E15 warning label

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its finalized E15 (gasoline with 15 percent ethanol content) warning label. This label is to be applied to all pumps that dispense E15 and is intended to make sure drivers use the correct fuel blend for their vehicles. The EPA says that E15 can be safely used in some 150 million vehicles on the roads in the U.S., but it remains unclear if fueling stations will be willing to dispense E15.

This sticker differs from the proposed orange warning label released by the EPA back in October 2010. Basically, the black and orange sticker replaces "Caution!" with "Attention," simplifies the description of E15-approved vehicles and adds "boat" and "gasoline-powered equipment" into the list of vehicles that should not get E15.

The sticker is not good enough for some. The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, for example, said the, "EPA's decision to rely solely on retail gasoline pump labels to protect consumers from misfueling with gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol is woefully inadequate." However, Growth Energy, an ethanol trade group, says that home-grown, corn-based fuel has been rigorously tested and deemed safe for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles.

[Source: Environmental Protection Agency]
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EPA Finalizes E15 Pump Labeling Requirements/New labels will help consumers find the right fuel for their vehicles

Release date: 06/28/2011

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued fuel pump labeling and other requirements for gasoline blends containing more than 10 and up to 15 percent ethanol, known as E15. These requirements will help ensure that E15 is properly labeled and used once it enters the market.

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

Over the past year, EPA issued two partial waivers under the Clean Air Act that in sum allow E15 to be sold for use in model year 2001 and newer cars and light trucks. EPA based its waiver decisions on testing and analysis showing that these vehicles could continue to meet emission standards if operated on E15. However, EPA does not mandate the use of E15, nor has the agency registered the fuel, which is required before E15 can be legally sold for use in conventional vehicles.

The E15 pump label requirements, developed in coordination with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), adopt elements of FTC's existing labels for alternative fuels to promote consistent labeling. The rule also includes a prohibition against misfueling with E15; a requirement to track E15 and other fuels as they move through the fuel supply chain so that E15 can be properly blended and labeled; and a quarterly survey to help ensure that gas pumps dispensing E15 are properly labeled. In addition, it modifies the Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) Program to allow fuel producers to certify batches of E15 as complying with RFG standards.

This action will help to further reduce the risks of potential misfueling that could result in damage to the vehicle or equipment and in associated emission increases that pose threats to human health and the environment.

EPA is also issuing guidance on the compatibility of underground storage tanks (USTs) with gasoline containing greater than 10 percent ethanol or diesel containing greater than 20 percent biodiesel. The guidance is intended to assist UST owners and operators in meeting the existing federal UST compatibility requirements.

More information and to view the pump labels: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/index.htm

The UST guidance: http://www.epa.gov/oust/altfuels/biofuelsguidance.htm