Back in March, the Renewable Fuels Association sent a proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Labeled the Model E15 Misfuel Mitigation Plan, it was designed to help fuel companies and those manufacturing fuel additives meet previously declared misfuel mitigation partial waivers introduced by the agency.
This past week, the EPA granted approval for the plan, which now legally enables companies who have met Clean Air Act requirements for E15 to legally introduce the fuel into the marketplace.
However, there are certain conditions concerning the approvals. For example, those companies that are able to market the fuel must consider tank and dispenser capability with E15. The EPA has already issued guidelines and a proposed rule on tank compatibility, nevertheless if E15 is to gain increasing acceptance among consumers, there’s general consensus that more needs to be done.
To that end, those with a vested interest in E15, along with the EPA, are proposing a public education campaign. This campaign will highlight proper use practices for the fuel and how to prevent misfuelling – for example E15 cannot be used in cars or light trucks older than the 2001 model year, since the greater ethanol content within in it can cause corrosion and damage to fuel system components in these older vehicles.
Although MMP’s might now be approved for qualified companies, there still remain a number of obstacles to wider adoption of E15, namely that a number of states still impose restrictions on the sale of gasoline/alcohol blended fuels. As a result, laws in those particular states will either need to be scrapped or modified so that E15 can be sold legally.