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Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP)

Information about Renewable Fuel Standard for Landfill Gas Energy Projects

Renewable Fuel Standard

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program was created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and further expanded by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The program requires obligated parties, including refiners or importers of gasoline or diesel fuel, to meet a Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) based on the amount of petroleum-based fuels they produce or import annually. One way for these parties to meet compliance requirements (the RVO) is by obtaining credits known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

The RFS created four categories of renewable fuel: cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel. The program sets minimum life cycle greenhouse gas reduction thresholds for each category. To generate RINs, the fuel must meet one of the EPA-approved pathways. RINs generated from qualified pathways are allowed to be blended into transportation fuel, heating oil and jet fuel.

The RFS allowed producers of biogas to generate advanced biofuel (D5) RINs when the biogas was derived from landfills, sewage treatment plants, and manure digesters. In July 2014, EPA modified the existing pathway to specify that compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the fuel and the biogas is the feedstock. Further, EPA allowed fuels derived from landfill biogas to qualify for cellulosic biofuel (D3) RINs, rather than just D5 RINs. EPA also added a new renewable electricity pathway for electricity used in electric vehicles.

To generate RINs, the renewable electricity and renewable CNG/LNG must be used for transportation purposes. The use or sale of renewable electricity, CNG, or LNG as transportation fuel must be demonstrated through either written contracts or signed affidavits, when contracts are not available.

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