WASHINGTON -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday announced that it has approved the first applications for registration of ethanol for use in making gasoline that contains up to 15% ethanol €" known as E15.
EPA notes in a press release that for more than 30 years ethanol has been blended into gasoline, but the law limited it to E10 for use in gasoline-fueled vehicles. "Registration of ethanol to make E15 is a significant step toward its production, sale, and use in model year 2001 and newer gasoline-fueled cars and light trucks," notes the agency.
The announcement follows an extensive technical review required by law. Registration is a prerequisite to introducing E15 into the marketplace. Before it can be sold, manufacturers must first take additional measures to help ensure retail stations and other gasoline distributors understand and implement labeling rules and other E15-related requirements. EPA is not requiring the use or sale of E15.
After extensive vehicle testing by DOE and other organizations, EPA issued two partial waivers raising the allowable ethanol volume to 15% for use in model year 2001 and newer cars and light trucks. E15 is not permitted for use in motor vehicles built prior to 2001 model year and in off-road vehicles and equipment such as boats and lawn and garden equipment. Gas pumps dispensing E15 will be clearly labeled so consumers can make the right choice. More information is available on EPA€™s website. Meanwhile, refiners and auto manufacturers have filed lawsuits against EPA regarding its decision to approve E15.
NACS believes that with the progress being made in the market, enactment of the Domestic Fuels Act, introduced last week in both the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 4345) and U.S. Senate (S. 2264), is timelier than ever. Retailers need regulatory and legal certainty to make business decisions concerning the fuels they offer to their customers. The Domestic Fuels Act will provide that certainty and provide retailers with a legal path forward.