The Renewable Fuels Association reported progress in its efforts to bring gasoline containing 15% ethanol to the market, saying that its misfueling mitigation plan was accepted earlier this month by federal authorities.
The ethanol trade group also said that 13,000 copies of its E15 handbook have been distributed to retailers across the country.
RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen said during a March 19 conference call that the Environmental Protection Agency approved the misfueling mitigation plan on March 15. The plan provides information on a number of issues, including the proper use of E15 and required fuel labeling along with a fuel survey that shows where E15 is available.
Initially, E15 is going to be made available in the states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, said Kristi Moore, RFA’s vice president for technical services. She said RFA will also work with retailers in states where gasoline’s Reid vapor pressure ratings, which measure volatile organic compound emissions from gasoline, are low, saying the association would explain the benefits in providing E15 to consumers.
Moore said she has been working with various stakeholders to market E15 and to educate retailers on the fuel’s benefits.
With the plan’s approval, the only step left for EPA with regards to E15 commercialization is a simple approval of registration of the fuel, which will take the form of a notice, Dinneen said.
EPA has already granted a 2009 E15 waiver requested for model year 2001 and newer vehicles and also has approved E15 health effects testing. As a result, E15 will have access to about 50% of all vehicles on the road today and about 60% of fuel sold across the nation, said Dinneen.
“Now with the role of the EPA largely complete, producers will have to register that they are selling E15, gasoline marketers will register that they are marketing E15 and all others in the distribution chain will also do their part,” he said.
“Given rising gasoline prices, ethanol is cheaper and any marketer who wants will offer E15 as a choice that’s less expensive than E10 and other fuels,” Dinneen added.