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E15 Fuel Marketer Challenges
Industry supporters had expected to see E15 as early as mid-September at some pumps, following the removal of federal regulatory barriers to commercialization. However, availability will be on a state-by-state – or even local – basis.
The RFA reports a number of gas marketers are already authorized to sell E15, as long as they follow approved misfueling mitigation plans (MMP). Fuel marketers must have a plan in place to prevent drivers from mistakenly putting E15 in pre-2001 vehicles, including mandatory labels on E15 pumps and routine testing to confirm pump contents match the label.
Opponents argued that where a single hose dispenses multiple fuels, the concentration of ethanol could be altered if someone were to pump a small amount of fuel with residual in the hose. Obtaining blend stock also could be a challenge. The EPA does not allow E15 the same volatility waiver as E10, so a different blend stock is needed. (Adding ethanol to gasoline bumps up volatility.) E10 has a waiver because it reduces volatile organic compound pollution enough to compensate for higher volatility. For E15 to be sold legally during summer, it must be a blend with reformulated gasoline.
Even with such roadblocks, some marketers are ahead of the curve and optimistic for the long run. States can pursue their own regulations; Illinois, Iowa and Kansas, do not have regulations preventing the fuel's sale or use.