Utah biodiesel plant fined for selling invalid renewable-energy credits
By BRIAN MAFFLY | The Salt Lake Tribune connect
First Published Mar 20 2015 06:03PM • Last Updated Jul 07 2015 08:05 pm
Utah's largest biodiesel producer has agreed to pay a $3 million fine to resolve allegations that it sold credits associated with renewable fuels it had not produced, although the company attributes the violation to a "misinterpretation" of the law and says it fully cooperated with investigators.
Washakie Renewable Energy built its plant in Plymouth, 100 miles north of Salt Lake City, in 2008 with the goal of turning grease, animal fat and other oil wastes into liquid fuels. It now produces 10 million gallons a year.
Washakie produced no biomass fuels between January and October 2010 — although it collected $2 million based on having produced millions of gallons, according to a suit federal lawyers filed, along with a stipulated settlement, on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard program, businesses that produce or import fossil fuels must buy credits from renewable-energy companies. The companies generate the credits they sell based on the volume of renewable fuel they produce.
The credits, or renewable identification numbers (RINs), that Washakie generated, reflected 7.2 million gallons of biodiesel it claimed to have produced in 2010.
"The defendant made quite a profit by failing to adhere to the requirements of the .... regulations," said Assistant Attorney General John Cruden in a statement. "The penalty here sends the message that renewable fuel producers will be held accountable for meeting all legal requirements."
|Powered by Social Strata|