The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) have issued a joint memorandum urging their members to limit E-15 sales to Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) until regulations governing the fuel are finalized and implemented.
Earlier in October, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a waiver for fuel containing up to 15% ethanol (E15) for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. (Earlier post.) This partial waiver represents only the first of a number of actions that are needed from federal, state and industry towards commercialization of E15 gasoline blends.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent approval of E-15 for a portion of the US light duty vehicle fleet is but the first step in a detailed process required to ensure E-15 can be offered in the market place. As many of you know from previous communications, there are a cadre of regulations, standards, and labeling issues that must be addressed to allow retailers to legally offer E-15 to those non-flexible fuel vehicles the EPA has approved.
Recently, press reports and releases have featured retailers that have installed an E-15 button on their blender pumps. While this demonstrates that the infrastructure to dispense E-15 is growing, it is still unlawful to sell E-15 to anything other than a flexible fuel vehicle, even though EPA has approved E-15 for 2007 and newer vehicles. Until health effects testing is completed, fuel producers have a 211(b) certification from EPA, certain state fuel regulations amended, and EPA’s misfueling and labeling proposed regulation finalized, E-15 sales must be confined to and labeled specifically for flexible fuel vehicles only.
We encourage all of you to remain vigilant so that you and others do not unintentionally offer E-15 to customers driving non-flexible fuel vehicles. E-15 will provide consumers and marketers another option to maximize their domestic renewable fuel use. But failing to adhere to the legal steps required to do so may give our fuel products and our industries an unnecessary and avoidable black eye.—PMAA/RFA joint memorandum