Federal appeals court hears E15 waiver challenge

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A panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit this week heard oral arguments on a challenge to the EPA waiver that allows for 15 percent ethanol-blended gasoline to be sold for use in cars model-year 2001 and newer.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association joined with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and the Association of Global Automobile Manufacturers Inc. to file the legal challenge to the EPA Clean Air Act waiver for E15.

Numerous other parties also filed similar suits that the court consolidated.

Growth Energy intervened in the case in support of the EPA, according to the NMMA.

“NMMA is pleased to have our day in court and is hopeful that EPA's ill-conceived waiver will be struck down,” the association said.

Meanwhile, the NMMA said it recently became aware of a safety measure that Toyota and Lexus have taken to deter E15 misfueling.

The companies will include a special label on gas caps on their new automobiles and will include instructions in the owner's manual not to use E15 because the vehicles are not designed to operate on it.

“This is an interesting development as manufacturers continue to consider how best to reduce misfueling as the government continues to push for higher levels of ethanol-enhanced fuel in the marketplace,” the NMMA said. “NMMA recently sent a letter to EPA opposing EPA's approval of the ethanol producers’ misfueling mitigation plan.”

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