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EPA Proposed Rule Addresses E15 Labeling and Compatibility

 

On Friday, January 15, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (EPA OUST) released a long rumored proposed rule addressing the federally mandated E15 label and equipment compatibility requirements for high-blend ethanol products. As some might recall, rumors of the rulemaking began to swirl following a tweet from Iowa Senator Joni Ernst documenting a phone conversation between Senator Ernst and President Trump regarding E15 compatibility with fueling system components listed for the sale of up to 10 percent ethanol.

The proposal released by EPA contains three key provisions of interest to FUELIowa members. The first provision proposes modifications to the labeling practices associated with the sale of E15. Alternatively, EPA is also seeking comment from interested parties on eliminating the label requirements associated with E15 in their entirety. The second provision proposed by EPA would require gasoline dispensing equipment installed after the effective date of the rule to be E100 compatible. Presumably, this proposal was put forward to address the long-standing compatibility barrier facing high-blend ethanol products with today’s gasoline fueling infrastructure.

Finally, EPA’s third proposal would waive existing federal compatibility requirements for systems listed for the storage and dispensing of up to 10 percent ethanol. By waiving federal compatibility requirements, EPA is proposing to allow the sale of E15 through double-wall tanks and piping listed for up to 10 percent ethanol so long as the tanks and piping are secondarily contained and interstitial monitoring is used as the method for leak detection. At this time it is unclear whether the numerous other components comprising a UST system would be subject to current compatibility pathways or be subject to the amendments proposed in this most recent proposed rule.

FUELIowa members with interest in the proposed rule are encouraged to contact John Maynes in the FUELIowa office (john@fueliowa.com; 515-421-4043). The text of the proposed rule can be viewed on the EPA OUST website here.

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