EPA approves first company plans for E15 misfueling mitigation; E15 may be lawfully introduced to market
15 June 2012
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the first plans from individual companies for satisfying the misfueling mitigation conditions of the E15 partial waivers. Approved companies have now met all Clean Air Act requirements related to E15 and may legally—for CAA requirements—introduce E15 into the marketplace. However, noted EPA, other federal, state and local requirements and practical concerns must also be addressed.
For example, dispenser and tank compatibility with E15 must be considered by marketers of E15. (EPA has issued guidance and a proposed rule on tank compatibility.) Since a number of states restrict the sale of some gasoline-ethanol blends, state law changes may also be needed before E15 may be sold in those states. Industry stakeholders are also preparing an E15 public education campaign to provide consumers with additional information about the proper use of E15 and to help them avoid misfueling. EPA is participating in that effort.
In March 2009, Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers submitted a waiver application to the Clean Air Act for the introduction into commerce of gasoline-ethanol blends containing more than 10 vol% and up to 15 vol% ethanol content (E15 Waiver Request). On 13 October 2010, EPA took two actions:
It partially approved Growth Energy’s E15 Waiver Request to allow E15 to be introduced into commerce for use in Model Year (MY) 2007 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, and SUVs.
EPA also proposed a regulatory program to promote the successful introduction of E15 into commerce by reducing the potential for the misfueling of vehicles, engines and equipment that are prohibited from using E15.
In January 2011, EPA partially approved the E15 Waiver Request to be introduced into commerce for use in MY 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, and SUVs. In June 2011, EPA issued a final rule establishing the regulatory program rule to help inform consumers about the appropriate use of E15 and reduce the potential for the misfueling of vehicles, engines and equipment that are prohibited from using E15.
In February 2012, EPA released an evaluation of information submitted by the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy for satisfying the emissions and health effects data requirements for registration of E15 as required by the Clean Air Act. On 15 March 2012, EPA concluded that the Model MMP submitted by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) would generally be sufficient to satisfy the partial waivers’ MMP requirement. (Earlier post.)
Subsequent to the March approval, EPA received requests from a number of companies for approval to use the RFA Model MMP. Before approving their requests, EPA sought more information about how E15 would be dispensed, particularly from blender pumps. After working with RFA and individual plan submitters, EPA determined that an addendum to RFA’s Retailer Handbook, which is referenced in the Model Plan, provided the necessary information for EPA to approve the individual plan submitters’ MMPs.
A list of companies that have approved MMP submissions may be found here. The list is updated at least every two months.
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