EPA Denies 26 Small Refinery Exemption Requests


On July 14, 2023, EPA announced its denial of 26 petitions from small refineries seeking small refinery exemptions (SREs) from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for one or more of the compliance years between 2016 and 2023.

In keeping with the Agency’s April and July 2022 Denials of Petitions for RFS Small Refinery Exemptions, the action applies EPA’s current interpretation of the Clean Air Act SRE provisions, consistent with a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit holding in Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA. The Tenth Circuit held that SREs may only be granted when a small refinery’s hardship is caused by compliance with the RFS program.

After reviewing more than a decade of RFS market data and confidential information submitted by petitioning small refineries, EPA concluded that none of the 26 SRE petitions demonstrated disproportionate economic hardship caused by compliance with the RFS program. The decision is a final Agency action.