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Environmental Assessment

Biofuels and the Environment: the First Triennial Report to Congress (External Review Draft)

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Report Information

The Biofuels and the Environment: The First Triennial Report to Congress (External Review Draft) (EPA/600/R-10/183A) report, prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA’s Office of Research and Development, is the first report published on this issue. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandates increased production of biofuels (fuels derived from organic materials) from 9 billion gallons per year in 2008 to 36 billion gallons per year by 2022. Additionally, EISA (Section 204) also requires that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assess and report to Congress every three years on the current and potential future environmental and resource conservation impacts associated with increased biofuel production and use.

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Robert J. Frederick
  • by phone at:   703-347-8543
  • by email at:  frederick.bob@epa.gov


The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA Section 204) directs EPA to conduct a study of the environmental impact associated with current and future biofuel production and use. The mandate asks for consideration of environmental issues including air quality, water quality and soil quality. The mandate also asks for consideration of resource conservation impacts of increased biofuel production and use, including air and water quality, soil quality and conservation, water availability, energy recovery from secondary materials, ecosystem health and biodiversity, invasive species, and international impacts. This report reviews impacts across the entire biofuel supply chain, including feedstock production and logistics, and biofuel production, distribution, and use.

This report is the first of the U.S. Environmental Agency’s (EPA’s) reports to Congress required under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). EISA requires EPA to revise the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program to increase the volume of renewable fuel blended into transportation fuel from 9 billion gallons per year in 2008 to 36 billion gallons per year by 2022. The revised standards (RFS2), finalized in 2010, establish new specific annual volume requirements for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel in transportation fuel.


Dec 2009EPA conducted an interagency review for comments on the draft report.
Jan 2011EPA released the external review draft for public review and comment.

Next Steps

Concluding this review and the peer review meeting, updates will be made to the report, then the final report will be published in 2012 on the EPA Biofuels web site.

Additional Information

Comments on the assessment may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov Web site. From the site, select “Environmental Protection Agency” and the keyword “EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-1077" (for the docket ID) to comment on this report.


U.S. EPA. Biofuels and the Environment: the First Triennial Report to Congress (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-10/183A, 2011.


This download(s) is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.

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