EPA Grants E15 Emergency Waiver for '22

EPA Grants Emergency Waiver to Allow E15 Sales to Continue Through Summer 2022

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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EPA granted an emergency waiver on Friday to allow E15 sales to continue through the year. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- The EPA on Friday granted an emergency waiver to allow E15 sales to continue through the summer months this year, following up on an announcement President Joe Biden made during a visit to an Iowa ethanol plant in recent weeks.

The action comes one day after a group of eight Midwest governors made an official request of EPA Administrator Michael Regan to launch a rulemaking to change federal law in their states to allow permanent year-round E15 sales.

In a news release on Friday, EPA pointed to the need for the E15 waiver to "increase fuel supply and provide consumers more choices" at the pump and pointed to Russia's attack of Ukraine as an additional reason for the waiver.

"President Biden and this administration are committed to protecting American consumers from the impacts of Russia's unprovoked attack against Ukraine," Regan said in a statement.

"Putin's war has had a profound impact on global and domestic energy markets. In consultation with (Energy) Secretary (Jennifer) Granholm, I have concluded that it is necessary to take action to allow E15 sales during the summer driving season in order to minimize and prevent disruption of summertime fuel supply to consumers."

The EPA release said the waiver was being granted to "counteract Russia's unjustified, unprovoked, and unconscionable war against Ukraine and the profound impact on global and domestic energy markets."

EPA said that in about two-thirds of the country, E15 cannot be sold from terminals starting on May 1 and at retail stations starting on June 1.

"EPA is providing relief by extending the 1-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," the agency said.

"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."

EPA said it does not "expect any impact on air quality" resulting from the waiver.

"EPA's research has shown no significant impact on evaporative emissions when the 1-psi waiver is extended to E15," the agency said. "With no significant impacts on emissions from cars and trucks, we expect consumers can continue to use E15 without concern that its use in the summer will impact air quality."

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said allowing E15 sales to continue this summer would help consumers save money at the pump.

"As U.S. and global gasoline stocks continue to shrink as a result of Putin's war on Ukraine, EPA's action will help prevent summertime fuel shortages while also protecting air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

"Today's emergency waiver will ensure cost-conscious drivers across the country will continue to have access to more affordable E15 all summer long. The E15 blend has typically been priced 20 to 30 cents per gallon below regular gasoline in recent months, offering an important measure of relief to consumers during this time of surging inflation."

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said the issuance of a temporary waiver will allow the administration and federal lawmakers time to develop a permanent fix.

"We're grateful to EPA Administrator Michael Regan for working quickly to fulfill President Biden's commitment to deliver relief at the pump by ensuring unrestricted access to lower-cost E15 this summer," she said.

"Not only has E15 been saving drivers as much as 60 cents per gallon, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and has lower fuel volatility and smog-forming potential and supports economic growth across rural America."

Read more on DTN:

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

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

"Biden in IA: Year-Round E15 Coming Back," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

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

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Todd Neeley