EPA unveils new ethanol pump labeling

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The Environmental Protection Agency issued fuel pump labeling and other requirements Tuesday for gasoline blends containing more than 10 percent and as much as 15 percent ethanol, known as E15.

The requirements will help ensure that E15 is properly labeled and used once it enters the market, according to the EPA.

The new orange-and-black label must appear on fuel pumps that dispense E15. The label will help inform consumers about the vehicles that can use E15. The label also will warn consumers against using E15 in vehicles older than model year 2001, motorcycles, watercraft and gasoline-powered equipment, such as lawnmowers and chainsaws.

Completion of the misfueling rule was a requirement stipulated in the partial waivers for E15 before the fuel could be sold at retail outlets. Fuel and fuel additive manufacturers now must register E15 with the EPA, and that has not been done as of Tuesday, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Along with other groups, the NMMA is opposing E15.

“While both partial waivers exclude marine engines and other non-road engines, such as snowmobiles, lawn and garden equipment, the NMMA continues to be concerned that the measures outlined in EPA’s misfueling rule do not take significant steps to address anticipated problems with consumer confusion and the risk of misfueling,” the association said in a statement. “In addition, the rule does not ensure compatible fuels remain available for the nation’s 13 million registered boat owners or the hundreds of millions of owners of gasoline-powered equipment.”

Those concerns were outlined in the full comments that the NMMA submitted to the EPA earlier this year.

“As E15 becomes available for on-road vehicles, this greatly increases the likehood of misfueling in boats, the large majority of which are refueled at neighborhood automotive gas stations where E15 will be sold,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. “NMMA is disappointed that EPA’s only mechanism to protect consumers from confusion at the pump and consequent engine failures, emissions control failures and safety issues is a small label on the pump.”

Last December, the NMMA filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the EPA’s partial waiver approving E15 for certain motor vehicles. The NMMA continues to work with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers in a coalition called the Engine Products Group in pursuing the legal challenge.

Click here for the NMMA’s full statement.

Click here to see the label.

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