Ethanol Industry Supports E15 Labeling Changes

Cindy Zimmerman

Ethanol industry stakeholders filed comments this week generally supporting proposed changes to E15 fuel dispenser labeling requirements and underground storage tank regulations to accommodate the safe storage of E15 and other higher blends, with a few changes. The rule co-proposes EPA either modify the E15 label or remove the label requirement entirely; and to modify the underground storage tank (UST) regulations to make it easier for station owners to demonstrate compatibility with E15 and possibly higher ethanol blends in the future.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Geoff Cooper says they support many of the changes proposed. “EPA’s proposal would help to remove two crucial impediments that have prevented E15 from spreading more rapidly in the marketplace,” said Cooper.

In comments to the EPA, RFA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis noted the trade association “believes that with a few modest revisions, the labeling modifications and UST compatibility provisions proposed by EPA will result in expanded availability and use of E15, a cleaner, more affordable fuel blend that improves our nation’s energy efficiency, air quality, energy security, and resiliency to climate change.”

RFA suggests that the E15 pump label should be modified to better reflect the increasingly small share of vehicles and equipment for which E15 is not approved. Further, RFA believes EPA should clarify that its mandatory E15 label preempts the ability of state and local governments to require duplicative and redundant E15 dispenser labels.

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty submitted comments on behalf of the organization. “The proposed rule removes unnecessarily harsh restrictions that were put in place as a response to misinformation-based fear created by carefully crafted and heavily promoted anti-ethanol myths, which have been “busted” by more than 10 years of E15 use with retailers reporting no damage claims, and no increase in releases from UST systems,” Lamberty wrote.

The proposed rule was announced in the final days of the Trump administration.

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