The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting even closer to letting 15% ethanol blended gasoline (E15) make its debut in the marketplace.
This week, EPA notified the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) that the model Misfueling Mitigation Plan for E15 the organization submitted meets the requirements of EPA’s waiver decision. In January 2011, EPA expanded upon its October 2010 decision and approved the use of E15 for light duty passenger vehicles Model Year (MY) 2001 and newer.
In a letter to RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen, EPA’s Compliance Division acting director stated that the RFA Misfueling Mitigation Plan “would generally be sufficient to satisfy the partial waivers’ requirements.”
“Americans will soon have a safe and effective new fuel option at the pump that is domestically-made and significantly cheaper than gasoline,” said Dinneen. “EPA is clearing the way for E15 and allowing America’s ethanol industry to turn its full attention to educating retailers and consumers on the benefits of higher level ethanol blends and ensuring that state fuel regulations allow for their sale.”
The next steps will include ensuring companies seeking to offer E15 are registered with EPA, they have submitted the Misfueling Mitigation plan, and are addressing lingering fuel regulatory requirements at the state level. Some states, including Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas, are prepared to welcome E15 and drivers in those states will be among the first to see E15 at the pump.
Coinciding with EPA’s approval of RFA’s Misfueling Mitigation Plan, the RFA released the E15 Retailer Handbook. This Handbook provides guidance for retailers in evaluating existing infrastructure compatibility, safety and conversion practices and state specific regulatory requirements.