EPA Reviewing E15 Request

Retailers and their grower-customers now have an opportunity to weigh in with EPA on E15 gasoline.

Growth Energy, a pro-ethanol industry organization, and 54 ethanol manufacturers have submitted a request for E15 gasoline. The waiver application requests that the allowable ethanol content of gasoline be increased to 15 percent (E15). The Clear Air Act’s current limit of 10 percent has been in place since 1978.

According to EPA, one potential outcome at the end of this process may be an indication that a fuel up to E15 could meet the criteria for a waiver for some vehicles and engines but not for others. Another potential outcome could be concluded that ethanol blends of greater than 10 percent, but less than 15 percent, could warrant a waiver.

EPA is seeking public comment through July 20. The statutory provision calls for EPA to make a decision within 270 days of receipt, which is Dec. 1.

EPA has asked for comment on the following points:

  • Is there an appropriate level of scientific and technical information in order for the administration to grant the waiver request to increase the blend rate to 15 percent?
  • Is there an appropriate level of scientific and technical information in order for the administration to determine whether the use of E15 will not cause or contribute to a failure of any emissions control device or system?
  • Is there an appropriate level of scientific and technical information in order for the administration to grant a waiver for an ethanol-gasoline blend greater than 10 percent and less than or equal to 15 percent?
  • Educational efforts that would be needed to inform the public about new fuel that would be available if the waiver is granted.
  • Other comments on the increase of ethanol-gasoline blend from 10 percent to 15 percent.

According to the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), all comments should include data or specific examples.

ARA recommends that retailers choosing to comment on the waiver application to increase the allowable ethanol content of gasoline to 15 percent send comments to Jon Samson at Jon@aradc.org.

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