Petition Claims Biofuels are Driving Land Conversion in the U.S., Requests EPA Impose Documentation Requirements

Several environmental activist organizations filed a petition with the EPA calling for the agency to impose requirements tracking the origination of all biofuels feedstocks to ensure they are not derived from land cultivated after the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was expanded in 2007.

The RFS law requires all eligible biofuel feedstock to come from land that was in production prior to 2007 and EPA uses an aggregate compliance approach based on total cropland data as reported by USDA.

The petition, submitted by groups such as Earthjustice,  Mighty Earth, Sierra Club, and Union for Concerned Scientists, cites increase acreage for corn and soybeans, which it attributes solely to biofuels demand. The petition calls for EPA to require biofuel producers to demonstrate and provide documentation that each source of crop-based renewable biomass used to meet the RFS was grown on compliant lands and provide documentation showing that production of renewable biomass does not cause land conversion for production of displaced crops. There is no timetable for consideration of this petition by EPA.

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