Fifteen percent ethanol blended motor fuel has gotten one step closer to commercial availability with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval of health effects testing submitted by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy.
EPA concluded, “Our evaluation therefore concludes that RFA/Growth Energy has submitted data and analysis that would satisfy the Tier 1 and Tier 2 testing requirements for registration.”
“EPA’s action today puts E15 on the precipice of commercialization and means that consumers may be able to choose a more affordable E15 option in time for the expensive summer driving season,” RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “This is huge step toward meaningful market expansion for domestically-produced ethanol.”
The acceptance of the health effects testing clears the way for the final steps in registering E15 as a fuel and offering it in the marketplace. With EPA’s acceptance of the results of the testing submitted by the ethanol groups, suppliers of ethanol and E15 are now able to register with EPA to offer the fuel.
“Now it is up to the retailers and individual fuel companies to register for approval to sell E15,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “With ethanol selling an average of 76 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline and $4 a gallon gasoline on the horizon, we’d encourage all Americans to ask their local filling station how soon they will see more-affordable E15.”
The next step in getting E15 to consumers is the formulation of a misfueling mitigation plan. As the E15 waiver extends only to MY2001 and newer vehicles, and excludes a number of non-road, marine, and vehicle engines, helping ensure consumers are legally and appropriately using E15 is critical. Once this plan is completed, and companies register with EPA, E15 can be sold to the EPA-approved vehicles in states and at stations that are prepared to do so.