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EPA Gives Retailers Options To Eliminate E15 Confusion

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SEE ALSO: AAA Blunder on Ethanol Sets Off Firestorm of Criticism

PICKERINGTON, Ohio February 13, 2013; NAC Online reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued new guidelines to help ensure that motorcyclists and others don’t inadvertently use E15 fuel. The blend is only approved for use in 2001-and-newer passenger vehicles, but not motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, lawn mowers and other engines.

Last year, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and power equipment makers informed the agency of their concern that members could accidentally refuel with residual E15 left in a blender-pump hose.

“In an effort to address this potential misfueling issue, EPA approved an industry-submitted [approach] that requires a minimum purchase of four gallons from blender pumps that dispense both E10 and E15 from the same hose and nozzle,” said the agency. “Such an approach would prevent misfueling by diluting any residual E15 left in the hose from the previous sale of E15. … However, groups representing motorcycle owners and lawn mower manufacturers objected to this [approach] because their products have gas tanks that are normally two gallons or smaller.”

Late last week, the agency posted a new option for retailers on its E15: Misfueling Mitigation Plans webpage to try to avoid misfueling by consumers. Retailers who use a blender pump to sell E15 and E10 fuel through the same hose must also have a separate E10/E0 fuel pump. Those retailers would be required to have a label on the blender pump that reads: “Passenger Vehicles Only. Use in Other Vehicles, Engines and Equipment May Violate Federal Law.”

Retailers would also be required to have signs indicating the location of the dedicated E10-or-lower fuel pump. There would be no minimum-fuel-purchase requirement at that pump. Retailers who want to sell E15 also have the option of having a dedicated E15 pump or hose, or a pump that dispenses E15 and higher ethanol blends through a single hose. If a blender pump dispenses multiple fuels that include E15 and higher ethanol blends, the EPA may require a minimum purchase requirement.