EPA proposes year-round E15 fuel

    Gothenburg flex fuel plaza gives drivers five choices of ethanol blended fuel. (NTV News)

    Under a new proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ethanol-blended fuel would be available to the public for vehicles year-round.

    The proposal released on Tuesday includes regulatory changes to allow gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol, or E15, to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for the summer months that has historically been applied only to E10.

    The EPA is also proposing regulatory changes to modify elements of the renewable identification number compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard program to enhance transparency in the market and deter price manipulation.

    “Consistent with President Trump’s direction, EPA is working to propose and finalize these changes by the summer driving season,” said Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We will be holding a public hearing at the end of this month to gather important feedback.”

    Under the proposed expansion, E15 would be allowed to be sold year-round without additional RVP control, rather than just eight months of the year.

    • Proposed reforms to RIN markets include the following:
    • Prohibiting certain parties from being able to purchase separated RINs;
    • Requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds;
    • Limiting the length of time a non-obligated party can hold RINs; and
    • Increasing the compliance frequency of the program from once annually to quarterly.

    EPA officials plan to hold a public hearing on March 29, and members of the public will be able to comment on the proposal.

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