More 15% ethanol could become available in more states after this weekend.
September 15 is a significant date for E15 in the market place. That date marks the end of EPA’s summer volatility restriction for gasoline, which has kept many retailers who are interested in selling E15 from doing so since the final hurdle to selling the fuel was overcome in June.
“E15 has been hamstrung this summer because of summer volatility rules, governed by the EPA,” said Robert White, Director of Market Development for the Renewable Fuels Association. This meant that a special blendstock was required for 15 percent ethanol blending which is more expensive and only available in limited areas. EPA required this E15 vapor pressure restriction from June 1 to September 15. Only one retailer in Kansas, Zarco 66, was able to secure this low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) gasoline from a State Implementation Plan (SIP) area of Kansas City, and thus able offer E15 during the summer in Lawrence and Ottawa, KS.
“When September 15 hits, all bets are off and all gasoline is created equal and many retailers across the country will be able to sell E15 for the first time,” said White. “We know for a fact that there will be stations in South Dakota, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois that will start selling E15 for the first time to 2001 and newer vehicles in the next week.”
White says retailers interested in offering E15 can get all the information they need from the RFA’s E15 Retailer Handbook, but basically they need to submit a request to the EPA to adopt RFA’s model Misfueling Mitigation Plan, join an approved fuel survey program like RFGSA, and use the EPA’s E15 dispenser label pictured here.