Saturday, January 22, 2011
EPA Grants E15 Waiver For 2001-2006 Cars & Light Trucks
On October 13, 2010, EPA approved a waiver allowing the use of E15 for MY 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. At that time, EPA denied a request to allow the use of E15 for MY 2000 and older vehicles and postponed its decision on the use of E15 in MY 2001 to 2006 cars and light trucks until DOE completed additional testing for those model years.
The Agency also announced that no waiver is being granted this year for E15 use in any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or non-road engines because current testing data does not support such a waiver.
These waivers represent one of a number of actions that are needed from federal, state and industry to commercialize E15 gasoline blends. Also, EPA is developing requirements to ensure that E15 is properly labeled at the gas pump. The label will be designed to prevent refueling into vehicles, engines, and equipment not currently approved for the higher ethanol blend.
Ethanol is an alcohol that can be mixed with gasoline to result in a cleaner-burning fuel. E15 is a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. The primary source of ethanol is corn, but other grains or biomass sources may be used such as corn cobs, cornstalks, and switchgrass.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandated an increase in the overall volume of renewable fuels into the marketplace, reaching a 36 billion gallon total in 2022. Ethanol is considered a renewable fuel because it is produced from plant products or wastes and not from fossil fuels. Ethanol is blended with gasoline for use in most areas across the country.
EPA granted the waiver after considering the E15 petition submitted by Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers in March 2009. In April 2009, EPA sought public comment on the petition and received about 78,000 comments.
The petition was submitted under a Clean Air Act provision that allows EPA to waive the act’s prohibition against the sale of a significantly altered fuel if the petitioner shows that the new fuel will not cause or contribute to the failure of engine and other emission-related parts that ensure compliance with emission standards. (EPA)