The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed allowing the sale of E15 year-round.
Gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol (E15) would fall under the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that previously only applied to E10.
This would allow the sale of E15 year-round, without additional RVP control. The current limitation on E15 restricts sales between June 1 and Sept. 15.
EPA also proposed regulatory changes to modify elements of the renewable identification number (RIN) compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program to increase transparency in the market and deter price manipulation.
Proposed reforms to RIN markets include:
- 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.
These changes are consistent with President Trump’s direction, which he gave the EPA on Oct. 11.
“This rule is a critical milestone for rural Americans who make renewable biofuels and for all American drivers, who may soon have a cleaner, more affordable, higher-octane fuel all year long,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We are still reviewing details of the proposal, and we look forward to working with the EPA to ensure that any changes—particularly in the RIN market—do not upend the marketplace, and continue to encourage investment in E15 and other higher ethanol blends. We appreciate the administration’s efforts to fulfill the president’s promise and will continue in our commitment to making the environmental and economic benefits of E15 available to consumers nationwide.”
The EPA said it will finalize these changes by June 1, the start of the summer driving season.
The EPA will accept feedback from biofuel producers, farmers, and numerous other stakeholders in a public hearing on March 29.
“We’re pleased EPA has finally publicized its proposal to allow retailers to offer E15 to their customers year-round,” said the American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings. “Without a final rule in place by June 1, this year would mark the eighth time, since EPA originally approved a waiver for E15, that fuel marketers in many parts of the country have had to prohibit their customers from purchasing a lower-cost, higher-quality fuel option at the pump during the busy summer driving months.”