fuel production pathways and pathway components described here. We subsequently
received adverse comment on certain aspects of the direct final rule and on March 5, 2012, EPA
withdrew the direct final rule (77 FR 13009).

The adverse comments we received centered on a few narrow aspects of the assumptions under-
lying the greenhouse gas (GHG) estimates of producing biofuel feedstocks, including camelina,
energy cane, napier grass, giant reed and corn stover. These comments were based on a misin-
terpretation of our analysis. In this final rule, we provide additional clarification regarding our
assumptions, and the underlying analysis remains unchanged from the proposed rule,

Commenters also  stated the direct final rule did not properly address issues related to control of
invasive species under Executive Order 13112. The information provided did not raise significant
concerns about the threat of invasiveness and related GHG emissions for camelina and energy
cane. Therefore, we are finalizing the camelina and energy cane pathways in this rule based on
our lifecycle analysis. We are not finalizing at this time determinations on biofuels produced
from giant reed (Arundo donax) or napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum), or biodiesel produced
from esterification. We continue to consider the issues concerning these proposals, and will
make a final decision on them at a later time.
Pathway Determinations
This final rule describes EPA's analysis and determinations for the following new fuel pathways:

Camelina oil (new feedstock)

    r"  Biodiesel and renewable diesel (including jet fuel and heating oil)— qualifying as
       biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel

    ^  Naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)— qualifying as advanced biofuel

Energy cane cellulosic biomass (new feedstock)

    ^  Ethanol, renewable diesel (including renewable jet fuel and heating oil), and naphtha—
       qualifying as cellulosic biofuel

Renewable gasoline and renewable gasoline blendstock (new fuel types)

    ^  Produced from crop residue, slash, pre-commercial thinnings, tree residue, annual cover
       crops, and cellulosic components of separated yard waste,  separated food waste,
       and separated municipal solid waste (MSW)

    r"  Using the following processes— all utilizing natural gas, biogas, and/or biomass as the
       only process energy sources— qualifying as cellulosic biofuel:
           • Thermochemical pyrolysis
           • Thermochemical gasification
           • Biochemical direct fermentation
           • Biochemical fermentation with catalytic upgrading
           • Any other process that uses biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy

            For More Information

            For more information, please visit the RFS website at:


            To submit a question on the RFS program, and to view Frequently Asked Questions, please visit: