Biofuels Sector

Biofuels Sector

Environmental Experience

Located in the Midwest, Environmental Law Counsel is a strong advocate for the biofuels industry. We have represented individual biofuels producers in permitting and litigation matters. We have also represented several biofuels industry associations in the USEPA Renewable Fuels Standards rulemaking proceedings (“RFS2”).

We are familiar with the unique RFS2 greenhouse gas “lifecycle emission analysis” used to determine the status of “renewable fuel” and advise clients on the demonstration required for petitions to qualify a fuel under a new renewable fuel “pathway.” We also help clients navigate the RFS2’s complex Renewable Identification Number System (“RINS”) accounting and reporting requirements and USEPA’s various rules and policies on RINS compliance.

Representative Matters

Our notable experience in the biofuels sector includes the following:

  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of citizen suit in the U.S. District Court alleging “sham” minor source permitting and threatening to enjoin construction of a new ethanol manufacturing plant.
  • Represented clients, including major oil company, landfill gas co-generation company, and ethanol plant, in response to USEPA Section 114 Information Requests regarding Clean Air Act compliance.
  • Represented ethanol manufacturing plants in construction and expansion permit proceedings and associated litigation.
  • Defended against Environmental Justice claims raised in permitting of new ethanol manufacturing plant.
  • Represented ethanol producers in contentious NPDES permit proceedings for two new ethanol production facilities in Illinois, including presentation of expert witnesses and extensive anti-degradation assessment.
  • Wrote legal and technical comments on behalf of coalition of Midwestern ethanol associations and their members on USEPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard regulations, including rulemakings involving procedures for implementation of the RFS2 mandate, procedures for RFS2 petitions, and EPA’s first waiver of mandate for cellulosic ethanol blending volumes.