The final federal hurdle to getting 15% ethanol at the pump has officially been satisfied with the funding of a nationwide fuel survey required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The ethanol industry reports that a total of 99 ethanol producers are funding the survey to meet the requirement under the partial waiver approved by EPA.
“Despite owning just a handful of the nation’s 160,000 gas stations that will be the actual participants in the survey, ethanol producers are providing the lion’s share of funding for this survey in order to bring a higher performing, lower cost fuel to the market in E15,” said the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy, and the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) in joint announcement praising the industry for stepping up to the plate to help bring E15 to the market.
Efforts to bring E15 to pumps across the nation will now focus on states where regulatory issues must be addressed. Some states, like Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas are prepared for E15 and sales of E15 could commence as soon as all parties are registered with EPA and are implementing the Misfueling Mitigation Plan approved by EPA. However, challenges such as pending litigation and anti-ethanol posturing by some in Congress, make it difficult to predict an exact time frame for the growth of E15 sales volumes nationwide.
The fuel survey is required annually and will be conducted by RFGSA. The survey will be collecting more than 7500 samples each year of all gasolines available nationwide and will begin on May 1, 2012.