Contrary to numerous studies showing the detriment of fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol, the Environmental Protection Agency approved a plan submitted by the ethanol industry to address residual fuel that can be left in gas pumps that offer both E15 and other fuels, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
That step "knocks down the lone, significant regulatory hurdle standing in the way of getting E15 into the marketplace," trade groups Growth Energy and Renewable Fuels Association said.
Three years ago the ethanol industry filed a waiver with the EPA to expand the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline from 10 to 15 percent, according to Environmental and Energy Publishing. Since then, EPA has approved two partial waivers that allow the fuel to be sold for use in model year 2001 and newer cars and has taken steps to bring the fuel closer to the marketplace.
The NMMA, along with the oil industry, food groups and other stakeholders, has opposed the introduction of E15. The recent action specifically addresses the scenario of a gas station having a single pump to provide both E15 and other fuels, like E10, and the concern that residual E15 could mean customers wanting E10 may wind up with gasoline that contains more than 10 percent ethanol.
The Renewable Fuels Association said the EPA has notified it that the industry's guidance for retailers on selling E15 adequately addresses those concerns.
The NMMA says it will continue its work to educate the public and policy makers about the potentially dangerous impact this will have on the marine industry.