grants E15 waiver for newer vehicles
The United States Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) waived a limitation on selling fuel that is more
than 10 percent ethanol for model year 2007 and newer cars and
light trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains up to
15 percent ethanol – known as E15 – and only to model year 2007
and newer cars and light trucks. This represents the first of
a number of actions that are needed from federal, state and industry
towards commercialization of E15 gasoline blends. EPA administrator
Lisa P. Jackson made the decision after a review of the Department
of Energy’s (DOE) extensive testing and other available data
on E15’s impact on engine durability and emissions.
“Thorough testing has now shown that E15 does not harm emissions
control equipment in newer cars and light trucks,” said EPA administrator
Lisa P. Jackson.
A decision on the use of E15 in model year 2001 to 2006 vehicles
will be made after EPA receives the results of additional DOE
testing, which is expected to be completed in November. However,
no waiver is being granted this year for E15 use in model year
2000 and older cars and light trucks – or in any motorcycles,
heavy-duty vehicles or non-road engines – because currently there
is not testing data to support such a waiver.
Since 1979, up to 10 percent ethanol or E10 has been used for
all conventional cars and light trucks, and non-road vehicles.
Additionally, several steps are being taken to help consumers
easily identify the correct fuel for their vehicles and equipment.
First, EPA is proposing E15 pump labeling requirements, including
a requirement that the fuel industry specify the ethanol content
of gasoline sold to retailers. There would also be a quarterly
survey of retail stations to help ensure their gas pumps are
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.
The E15 petition was submitted to EPA 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 the engine
parts that ensure compliance with the act’s emissions limits.