Ohio Asks EPA for Permanent E15 Change

List of Midwest States Seeking E15 Rulemaking Grows to Nine With Ohio Request

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine asked the EPA on Friday to launch a rulemaking to allow year-round E15 sales to be permanent in the state. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Add Ohio to a list of Midwest states that are asking the EPA to make a permanent change to allow year-round E15 sales beginning in 2023. The state's governor on Friday petitioned the agency to make the same change eight other states have already requested.

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.

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

Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, however, said in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan that his state's gasoline retailers could not count on the same waiver on an annual basis.

"It is clear to me that relying on annual emergency waivers for year-round sales of E15 is not a permanent solution for Ohio's fuel retailers, consumers, or the environment," DeWine said.

DeWine requested a rulemaking to eliminate the current disparity between E10 and E15 and gasoline as it relates to ozone regulations in Ohio and also in other states.

DeWine asked for the removal of the 1-psi Reid vapor pressure, or RVP, waiver for E10 ethanol blends. Currently, there is an RVP limit of 10 psi for E10 and 9 psi for gasoline in the summer months.

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.

"The emissions benefits of lowering gasoline vapor pressure by 1 psi have been modeled for Ohio," the DeWine letter said. "The analysis concluded that a 1-psi RVP reduction would be beneficial to air quality, as emissions of carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds would be reduced."

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said in a statement the requests made by the nine states are for a "simple" regulatory solution.

"We continue to call on other states and the EPA to take similar action, so that the benefits of E15 can be permanently enjoyed by drivers across the nation," Cooper said.

According to the RFA, the nine states consume nearly 20 billion gallons of gasoline annually and represent about 14% of all gasoline consumption in the U.S.

In addition, about 59% of all retail stations in the U.S. that sell E15 operate in the nine states. With gasoline prices soaring to all-time-high levels, E15 blends currently save about 40 cents per gallon compared to E10 and regular gasoline.

American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings said in a statement that governors are beginning to see how E15 can save money.

"As pump prices continue climbing and setting record highs, it is becoming more evident to governors around the country that year-round availability of E15 is a common-sense step that can be taken to help provide motorists some relief," he said.

Read more on DTN:

"Eight States Petition EPA on E15 Change," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

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Todd Neeley