The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked for comments regarding its proposed rule on Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards and the industry responded in force. Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) noted that for the most part, the air toxics the EPA is reviewing pertain to refiners of gasoline and auto manufacturers, although there are a few areas of concern for ethanol producers.
The National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) comments were based upon two main principles: first, the RFS volumes of biofuels in the future should be met in order to preserve the 150 million metric tons of annual CO2 equivalent emission reductions attributed to the RFS 2 program by EPA; and second that ethanol blends above E10 should be splash-blended to increase octane above the level of 87 AKI. Doing this would support EPA’s approach toward establishing E15 as the new certification fuel for 2017 and later non-flexible fueled light duty vehicles.
Along these same lines, the RFA supports treating E16-E50 blends as alternative fuels.
“EPA clearly recognizes that the most effective and efficient way to achieve the important goals of the proposed rule is to work to harmonize it with other policies affecting and regulating the transportation fuel sector throughout the country, including the RFS, Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE), and California’s Low Emission Vehicle Program,” writes Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section in formal comments. “BIO supports the proposed rule and believes that the final Tier 3 rule has the potential to encourage the continued development and commercialization of all biofuels.”
Erickson, like other biofuel groups noted that the EPA should work to set the emissions of test fuel in a way that will maximize investment and adoption of all biofuels, including higher ethanol blends and drop-in fuels, while also maximizing the level of octane in the fuel supply.