RIN compliance surprisingly low

By Kris Bevill | June 02, 2008
Web exclusive posted July 3, 2008 at 3:43 p.m. CST

A survey conducted by the RINSTAR Renewable Fuel Registry, the only registrar of renewable identification numbers (RINs), has concluded that approximately 81 percent of renewable fuel suppliers are out of compliance with U.S. EPA regulations.

RINSTAR, which is operated by Clean Fuels Clearinghouse, surveyed 134 companies in January. When asked "what percentage of RIN transfers do you receive on the same day as your PTD [product transfer document]?" Only 19 percent of the participants indicated that they received those transfers within 24 hours of the PTD - as required by the EPA.

In October 2007 RINSTAR conducted a similar survey and at that time concluded that only 61 percent of suppliers were out of compliance.

Reports of shockingly low compliance numbers had already prompted the EPA to recently reissue a document stating its regulations for RIN transfers. The agency warned producers and RIN traders that non-compliance could result in fines at a rate of $32,500 per day under the Clean Air Act and hinted that it would begin aggressively enforcing those regulations. The EPA document addressing improper RIN transactions can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels/impropertrading.htm.

"These improper and illegal RIN trading practices could be easily avoided if everyone was on the Renewable Fuel Registry," said Clayton McMartin, president of Clean Fuels Clearinghouse and operator of RINSTAR, adding that all of RINSTAR's members remain in compliance with RIN transfer regulations.

A national registry for RINs has not been established by the EPA. The agency opted to let the industry manage itself. As the only RIN registry in the U.S., RINSTAR has processed over 2.65 billion gallon-RIN transactions since its inception and continues to lead the industry in offering some sort of guidance to a complicated process. "The Renewable Fuel Registry serves a vital role in the cost effective implementation of the [renewable fuel standard] and is open to every company throughout the renewable fuel supply chain," McMartin said.