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Reuters reports:

NEW YORK - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has denied 36 petitions from oil refiners seeking exemptions to the nation's biofuel blending laws for the 2018 compliance year, but will provide 31 of those refineries with another avenue to seek relief, the agency announced on Thursday.

The action will align the EPA with a 2020 court decision that narrowed the criteria for what facilities should be eligible for exemptions from the blending quotas. Former President Donald Trump's EPA had granted more than 30 so-called Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) for the 2018 year, triggering a successful court challenge from the biofuel industry.

"The decision to deny these petitions is rooted in EPA's commitment to follow the law and recent court decisions with respect to its legal authority on SRE petitions," EPA spokesperson Nick Conger said.

The agency added that the alternative relief EPA plans to grant to 31 of the refineries will allow the facilities to meet their 2018 obligations without purchasing credits to show compliance with the law. That decision was made because of "extenuating circumstances," including the fact the plants had initially been granted waivers, it said.

"The compliance flexibilities we are providing to select refineries are based on a separate and distinct analysis," EPA's Conger said.

To receive relief using the alternative approach, refiners must resubmit compliance reports for 2018 and report their actual fuel production for that year, among other data.

To read the entire report click here.

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