Joining the Discussion About Renewable Fuel Credits

In July, water sector representatives met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Transportation officials to discuss renewable identification numbers (RINs). Representatives from the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.), Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (Alexandria, Va.), California Association of Sanitation Agencies (Sacramento, Calif.), and Water Research Foundation (Denver) met to discuss reclassifying codigestion fuel for water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) to receive higher economic incentives for generating renewable fuel.

RINs are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard program, designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower reliance on imported oil. Through this program, RIN credits are earned when producers generate a renewable fuel (such as biogas, biodiesel, or ethanol) that achieves a greenhouse gas emission reduction when compared to a 2005 petroleum baseline. Each renewable fuel has its own RIN code that dictates the credit’s value in the EPA Moderated Transaction System. Redesignating renewable fuels produced using codigestion with food waste to a higher value RIN designation would encourage WRRFs to divert food waste from landfills to produce renewable fuel. The meeting opened a dialogue with EPA on the topic.

For more information, see WEF’s biosolids topic webpage or read WEF’s documents, “Biogas to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG): A Guideline for Water Resource Recovery Facilities” and “Renewable Identification Numbers: A Guideline for Water Resource Recovery Facilities.”

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