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Approval for E15 passes a milestone
16 March 2012
EPA has informed the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) that the RFA Model E15 Misfueling Mitigation Plan would generally be sufficient to satisfy the partial waivers’ requirement for a misfueling mitigation plan. The partial waivers allow fuel and fuel additive manufacturers to introduce gasoline-ethanol blends containing grater than 10% vol. and no more than 15% vol. ethanol (E15) for use in model year 2001 and newer light duty vehicles. (Earlier post.)
The waivers required each fuel and fuel additive manufacturer subject to the waivers to submit to EPA a misfueling mitigation plan (MMP) for EPA’s approval—and to implement the MMP prior to the introduction of the fuel or additive into commerce.
The partial waivers state than an MMP “must include provisions that will implement all reasonable precautions for ensuring that the fuel or fuel additive (i.e. gasoline intended for use in E15, ethanol intended for use in E15, or final E15 blend) is only introduced into commerce for use in MY2001 and newer light duty motor vehicle.”
Reasonable precautions include measures for labeling E15 fuel pump dispensers, providing information on product transfer documents, and participating in a compliance survey. The RFA MMP generally meets those requirements, according to the EPA.
A company that wishes to use the MMP must seek approval from the EPA in writing. Before deciding whether to approve the MMP for a company, EPA aid it may seek additional information and/or require additional misfueling mitigation measures, on a company- and situation-specific basis. The company will also need separately to submit a survey plan for EPA approval.
With today’s announcement, EPA is clearing the way for E15 and allowing America’s ethanol industry to turn its full attention to educating retailers and consumers on the benefits of higher level ethanol blends and ensuring that state fuel regulations allow for their sale.—RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen
On 17 February, EPA approved health effects testing submitted by the industry and cleared the way for ethanol companies to register with EPA to offer E15. The RFA is aware of several ethanol producers that have submitted registration documents with EPA.
The next steps will include ensuring companies seeking to offer E15 are registered with EPA, they have submitted the Misfueling Mitigation plan, and are addressing lingering fuel regulatory requirements at the state level. Some states, including Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas, are prepared to welcome E15 and drivers in those states will be among the first to see E15 at the pump.
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