Growth Energy, RFA and ACE call on EPA to fix to outdated and confusing E15 labeling

April 20, 2021 |

In Washington, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the American Coalition for Ethanol all submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for a fix to outdated and confusing E15 labeling and to ensure retail stations’ existing tank systems can accommodate the storage of E15 and higher gasoline-ethanol blends.

“Growth Energy supports modification of the E15 label requirement to increase clarity and ensure it adequately advises consumers of appropriate uses of the fuel, while not unnecessarily dissuading the vast majority of consumers whose vehicles can refuel with E15…. In addition, Growth Energy strongly supports EPA’s proposal to modify the underground storage tank (UST) compatibility requirements applicable to E15 and other fuel blends.

“There is ample support that a wide variety of fuel storage equipment, including USTs and related piping, may store E15 if it is suitable for use with E10.  Removing unnecessary impediments to retailers’ use of such existing equipment is imperative to providing E15 equal footing in the fuels marketplace.”

“RFA is supportive of many of the changes proposed by EPA, and we hope President Biden’s administration moves swiftly to finalize the key elements of this rule,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “EPA’s proposal would help to remove two crucial impediments that have prevented E15 from spreading more rapidly in the marketplace.”

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.”

With regard to E15 labeling, RFA noted that data from EPA and EIA confirm that more than 95% of vehicles on the road today are legally approved by EPA to use E15. Thus, the association argues, the label should be modified to better reflect the increasingly small share of vehicles and equipment for which E15 is not approved.

EPA’s proposed adjustments to make the E15 label less alarming would be an improvement but ACE prefers EPA remove the outdated E15 label altogether, which also eliminates the need for the E15 survey which has already established E15 as a consistently blended fuel. However, EPA’s request seeking comment on other government entities requiring their own E15 labels is strongly opposed by ACE. “Allowing state and local government labels would be seen by those with considerable resources as permission to lobby for anti-ethanol labels at every government level,” the comments stated. “It would create confusion and doubt for motorists traveling between states and would do the opposite of what EPA hopes to accomplish.”

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Category: Policy

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