Ethanol Blog

State AGs Give EPA Until End of January to Respond to Year-Round E15 Petitions

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Environmental Editor
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EPA has been given until the end of January to respond to states that requested agency action to allow permanent year-round E15 sales. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- With 270 days now passed since a group of Midwest governors asked EPA to take action to allow their states permanently sell E15 year-round, a group of attorneys general are pressing the agency to act.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on Friday, the attorneys general from Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, Missouri and Wisconsin said under the Clean Air Act the agency is required to promulgate an amended regulation within 90 days -- meaning EPA was to do so by July 27, 2022, and hasn't.

In April, the governors of Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin asked EPA to begin a rulemaking that would place E10 and E15 on equal regulatory footing in the summer months. In June of last year, Ohio became the ninth state to file the same request.

Earlier last year, the Biden administration granted an emergency waiver to continue E15 sales in the summer months.

"Without prompt action, there is a risk that E15 gasoline will not be available during the 2023 summer driving season and vehicle emissions will be higher than if EPA followed its obligations under the Clean Air Act," the letter said.

"Given the importance of this issue, the undersigned attorneys general call on the administrator and the Office for Management and Budget to promulgate regulations as required by the Clean Air Act by the end of January. That deadline will allow each of the undersigned states to enjoy the cost and air-quality benefits of year-round E15 through the 2023 summer driving season."

The attorneys general did not specify whether they plan to take legal action.

The Clean Air Act allows governors to notify EPA that they wish to reject the use of the 1-psi waiver for E10 in their states. This would result in the application of the same volatility limitation to both E15 and E10 -- essentially putting E10 and E15 on the same footing.

This would compel fuel suppliers to reduce RVP of CBOB, a common grade of gasoline produced by refiners in the U.S., from 8.8 to 7.8 psi. The Clean Air Act requires governors to show such action would benefit air quality in their states.

As part of the application, the first eight states provided the results of a study conducted by Ecoengineering Inc., which showed all states would improve air quality by eliminating the 1-psi waiver.

Read the attorneys general's letter:…

Read more on DTN:

"Groups Press EPA's Regan to Act on E15,"…

"Five Ways to Save Year-Round E15 Sales,"…

"Seven Governors Want New E15 Rulemaking,"…

Todd Neeley can be reached at

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