24 Groups Seek More Time to Comment on E15 Regulations

Dec 16, 2010, 15:42 ET from National Petrochemical & Refiners Association

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A diverse group of 24 organizations today asked the Environmental Protection Agency to allow an additional 60 days for public comment on proposed regulations designed to prevent misfueling with gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15).

NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, is among the signers of a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting the extension beyond the current deadline of Jan. 3.

The letter says the extension is needed "to allow stakeholders the opportunity to offer complete and thoughtful comments" on the proposed misfueling regulations. Three of the eight weeks EPA designated to receive comments fall around holidays, when many people are out of their offices, the letter points out.

Organizations signing the letter are: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; American Boat Builders & Repairers Association; American Petroleum Institute; American Sportfishing Association; Association of Marina Industries; Boat Owners of the United States (BoatU.S.); Center for Coastal Conservation; Coastal Conservation Association; Engine Manufacturers Association; Environmental Working Group; International Liquid Terminals Association; International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association; Marine Retailers Association of America; Motorcycle Industry Council; National Association of State Boating Law Administrators; National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO); National Marine Manufacturers Association; National Meat Association; National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; Outdoor Power Equipment Institute; Personal Watercraft Industry Association; Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council; Specialty Equipment Market Association; and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America.

"The members of NPRA want to be absolutely certain that the gasoline we manufacture for the American people is safe, effective and reliable," said NPRA President Charles T. Drevna. "This is why we've repeatedly asked EPA to proceed carefully on all its decisions regarding increasing the amount of ethanol allowed in our nation's fuel supply."

"Misfueling is a serious problem that could cause costly damage to the engines in vehicles and equipment powered by gasoline," Drevna said. "Groups concerned about this require more time to evaluate the problem so they can give EPA their best ideas on how to prevent misfueling."

EPA approved the use of E15 on Oct. 13 for cars and light-duty trucks produced for the 2007 model year and later, but did not approve the use of E15 for older cars and light-duty trucks, or for any model year for motorcycles, heavy-duty trucks, buses, boats, snowmobiles and outdoor power equipment.

Misfueling occurs when someone puts the wrong gasoline into an engine. For example, the driver of an older car could fill up with E15, or someone could fill a can with E15 for use in a lawnmower. NPRA supports the use of gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol (E10), which already makes up 85 percent of the gasoline sold in America, but advocates more testing to determine if E15 is safe.

EPA's proposed regulations designed to prevent misfueling include fuel pump labeling requirements to make consumers aware when a pump dispenses E15 and to educate them on the limited number of vehicles EPA says can use E15. In addition, EPA has proposed a quarterly survey of gasoline retailers designed to help ensure that gasoline pumps are properly labeled.

SOURCE National Petrochemical & Refiners Association