E15 Clears Final Regulatory Hurdle

Contrary to numerous studies showing economic and consumer detriment of fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol, EPA approved a plan submitted by the ethanol industry to address residual fuel that may be left in gas pumps that offer both E15, or gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, and other fuels. That step "knocks down the lone, significant regulatory hurdle standing in the way of getting E15 into the marketplace," trade groups Growth Energy and Renewable Fuels Association said.

Three years ago the ethanol industry filed a waiver with EPA to expand the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. Since then, EPA has approved two partial waivers that allow the fuel to be sold in cars from model years 2001 and newer and taken a series of steps to bring the fuel closer to the marketplace. NMMA along with the oil industry, food groups and other stakeholders have opposed the introduction of E15, but the ethanol industry says it has done its part and cleared every hurdle so far to bring the fuel to the marketplace. 

The recent action specifically addresses the scenario of a gas station having a single pump to provide both E15 and other fuels like E10, and the concern that residual E15 could mean that customers wanting E10 may fill up a tank with gasoline that contains more than 10 percent ethanol. The Renewable Fuels Association said EPA has notified it that the industry's guidance for retailers on selling E15 adequately addresses those concerns.