The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week denied 26 requests from small refineries for relief from ethanol blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“In general, the small refineries provided little new information and instead repeated the information included in the prior petitions that EPA denied with the 2022 SRE Denial Actions,” EPA said.

The individual refineries “have failed to demonstrate that compliance with their RFS obligations would cause disproportionate economic hardship,” EPA said in a joint release with the Department of Energy.

The petitions from the small refineries stretched from 2016 to 2023. In total, 15 separate facilities were denied relief from blending obligations.

This decision stands in contrast to the numerous SREs that were approved under the Trump administration.

Denying a Small Refinery Exemption is effectively upholding overall blending obligations, which by statute are 15 billion gallons annually for conventional corn-based ethanol. By granting an SRE, EPA would be effectively lowering obligations below the 15 billion gallon threshold.