The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expanded an emergency fuel waiver of the summer low volatility gasoline requirement to 12 states on Wednesday in response to concerns about fuel shortages from Hurricane Harvey.
EPA has waived requirements for reformulated gasoline and low volatility gasoline through September 15 in Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana and Florida, as well as the District of Columbia. The waiver means that those states will be allowed to sell 15 percent ethanol before the September 15 end of the summer volatility requirement.
Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen wrote a letter to EPA Administration Scott Pruitt on Monday requesting the waiver. “This allows for the sale of E15 in those conventional gasoline areas of the states covered by the waiver and is effectively what we asked of the agency on Monday,” said Dinneen. “Retailers must still meet or be deemed complaint with other regulatory requirements associated with selling E15, such as the Misfueling Mitigation Plan (MMP). But consumers facing likely gasoline supply issues as a result of Hurricane Harvey are one important step closer today to a high octane, low cost alternative.”
RFA and other ethanol interests have been working to get a permanent waiver for E15 in the summer months or a legislative fix to allow it.