Energy, Enforcement and Inspection

E15 Waiver Issued for Summer Drive Time

The EPA announced it has issued an emergency fuel waiver to allow E15 gasoline, or gasoline blended with 15% ethanol, to be sold during the summer driving season.

“This action will provide communities with relief at the pump from ongoing market supply issues created by the ongoing war in Ukraine and conflict in the Middle East by increasing fuel supply and offering a variety of gasoline fuel blends from which consumers can choose,” an Agency news release says. “This waiver will help consumers protect themselves against fuel supply shocks by reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels, continuing to bolster U.S. energy independence, all while supporting American agriculture and manufacturing. Current estimates indicate that on average, E15 is about $0.25 a gallon cheaper than E10.”

“Under President Biden’s leadership, EPA is taking action to protect Americans from fuel supply challenges resulting from ongoing conflict overseas by ensuring consumers have more choices at the pump,” said Administrator Michael S. Regan in the release. “Allowing E15 sales during the summer driving season will increase fuel supply, while supporting American farmers, strengthening our nation’s energy security, and providing relief to drivers across the country.”

Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Regan, in consultation with the Department of Energy (DOE), has the authority to temporarily waive certain fuel requirements to address shortages.

“As a result of ongoing issues with gasoline supplies Administrator Regan determined that extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist and has granted a temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate supply of gasoline is available. As required by the [CAA], EPA and DOE evaluated the situation and determined that granting the waiver was in the public interest.”

Approximately two-thirds of the United States aren’t allowed to sell E15 gas from terminals starting on May 1 and at retail stations starting on June 1. The EPA is providing relief by extending the 1-pound-per-square-inch (psi) Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 gasoline to E15, which will enable E15 sales throughout the summer driving season in these areas, if necessary. This action only extends the 1-psi waiver to E15 in parts of the country where it already exists for E10. E15 can already be sold year-round in parts of the country that have a Reformulated Gasoline program.

“Because the RVP of E10 and E15 gasoline used by consumers will be the same, EPA does not expect any impact on air quality from this limited action,” adds the Agency press release. “EPA’s research has shown no significant impact on evaporative emissions when the 1-psi waiver is extended to E15. With no significant impacts on emissions from cars and trucks, EPA expects consumers can continue to use E15 without concern that its use in the summer will impact air quality.”

The emergency fuel waiver will go into effect on May 1 and will last through May 20, which is the statutory maximum of 20 days. The EPA states it will continue to monitor the supply with industry and federal partners and that it expects to issue new waivers effectively extending the emergency fuel waiver until such time as the extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and conflict in the Middle East are no longer present.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.