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EPA Releases Draft E15 Rule


Last week, EPA released a draft rule which would extend the 1 psi summertime Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver currently available for ethanol and gasoline blends containing between 9-10% ethanol to blends containing up to 15% ethanol (E15).  The draft rule is important because it would allow for E15 to be sold legally in Iowa during EPA’s summer ozone season which begins June 1 for retail sites and ends on September 15.  The lack of a summertime RVP waiver for E15 was a major hurdle facing the widespread adoption of E15.

Although the release of the draft rule is a sign of progress, stay tuned because this issue is far from over.  Extending the 1 psi RVP waiver to E15 through the rulemaking process is controversial.  Opponents of the rule argue that the Clean Air Act specifically limits the waiver to E10 blends. As a result, they believe that extending the 1 psi summer waiver to E15 is a change that can only be made by Congress through the legislative process, specifically by amending the Clean Air Act.  It is highly likely that the release of the rule will be challenged in the courts.

FUELIowa supports the growth of E15 and the inclusion of E15 into the waiver language available in the Clean Air Act.  However, before serious progress can be made on the widespread adoption of E15, lawmakers need to address the lack retail infrastructure compatible with the sale of E15.

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