The Iowa and Nebraska Attorneys General notified EPA Administrator Michael Regan of their “intent to sue” the agency for its illegal delay to promulgate regulations allowing year-round E15 sales. Despite a Clean Air Act (CAA) requirement to act within 90 days, EPA took over 300 days to issue a proposed rule and used the delay to justify implementing the new rules for the summer of 2024 instead of the summer of 2023.
In April of 2022, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and seven other governors notified the EPA of their decision to exercise their CAA authority to allow year-round E15 sales. EPA recently issued a proposed rule, still not finalized, that approves the decision but delays the effective date to 2024.
“We commend Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird for standing up for Iowa consumers at the pump,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “After illegally delaying action, the Biden Administration is trying to use the delay to justify putting off year-round E15 until 2024. They claim they must hold the petroleum refiners harmless by giving them more time to comply. Well, who is holding the Midwest consumers and retailers harmless? Iowans should not have to pay at the pump for the tardiness of the EPA. I think a judge will agree. We will support Attorney General Bird in every way we can to get justice for Iowa consumers.”
Federal law requires a notice of “intent to sue” 60 days before a lawsuit can be filed.
In their notice to EPA, the Attorneys General stated: “To the extent there are real production, distribution, retail, and other problems as raised by EPA, those are problems of EPA’s own creation… we demand the EPA issue temporary emergency declarations for the 2023 high-ozone season to bridge the gap until the waiver takes place.”
“The Midwest Governors acted diligently and in a timely fashion to ensure that low-cost E15 would be available to consumers uninterrupted,” stated Shaw. “The EPA’s delay, despite public assurances the rules would be ready for 2023, serves to protect petroleum refiners but not the Midwest consumers. EPA has the tools to make this right. They should do so immediately.”
The Attorneys General notice can be found here: https://iowarfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Iowa-Nebraska-RVP-Waiver-Letter-1.pdf